Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Yesterday morning I ran into a friend, a woman of great wisdom whose last name I do not know. We see each other on the metro sometimes, and yesterday, as the snow dropped off branches and slid off roofs in great sloppy chunks, she recounted a snowy day two years ago. She had just left her husband, an abusive man, and her youngest son had been diagnosed with a kidney cancer that would bloom into three different cell lines. She stood on the metro platform, despairing of her life, feeling the deep indigo of depression settle in her with an inky sigh, when she noticed the tall ornamental grasses bending under the weight of snow. Each long blade, thinner than a knitting needle, carried a few inches of snow. Occasionally more snow would fall on top, and the blade would bow deeper, the snow would tumble off, and the grass would spring back upright. She told me: God never gives us more than we can take. We bend but when we go as far as we can, God releases our load. I carried this image with me all day.

I am re-writing my third person narrative in first person because Maryam feels so distant to me. I want to bury myself into her, find her essential truth, the nugget of her. She is elusive, this character, and I think it is because she is too much like myself.

For class, we are reading The English Patient. A lyrical masterpiece. If I could manage one page of Ondaatje's genius, I will die a happy writer.

I have a sabbatical coming this summer. Six months to think. To experience. To read. To ponder. I am focusing on pain and opioid medications and the thin balance between medical use and abuse. An issue I have considered for almost twenty years, starting with my dissertation. It seems forever until July 1, yet I know it will be here in a blink, and the 6 months past sooner than that.

Time is the enemy these days. If you think about it. Which I try not to.

The Spring issue of JMWW is out. I am very proud of the three pieces of fiction, gorgeous words rendered by Tara Laskowski, Nate Pritts, and Emily Kiernan. As a writer, I always feel thrilled and humbled to see my word in their home. As an editor, I feel like a midwife of sorts. Please, read--you will be moved.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Still Quiet...

Still quiet on the internet front. Mostly because of work, which has had a lot of activity, and because of my writing course, which requires a close reading of a novel a week, plus writing assignments. And because we had a slew of fantastic submissions to read through for JMWW.

I did go to AWP in Boston, which you can read about HERE.

And I have been writing, in slow spurts, but at least I am writing.

My heart still aches, though not so much. I have hope. I remind myself that every moment is just that--a moment. It too shall pass, to be replaced by another moment.

I  know, I know... I sound very Zen these days. Mindfulness has become an anchor for me. It is what keeps the butterflies of anxiety at bay.

Spring happened, which also brings hope. What a gray, dreary winter this has been.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Glitter Blues @ MiCrow

So very happy to have my small story GLITTER BLUES up at MICROW 8.The theme is luminous and the issue, well, is full of shiny light. A gorgeous set of pictures and words, with a cast you will recognize. A huge thank you to uber-editor Michael Solender for publishing my work.

More later. I have been off the grid, mostly because I have been at AWP. Details forthcoming. Peace...

Monday, March 04, 2013

Flash Fiction Chronicles Fifth Annual String-of-Ten Contest--We Have a Winner

And it is... ME!

That is, my short story After the Tsunami.

What a completely happy, wondrous, joy on this Monday morning! I love this contest, I have entered every year, a couple of times come up as a bridesmaid but never the bride.

Thank you Guest Judge (the incomparable) Kathy Fish, Flash Fiction Chronicles editor Gay Degani, and the rest of the folks at FFC. Peace...

Friday, March 01, 2013

Lost In Thought

So pleased to be published in this amazingly gorgeous issue of LOST IN THOUGHT. In great company with the likes of Jen Knox, Jules Archer, Tina Barry, Josh Denslow, Harley May, Michael Gilliam Maxwell, Gloria Mindock, Bud Smith, and so many others. And the art! Thank you to editors Kyle Schruder and Robert Vaughan.