Iowa Summer Writing Festival and more, more, more…

Sudden Fiction) and were lead into a handful of writing “triggers” (prompts) by Kyle. I enjoyed the casual conversational tone, and the insights we discovered in the writings by creative authors. We workshopped our own short pieces the second day and gave one another feedback. I read two stories: “Liminal” and “Triptych.” This week I am in the throes of teaching the Red Oak Young Writers program with Kim, Laurel, and Allison. It’s been a fun week thus far, held at 10 Chimneys. We have 20 students ranging in age from 7 to 11 grade. We’ve focused on poetry, story, flash, dialogue, and various other fun activities. They love free writing time and roundtables for feedback the best, so we fit those in daily. I had several more pieces published  and you can find them here: “Nodding” and “Cat Scan” at Thunderclap Press: Thunderclap Press (also available in print form, see website for details) “Mirage” at New Wave Vomit: 84 “Transition” at Orion Headless: Transition | Orion headless “What’s the Story, Morning Glory?” at S.S.F.: SLEEP. SNORT. FUCK.: What’s The Story Morning Glory? “The Black Sea” at S,F,D: The Black Sea – Short, Fast, and Deadly “Detour” at Clutching at Straws: Detour « Clutching at Straws “Bed Post” at 2010 July 22 | My short fiction piece, “Terminal” was selected for the MIND GAMES anthology at 6S and you can purchase it here: 6S, Mind Games I also published my second piece of non-fiction writing at The Nervous Breakdown, called “I Had a Dream”: The Nervous Breakdown Please feel free to comment at any or all of these websites for writers! And thanks to the editors for supporting my work: Joseph, Shannon, Shawn, Amanda, Margaret, Tannen, Ana, Sara, and Brad. My former boss, Judy Bridges of Redbird Studio is getting close to publishing her instrumental and insightful Shut Up & Write book. I can feel the excitement building around this project that she has pored herself into. I can’t wait to hold my very own (signed) copy! Hearty congratulations, Judy! We went to the Milwaukee Brewers game on Monday night, and they WON! It was a close game, 3-2. Also ate a meal on the Hollander patio for the first time all summer. We had a blast. I have a friend from high school visiting this weekend. That ought to provide a nice experience! What are you doing for the first time (that you might have never done before?) Or have you been someplace new (Iowa was for me) this summer? I hope more than anything that you are having fun.]]>

Wisconsin Summer

Postcard Shorts: Stories that fit on a postcard “The Frozen River” at 50 to 1 (thanks, Glen): 50 to 1 “Pheasant Lane” at Orion headless (thanks, Sara): Pheasant Lane | Orion headless “When the Time Comes” at Negative Suck (thanks, Jeffrey): July 2010 archive 1 – NEGATIVE SUCK “The Basement” at Underground Voices (thanks, Jim): UNDERGROUND VOICES MAGAZINE/ROBERT VAUGHAN “Before and After” at Soundless Poetry: Robert Vaughan « soundless “Regarding Kay” at The Camel Saloon (THANKS RUSSELL!!!): The Camel Saloon: Regarding Kay A note about this poem: I wrote “Regarding Kay” the week that I found out my mother passed away in November 2002. Kay was a long term Alzheimer’s patient, and I was on vacation in NYC at the time of her final demise. It’s a complex illness, to say the very least, and this poem is raw, and angry, and complex, written in the throes of attempting to reconcile my feelings about my mother: the loss, the love, the memories, her life, and mine, now, without her in it. Russell, the editor and “barkeep” at The Camel Saloon, honored me when he e-mailed to say he was approaching his 100th post of literature at his site. And he wanted to honor me by giving me his 100th post. Well, that alone blew me away. There seemed to be no choice: Regarding Kay it was! Of course, the moment I e-mailed it to him, I had my doubts. Too personal. Too tragic. You know how the mind works. Well, Russell loved the poem, and scores of other people have since chimed in to tell me how it affected them. I could never have asked for a better tribute for Kay or my family. And I am eternally grateful to Russell for touching my heart so deeply. That same weekend, the 4th of July, we spent a three day stint in Madison, Wisconsin. It’s a nice get-away from Milwaukee, and yet the city has a completely different feeling. We took in a fantastic show at the American Players Theater in Spring Green. The Touchstone Theater had a performance of “The Syringa Tree” starring actress extra-ordinaire Colleen Madden. It was a tour de force performance in a role that requires no less than twenty or more character changes: black, white, young, old, male, female. It mattered not, she produced this seamless, flawless magic. Instantaneous standing ovations were not enough! If you can’t see her in the show, then do read the book by the same name by author Pamela Gien. It’s fantastic! I am currently reading Dzanc Books Best of the Web 2010 edited by guest editor Kathy Fish and series editor Matt Bell. Next I’ll read The Pen/O.Henry Prize Stories with jury selections by Junot Diaz, Paula Fox, and Yiyun Li. So much material, so little time (again, this time crunch theme?) Five or perhaps six weeks ago I had a goal of reaching 25 pieces published before my birthday in August. Well, I surpassed that a while back. I just had my 43rd piece accepted for publication, spread among 21 various online or print journals. It really does astound me, and yet I continue to write, to submit, to re-write and persevere. I will be a guest on Lake Effect, Milwaukee’s Public Radio, talking about the state of online magazines and journals, one writer’s submission process, and flash fiction in particular, as I seem to have had much success of late with this form. I’m also going to read a selection of my work. We’re taping on July 20, so I will post the dates of airing, and links for podcast, etc. And so, summer marches on. Yesterday we had hail, today Lance Armstrong looks like his chances at yet another win in the Tour de France might have ended. What will tomorrow bring? What might be some new adventure for you this summer that you have always wanted to do, but just haven’t yet? Take the plunge. The world awaits.]]>