I don't love flash fiction. But when Indy literary pal Sarah Layden offered me her ARC of The Story I Tell Myself About Myself to preview, I was all in. She's such a peach and her debut novel, Trip Through Your Wires, such a tasty treat, I jumped on the opportunity to lose myself in … Continue reading Arg, Sarah Layden!
The Paris Review can't get rights from the interviewer to print in its entirety the Jean Rhys interview, regrettably, so I'll just have to quote from dear Madeleine L'Engle Herself. "If the work comes to the artist and says, 'Here I am, serve me,' then the job of the artist, great or small, is to serve. The amount … Continue reading Feed the Lake: Write Your Teeny Weeny Little Trickle
Short answer: I have teenagers. "Like they don't hear it at school," you say. "Or say it themselves." Yeah, I realize teenagers are fluent in profanity—I was in junior high and high school once. But that doesn't mean I'm off the hook from preserving for my daughter, 13, and son, 16, one pocket in their … Continue reading Why I’m Not Comfortable Using the Word Motherf*^#er (but please feel free, unless you’re my kid)
Dear Butler University MFA program, Booth, Hilene Flanzbaum, Rob Stapleton, and Andy Levy, Thank you. Thank you for sending me to AWP 2013. As an expression of my deep gratitude, I offer this wee token of my affection and appreciation for you and your commitment to your staff and students. So. Let’s recap. AWP is … Continue reading AWP 2013 RECAP: WRITE LIKE A MOFO
As I drove to hear her address the MFA students in the Butler University Efroymson Center for Creative Writing the other evening, I formed a question to ask during Q&A. I can never think of an original question at these things or have burning curiosity about anything I haven’t already read about an author in an interview, but there was one thing I really wanted to know from this Rebecca "Maud" Newton, who has been a champion literary blogger since before blogging was even a word. What I wanted to ask her was,
The list was deeply personal to me, so I didn't jet it out to every journal. I carefully selected two or three journals I trust to handle it with care. Two months later, I heard from the editor of Emprise Review. Two weeks later, it was published here.
Stop thinking about others as competition. It’s hard sometimes to ignore what others are doing, but nobody’s path is the same.
Join Facebook even if it scares the living hell out of you. Keep in touch with your lit gang. Make some new lit and non-lit friends. Let people into your writing life. It makes it less lonely.
I did it because I didn’t just want to be someone with an MFA, I wanted to be someone with a shelf of books and short stories and screenplays with my name on them. The fact is you will be much grumpier if you don’t write than if you do. You’ll feel better after you’ve written.
Sure, you’re going to submit work before you’re ready, but that is okay. Keep submitting work. New work. Re-revised work. Whatever. Work on it, make it the best you can, have more than one piece going out, and GO.