About Me

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Originally from Vermont, I now live in North Carolina. My work can be found in recent issues of REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters, The Jabberwock Review, The Emerson Review, Storyglossia, The MacGuffin, Confrontation, Passages North, SmokeLong Quarterly, elimae, wigleaf, and Pank, among others, and forthcoming from Gargoyle #57 and REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters. One of my stories has been translated into Farsi by Asadollah Amraee, and many others by Jalil Jafari, two of which have been published in the Iranian journal, Golestaneh Magazine. For two years I worked as an assistant editor for Narrative Magazine. Currently, I serve as a mentor for Dzanc's Creative Writing Sessions. I'm working on two novels and a short story collection. In May, I was awarded the Carol Houck Smith Contributor Scholarship for the 2011 Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

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Scroll down to read the 15th best seller on this list from Book Sense:

On The Rise

Wonderful!

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I just received a solicitation from a magazine that definitely looks like something I want to read...Ode


Braque Posted by Hello

Monday, November 29, 2004

Create

Writing Prompt
A man takes his teenaged daughter and her friend out to dinner. The daughter's friend dumps the contents of her purse out onto the table. What happens next?

Klee Posted by Hello

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Three Poems by Simon Perchik here

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The Power of the Mind




When I was young my best friend and I would sometimes spend the night in her family’s camper. It was one of those pop-up kinds, set in a place no more exotic than her backyard, and even though there were no mountain lions or grizzlies with which to contend, it was still scary and intense because she had an older brother and he loved to frighten us. Part of the intensity came from the scary stories our own minds created before he actually tapped his fingers against the window, or growled softly like a menacing beast. Because my mind was more engaged in anticipating the future, what her brother was going to do before he did it, it did half, if not most, of the work for him. Sometimes we screamed before he even stepped outside.

In much the same way as I drove home on interstate 95, my family in the car with me, I talked myself right into a feeling of claustrophobic panic. I often take the Harbor tunnel outside of Baltimore because the traffic is better than the other tunnel—it’s a tunnel I’ve driven often. This weekend, however, as I started to descend into the tunnel, I asked Tom, my husband, if it went underwater, although I already knew the answer. Later I found out he didn’t answer me because he could see where my mind was headed. And as I kept driving, my mind took off on a creative journey of its own, imagining the tunnel going down, deep underwater, and it didn’t end with that. I imagined a traffic jam causing all of the cars, ours included, to come to a stop. As I drove sixty miles an hour through the yellow-lit tunnel my scary story took over until I felt a need for air, to see the sky, to get out of the car, with such intensity I thought I would black out. Luckily, I’ve done enough meditation practice to know how to stop a counterproductive train of thought. I was able to bring my mind back to the present, to what was actually happening, and soon after I saw the blue of the sky. As I drove out of that tunnel I was relieved and amazed—amazed at the incredible power of my mind to create a vivid visual of something terrifying and the ability to “snap out of it.”

I do believe our minds are a resource as yet vastly untapped. Every time my family travels up the east coast to see our friends and family and back again, every time I get into the car with my husband and two sons on a journey, I do something akin to a blessing, or a prayer. I visualize my family, as individuals and then as a whole, and the car we ride in, surrounded by an unbroken ring of white light. Every time. So far, we’ve been lucky—sometimes unbelievably so. Perhaps our safe arrival and return is due to nothing more than luck. Perhaps it’s fate, or perhaps it’s something more. Who knows?

Klee Posted by Hello

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By far one of the best novels I've read this year, A Blade of Grass offers a glimpse of South Africa's intense and volatile landscapes--political, environmental, and emotional. Exquisitely written, the author drew me into his world, and kept me turning pages eager to learn how his characters overcame sometimes impossible odds. Desoto has a gift for creating honest, believable characters, so believable they become quite remarkable. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone interested in South Africa--in its people, in its hardships and its triumphs.

Kandinsky Posted by Hello

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Create

Writing Prompt

What is the woman thinking about as she stares at the fish in the Matisse painting?

Friday, November 19, 2004


Matisse Posted by Hello

Create

Writing Prompt

Write about a Thanksgiving dinner that goes wrong...

Modigliani Posted by Hello

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A couple of pieces from the marvelous Michelle Garren Flye and the amazing Miriam N. Kotzin in The Glut

O'Keeffe Posted by Hello

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I'm off for a week to spend Thanksgiving with my husband's family. We'll stay with his mother who's almost eighty, yet carries herself like a woman at least twenty years younger. We'll have dinner at my sister-in-law's, who recently fought off her six-foot plus mugger and refused to give up her purse--not because of the money inside, but because of the pictures of her children she didn't want to lose. And we'll be spending time with my amazing brother-in-law who has raised his daughter alone since she was born and has helped her to become the brilliant, independent, feminist ten-year-old that she is. And all the rest who are fun and unique, and loving.

I have much to be thankful for in my life. It would be impossible to list everything in the way I would want to. I'll just name a few from this past year:

*My three-year-old who is teaching me about the important things in life--all over again.

*My brilliant, beautiful teen-aged son who really is a great kid, and always has been, telling me he liked something I wrote.

*My husband, who is amazing, patient, intelligent, kind, strong, and oh so incredibly sexy.

*The many "I love you, Mommy's" I hear in a day.

*The freedom to live a joyful life.

*The adrenalin-rush, jaw-dropping, kick-ass feeling of a tornado less than a mile away and the I'm so grateful to be alive kind of calm after.

*My glorious writing friends who inspire me every day and lift me up with kind words and cheers.

*The fact that I thoroughly, completely enjoy life, its difficult times, its easy times, its ugliness, its humbling beauty, and everything it entails.

Have a wonderful holiday.

O'Keeffe Posted by Hello

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And congratulations to more of my excellent writer friends for their recent Pushcart Nominations:

Myfanwy Collins for "Eye," nominated by N.O.L.A. Spleen
Kathy Fish for "Shoe Box," nominated by Wild Strawberries
Terri Brown Davidson for "The Nunnery," nominated by In Posse Review
Tania Casselle for "Help Me Rhonda," nominated by Wild Strawberries
Sue O'Neill for "Karma," nominated by Gator Springs Gazette

Congrats and good luck to all!

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Congratulations to Miriam N. Kotzin for her Pushcart Nomination! Here's a link to her poem, "Sea Change."

Sea Change

Thursday, November 18, 2004


Klee Posted by Hello

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A poem from Crab Creek Review:

Animal Planet

Create

Writing Prompt

Write a sexy scene between two people without having them touch.

Klee Posted by Hello

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And the National Book Award goes to...

Lily Tuck

Cezanne Posted by Hello

Klee Posted by Hello

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Congratulations to edificeWRECKED for the honor of being named Laura Hird's Lit Mag of the season at laurahird.com!

Here's a story from their latest issue:

Where Things Happen

O'Keeffe Posted by Hello

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Some scientists believe the new brighter colors on England's autumn trees are due to global warming...

Read This

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

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A lovely read:

Mornings

Klee Posted by Hello

Create

Writing Prompt:

Describe something you'd normally find beautiful as ugly.
Now describe something you'd normally find ugly as beautiful.
Find a way to join them in the same piece of prose or poem.

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Patience



I was born impatient--I know I must have been. If had been given teeth in the womb, I probably would have chewed my way out. (Gruesome thought, that) Fortunately, I am aware of my own impatience and have come to accept it as something I need to work on. And even though I’ve been aware for years now, I’m still working on it.

The other day I sat in line waiting for my turn to drive around the small traffic circle near my house, and once again, found myself getting impatient with the driver ahead of me because he/she didn’t pull ahead as fast as I thought he/she should. I was literally five minutes from home. I had already driven an hour and a half, and I couldn’t wait the extra five minutes without losing my patience.

I find my patience is tested most as a writer. Waiting for a response from a journal to which I’ve submitted can feel excruciating. Unless it’s been so long I forget about the sub altogether. I also become quite impatient with my abilities as a growing writer. I want my writing to have reached this level, but it’s still back at that level. I’m working on allowing my writing to just be what it is, without judgment.

On the other hand, my patience is bountiful when it comes to my children. Call it mother’s love, or call it sanity, but I enjoy my children too much to become impatient with them. I am lucky that I live the kind of life in which I don’t have to hurry as a mom. My writing will be there, waiting for me. The cleaning will be there waiting for me. The journal responses will be there waiting for me (whether I like them or not). When I’m with my boys, I’ve nothing to do but slow down and enjoy them—at their pace.

Klee Posted by Hello

Kandinsky Posted by Hello

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Here's an article on the National Book Award Finalists:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4107250

I've read Lily Tuck's short story collection (and liked it) but I don't have her novel yet. I do, however have "Ideas of Heaven" sitting on my shelf. I'm looking forward to reading all of the finalists.

Create

Writing Prompt

Three women stand outside a boutique, arguing. What are they fighting about?

Klee Posted by Hello

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When I was growing up scientists were just beginning to talk about preserving the ozone layer. People were urged to stop using aerosol cans. Now, years later, even after the danger has become increasingly evident, I see people driving huge gas-guzzling Hummers all around me. What will it take for us to take this risk to the ozone seriously?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4013511.stm





Kandinsky Posted by Hello

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Woman Submerged in a Car
Poetry by Lawrence Geockel

http://www.bu.edu/agni/poetry/online/2004/goeckel.html

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Here's a powerful piece by the fabulous Bev Jackson:

http://smokelong.com/flash.asp?id=1292

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

CREATE

Writing Prompt:

You walk into a room and find abandoned on a table a half-eaten orange, a knife, and a letter. What does the letter say?



Klee Posted by Hello

Kandinsky Posted by Hello

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So much of my writing is motivated by the desire to understand human nature, to understand myself. However some things are beyond understanding for me, such as one group's alleged assination of the very person that worked so hard to help its people: http://www.boston.com/dailynews/321/world/Family_believes_British_hostag:.shtml

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New Music from Polly Paulusma

I first heard this woman on NPR. Her voice is lovely, and her lyrics are at once haunting and whimsical. I absolutely love this CD.

http://www.pollypaulusma.com/

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Brick Lane by Monica Ali

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0743243307/002-9029446-5992039?v=glance

I'm two-thirds of the way through this amazing novel.
An excerpt that offers something to think about:

"'There is one crime against humanity in this last decade of the millennium that exceeds all others in magnitude, cruelty, and portent. It is the US-forced sanctions against the twenty million people of Iraq.'"