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.

Friday, December 31, 2004

Year-End Gratitude

Well, I have much for which to feel grateful, and in light of recent tragic events, it seems even more than I can imagine.

We all measure our accomplishments and gratitude in different ways. For me this year it will be in what I have managed to keep throughout 2004:

*My sanity
*My children healthy and inspired
*My lovely, spirited, brilliant friends
*My marriage alive and sparkling-well
*My sense of humor
*My joy for life
*My insatiable need to write and read well-fed
*Full control of my bladder

Happy Newest Year All

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Don't miss the latest Pot de Creme which features a Stormy Flash by Mary McCluskey; a new Inklings by Kathleen McCall; and a fabulous interview of the wildly talented Ellen Meister by Steven Hansen!

Braque Posted by Hello

Thursday, December 30, 2004

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Quote for the Approaching New Year:

"Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend - or a meaningful day."

~Dalai Lama

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MoveOn Organization is asking for our help in providing more disaster relief for the tsunami victims:

"Of course, Oxfam is only one of dozens of great organizations, like UNICEF, CARE, and the Red Cross/Red Crescent, rushing to help with the immediate need. Their efforts give the victims a head start, but it won't be enough unless the great nations of the world step forward in a big way for the long-term challenges.

Indonesia, by far the hardest hit country, is also the world's largest Muslim nation. Their estimated death toll stands at 85,000 -- in some areas, 1 out of 4 people have already been killed. Now it's time for America to show its true colors. We want to be known as a nation that leads the world with compassion, generosity, and community -- not with disastrous foreign military adventures. We are a nation that values human life, family, and extending freedom and opportunity to where it is most needed. We must now reach out in a serious way to do just that.

The $35 million offered by the Bush administration seems like a lot of money, but it's insignificant compared to what's needed in a disaster relief effort than spans continents and is expected to be the most expensive in history. To put it in perspective, we're spending $35 million in Iraq every 7 hours. (The Bush administration is about to ask for another $80 billion to cover the next installment of this tragic occupation.)1

We can and will do better. Thanks for doing your part to show the true generosity of the American spirit.

Sincerely,

--Adam, Ben, Carrie, Eli, James, Joan, Justin, Laura, Mari, Noah, Rosalyn, and Wes
The MoveOn.org Team
December 30th, 2004"

Tsunami Relief

Wednesday, December 29, 2004


Homer Posted by Hello

Congratulate

Robin Slick's new book, "Three Days In New York City" is coming out next Wednesday! I'm looking forward to reading it. Robin's a talented writer whose honest, sometimes funny, often poignant prose knocks me out.

Here's more about it:
inherownwrite

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Amazingly, the power of an earthquake can disturb the Earth's rotaion. Here's an article on the subject:

Slate Magazine

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Just finished Stuart Dybek's Short Story Collection, Childhood and Other Neighborhoods and loved every story in it. Dybek has an ability to tell an exciting story within the richly detailed setting of Chicago where the city itself becomes a character.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004


Katherine Montstream Posted by Hello

RIP Susan Sontag

This from BBC news:

Susan Sontag

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Yesterday I finished Tim O'Brien's "If I Die In a Combat Zone." What an incredible account of Vietnam by an incredible author. He went into the war by draft, not believing in it, yet not wanting to disappoint his country or his family or himself. And all the time he was over there, every day a fight to stay alive, he never stopped questioning and thinking. Here's a powerful passage:

"It is not a war fought for territory, nor for pieces of land that will be won and held. It is not a war fought to win the hearts of Vietnamese nationals, not in the wake of contempt drawn on our faces and theirs, not in the wake of a burning village, a trampled rice paddy, a battered detainee. If land is not won and if hearts are at best indifferent; if the only obvious criterion of military success is body count and if the enemy absorbs losses as he has, still able to lure us amid his crop of mines; if soldiers are being withdrawn, with more to go later and later; if legs make me more of a man, and they surely do, my soul and character and capacity to love notwithstanding; if any of this is truth, a soldier can only do his walking, laughing along the way and taking a funny, crooked step.

After the war, he can begin to be bitter. Those who point and degrade his bitterness, those who declare that it's all a part of war and that this is a job which must be done--to those patriots I will recommend a postwar vacation to this land, where they can swim in the sea, lounge under a fine sun, stroll in the quaint countryside, wife and son in hand. Certainly there will be a mine or two still in the earth. Alpha Company did not detonate all of them."

Wow.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Donate

Here are a couple of links if you're interested in making a donation to help the tsunami victims:

International Red Cross

Americares

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I cannot fathom the kind of mass horror and destruction that has struck South Asia. To imagine each individual person of over 21,000 that has succumbed to the quake and its devastation, and then to imagine the people that person's death affects is overwhelming and impossible.

To see pictures of women in the news, to wonder for whom do they cry is heartbreaking. And I can do nothing to help them. All I can do is look for the relief aid program to which I can donate my small amount of dollars and hope it makes a difference.

The force of nature is intense and awe-inspiring and frightening and admirable and horrifying and amazing. All at once.

Tsunami

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I love to find handmade cards. When I visit Vermont, I look for this woman's cards and buy as many different designs as I can. Her cards were "in" around the same time I designed and sold my own, back in the early-mid nineties, and she's still going strong.

Katherine Montstream

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Short Fiction from Dicey Brown:

Ice Chips

Sunday, December 26, 2004

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Just finished Best American Stories 2004

A collection of consistently excellent fiction. I especially liked T.C. Boyle's "Tooth and Claw," Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum's "Accomplice," Edward P. Jones' "A Rich Man," and Jill McCorkle's "Intervention."

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Here's the workshop I'm considering taking in the summer: Tinker Mountain

I'm particularly interested in a week-long workshop with Daniel Mueller, Erin McGraw, or Ann Cummins. I like the small class size and the quiet location of this one. We'll see...

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The new lit mag reviews are out at NewPages

Friday, December 24, 2004

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A poem by Robert Frost--

AN OLD MAN'S WINTER NIGHT
All out of doors looked darkly in at him
Through the thin frost, almost in separate stars,
That gathers on the pane in empty rooms.
What kept his eyes from giving back the gaze
Was the lamp tilted near them in his hand.
What kept him from remembering what it was
That brought him to that creaking room was age.
He stood with barrels round him -- at a loss.
And having scared the cellar under him
In clomping there, he scared it once again
In clomping off; -- and scared the outer night,
Which has its sounds, familiar, like the roar
Of trees and crack of branches, common things,
But nothing so like beating on a box.
A light he was to no one but himself
Where now he sat, concerned with he knew what,
A quiet light, and then not even that.
He consigned to the moon, such as she was,
So late-arising, to the broken moon
As better than the sun in any case
For such a charge, his snow upon the roof,
His icicles along the wall to keep;
And slept. The log that shifted with a jolt
Once in the stove, disturbed him and he shifted,
And eased his heavy breathing, but still slept.
One aged man -- one man -- can't keep a house,
A farm, a countryside, or if he can,
It's thus he does it of a winter night.

More Frost here: Frost

Robert E. Todd Posted by Hello

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Celebrate

Happy Holidays!

Robert E. Todd Posted by Hello

Wednesday, December 22, 2004


Homer Posted by Hello

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Don't miss Joe Young's gorgeous work, "Where is She?" and "Ascent," posted on his blog: Flash Light.

and Myfanwy Collins' stunning pieces, "Save the Swans," "Neighborhood Dogs," and "Cold," posted on her blog: read.

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Meghan O'Rourke offers her opinion on Alice Monroe's latest SSC, "Runaway," in Slate's The Highbrow:

Tricked Up

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A poem by Rebecca Loudon in Snow Monkey:

Burning Season

Tuesday, December 21, 2004


Homer Posted by Hello

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Some of the worst human abuses occur right under our feet and we don't even know it--the blatant, irresponsible polluting of our global water table by corporations too greedy and bottom-line conscious to want to clean up their act like this one in India:

Bhopal Disaster

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Here's a wonderful fiction piece from the talented Susan Porter:

Dressing Sophia

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If the sight of President Bush's face on the cover of Time Magazine as person of the year made you want to either laugh, cry, or move to another country, then here are some alternate media suggestions from NewPages:

Alternatives

Monday, December 20, 2004

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Please take part in saying no against using women's bodies as warfare:


"During the course of Colombia’s 40-year-old conflict, all the armed groups – the security forces, army-backed paramilitaries and the guerrilla – have sexually abused or exploited women and girls. They have sought to control the most intimate parts of women’s lives."


Amnesty International

Kandinsky Posted by Hello

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"A human being is a part of the whole called by us 'the universe,' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest--a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening the circle of understanding and compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."

--Albert Einstein

Congratulate

Congrats to Rusty Barnes, Richard Madelin, and Kathy Fish for your placements in the Gator Springs Fiction Contest

And congrats to the short-listers too!

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Check out the latest issue of Gator Springs Gazette full of marvelous stories, poems and essays!

Sunday, December 19, 2004

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Another Reminder

Laila Lalami will be speaking on C-Span Book Talk at midnight tonite--set your VCR or Tivos!

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If you order a copy of the latest, very-hip Lilies and Cannonball, you'll be able to read Myfanwy Collins' stunning fiction piece, "States of Residency."

Looks like a gorgeous journal! Mine should be arriving soon in the mail...

Friday, December 17, 2004

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New online poetry at AGNI: Seven Journeys

Klee Posted by Hello

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Read For Solange

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Reminder:

Tune into C-Span Monday Morning at 12:00 am (or set your VCR Sunday evening) to catch the brilliant Laila Lalami (along with a select panel) discuss her literary blog!

Moorish Girl

Thursday, December 16, 2004


Klee Posted by Hello

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This story by Charlotte Forbes blew me away:

Inside Graciela Gonzales

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America's Wrong Turn

Yesterday I listened to Richard Viguerie speak on NPR promoting his new book. Viguerie has long been associated with the conservative movement and the religious right, and largely responsible for its rising voice in talk radio. Viguerie is an intelligent man, and apparently a powerful man, with enough gall to offer up idiotic, ignorant, prejudiced statements as if they were gold. One that really had me choking was his insisting that he and his ilk were the tolerant ones while homosexuals were the mean-spirited hate-mongers descrecrating the churches of the innocent religious right. Yeah, sure.

And then the blatant admission that talk radio is so succesfully conservative because liberals like to look at an issue from more than one angle, whereas conservatives are comfortable with their black-and-white beliefs that can be summed up in short sound-bites. In other words: dumb and dumber--or perhaps scary and scarier.

I suppose what most annoyed me was his claim that his beliefs are shared by all of America, thus the title of his new book: America's Right Turn.

Sorry, buddy. This is one American you have failed to convince--I still have full use of my brain--and my soul.

And until the religious right's one-sided, selfish, "morals" begin to address real problems and show real compassion for its fellow men and women around the world, I will continue to view the hate-filled, illogical garbage it promotes as simply ridiculous.

From an editorial in The Pilot by H. Adrian Osborne: Thomas Paine, patriot and author of “Common Sense”: “My own mind is my own church. All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind and monopolize power and profit.”

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


O'Keeffe Posted by Hello

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The new issue of SmokeLong is out!

SmokeLong

and read the interviews too!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

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Banning foreign works has now become "a very important part of our overall national security." What?????!!

Outrageous!

Article spotted first on Newpages.com

Kandinsky Posted by Hello

Create

Writing Prompt

Connect these items in a passage, a poem, or a flash piece:

A mango, a subway, a teenaged girl with a pierced lip, Joyce's, "Finnegan's Wake."

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and another lovely piece from the lovely Ms. Collins:

Warsaw

Monday, December 13, 2004

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Here's a new story by the talented Myfanwy Collins: Bridges

O'Keeffe Posted by Hello

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If you haven't already, you must check out Joseph Young's gorgeous piece, "The Earring," here:
The Earring

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Read this prose poem from Madeleine Myers: Exceptions to the Rule

Sunday, December 12, 2004

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Consider this gorgeous, mood-rich excerpt by Matthew Dillon:

Consider the Sky

Klee Posted by Hello

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Contest December deadlines reminder:

Cream City

Lichen Journal

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Intersting work from Geneva Chao: Chinese Box

Saturday, December 11, 2004


Chagal Posted by Hello

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Brilliant essay by AGNI editor, Sven Birkerts, here:

Scratch

Thursday, December 09, 2004

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Every sentence tells a story:

One-Sentence Stories

Klee Posted by Hello

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Looking for something to read? You may want to check this list:

Book Sense

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Something new from the brilliant and talented Ellen Meister here:

Womb-O-Matic

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

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Here's an excellent example of collaborative fiction: Vacation Planner

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


Klee Posted by Hello

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The Side of the Road

A couple of times a month I travel to a town about an hour and a half away. It’s a lovely drive—full of rolling hills, hardwoods in an abundance I don’t see in my own pine-filled county, sprawling horse farms and tobacco fields. The road I take is well-traveled but not an interstate; it’s one I can relax on and take in the scenery.
Yesterday as I was driving on this stretch, it came to my attention that the side of the road was littered with carnage. Dead bodies. Dead deer, dead possum, dead something I couldn’t identify, and dead dog. Some of the bodies were intact and all had been moved to the side of the road—which I suppose is something. There were three things that struck me about this scene: one, the dog was still there three hours later on my drive home; two, there were bits of fur and skin here and there as if someone had not done a thorough job of cleaning up; and three, there were men working on building another road right next to most of the bodies.

Which brings me to another memory. A few years ago, I was driving to work in my town and found a cat lying in the middle of the road. I pulled over and walked over to the cat. He was still warm, but I couldn’t see him breathing. I gathered him in a blanket I’d had in my trunk and laid him on my back seat. About four feet away from all of this, there were two guys working on the side of the road. Before I drove off, I asked them if they hadn’t seen the cat lying in the road, practically under their noses. They told me they couldn’t do anything about it. It wasn’t their job, they said. I yelled back, “It’s everybody’s job!” I drove off to my vet, where she pronounced the cat dead and offered to give him some dignity by properly burying him.

Not that I’m always so high-minded. Yesterday, when I saw the dog on the side of the road, I didn’t stop either. I wasn’t sure where the nearest vet was, nor did I want to be late. And I’m sure the hundreds of cars driving by on that same road held various people who had just as many excuses, lame or not. Looking back, I wish now I had stopped. I wish I had had a blanket in my car to lay over him. And of course, I wish the impossible: I wish I had been able to save him to begin with.

The last wild animal I saw on that drive was a deer, alive, grazing on a hill on the side of the road. I thought of that vision as a gift—deserved or not.

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Check out the latest issue of edificeWRECKED!

O'Keeffe Posted by Hello

Monday, December 06, 2004

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Natasha and Other Stories by David Bezmozgis

These connected stories highlight the Bermans, a loving Jewish family who has left Russia behind for the promise of Toronto. The reader follows young Mark Berman through childhood on into young adulthood as he discovers what it means to be Jewish and what it means to be a man. Each story is elegant, streamlined and deeply moving. With stories first published in The New Yorker, Harpers, and Zoetrope, I highly recommend this collection.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

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Some new fiction by Jordan E. Rosenfeld here: Memory, Foam and Marcia Lynx Qualey here: Goodbye Street

Saturday, December 04, 2004


Kandinsky Posted by Hello

Create

Writing Prompt

Think back to a dream you had in childhood. Write about that dream as if were a story; embellish, subtract, until you've reached one of the seeds of wisdom that dream may have been offering.

Klee Posted by Hello

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A story by Ms. Ice:

The Fox

O'Keeffe Posted by Hello

Friday, December 03, 2004

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Listening to Nadine Gordimer speak this afternoon on Dick Gordon's The Connection I was struck by how elegant and intelligent she sounded--much like her prose. Several times she moved me to tears as she discussed the threat to the written word by the image, the power and truth of fiction versus the truth of non-fiction, the AIDS epidemic, and Nelson Mandela.

Proceeds from the sale of the anthology, Telling Tales will go toward AIDS/HIV prevention, research and medicine.

Braque Posted by Hello

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New Book:

*Why was Rembrandt's Danae stabbed?

*Where is the line between art and porn and who has the right to determine the distinction?

*Who is responsible for feelings or actions evoked by a work of art--the artist or the viewer?

These are just some of the questions brought to light in this stunning debut novel by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore.
Two precocious young girls pose as figurative models for a family friend and end up the center of controversy that has the characters in this novel tackling the question, "What is art?" A brilliant combination of art history, tragedy, philosophy, mystery, this complex plot is woven with expert hands.
Available in February, 2005, The Effects of Light is a must read.

Rembrandt's Danae Posted by Hello

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A story by Steve Almond here:

"What the Bird Says"

Thursday, December 02, 2004

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If freedom is important to you as an American citizen then you can sign here:

Take the Pledge

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A Poem from Ascent here:

The Falling Out

O'Keeffe Posted by Hello

Macke Posted by Hello