About Me

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My work can be found in REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters, The Jabberwock Review, The Emerson Review, Storyglossia, The MacGuffin, Confrontation, Passages North, SmokeLong Quarterly, elimae, wigleaf, Pank, New Delta Review, and Gargoyle #57, among others. 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. Currently, I'm an Associate editor for Narrative Magazine. In 2011, I was awarded the Carol Houck Smith Contributor Scholarship for the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Spiraling Down

Kyle Minor in his interview with Chad Simpson spoke eloquently of how hard writing honestly and deeply was on him and his family:

"There's something rather selfish about allowing oneself to spiral down into that kind of darkness for the sake of a piece of writing when other people are depending upon you. I know that during the time I was working on "You Shall Go Out with Joy," I was significantly less available to my wife and my son, and not just in terms of time, but also in terms of emotional availability. Somehow, to write as honestly as I wanted to write, I had to become twelve years old again, and strip away perfectly good defense mechanisms so I could revisit pain that I'd buried long ago."

This particular part of the interview spoke to me as I know exactly what he's refering to. There are pieces of my novel that wring me dry everytime I work on them, make me moody and difficult to deal with. Anyone who knows me knows this is out of my character and yet it happens. I wonder how we can go through these periods of spiraling down into truth without alienating those we love or without losing the tether to the ordinary joys we've set in place in our lives.

I find I need some decompression time. Maybe just a few minutes between the time I stop writing and the time I emerge from my office to see my family. Ideally, a walk would be even better, but not always possible. What do you do? How do you as writers dive down and come back up unscathed?

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