The day was perfect, and I hadn’t been there since 1987. Quite amazing memories, and new ones, also.
Our workshop participants arrived all day on Saturday, and we began the event after dinner. All week, our focus was on creative, generative writing time, supported by contemporary writing examples of exploratory fiction we all read together each morning (e.g. Lucia Berlin, Lydia Copeland, Yennie Cheung, DJ Berndt, Eileen Merriman, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Aubrey Hirsch and Casey Hannon).
Above is Juniper Hall, where we experienced some stimulating discussions about flash fiction. Also, we had terrific fiction exercises that we used in class or as possible prompts all week for the workshop participants to pursue.
Top (L to R): Len Kuntz outside Big House; Levi Andrew Noe on Patio
Middle (L to R): Jonathan Cardew in Gazebo; Katherine Seluja in Big House
Bottom: Meg Tuite in Room 1 of Juniper House
We also held roundtables from 3-5 pm every day. The two groups would meet with either Kathy Fish, or me. Each writer would take a turn reading her/his new story aloud, then receive insightful comments. It was truly inspiring, both to hear the new work, and the amount of distance each writer traveled in terms of risk, support, adventure, and willingness to play at 100%.
The meals were terrific: ’nuff said. All three, every single day. The staff: beyond the best!
Workshop participants on L
Mabel Dodge Luhan Kitchen staff on R.
In addition, we held a panel discussion Tuesday night about publishing with independent presses:
(L to R): Len Kuntz, Kathy Fish, Meg Tuite, Robert Vaughan.
And on Wednesday afternoon, we had a docent tour of the Big House, which is exquisite:
Left: Bathroom windows painted by D.H. Lawrence! Right: Painted stairs to Mabel and Tony’s rooms.
“Salon Talk” in Mabel’s room, Robert Vaughan and Katherine Seluja!
Robert Vaughan, Meg Tuite and Len Kuntz on Tony Luhan’s original sleeping couch!
Our last evening in Taos, Thursday, we held a reading, hosted by Meg Tuite…all ten participants shared a new work that they’d crafted during the workshop. Also, Kathy Fish and I did. My story was called “Speed Trap.”
None of this would have happened without my partner and cohort, the uber-talented Kathy Fish. Thanks for everything you did (and have done), to make this all a realized dream:
And here’s the good news: we are already making plans for a 2018 return to Mabel Dodge Luhan House. In the meantime, visit Kathy’s site at www.kathy-fish.com. And I’ll be adding my teaching dates for 2017 very soon! Taos, we miss you so very much. Endless great memories made during our Exploratory Fiction: Tap In, Dig Deep, Discover Voice workshop:
We went to Santa Fe for the TWISTED Reading Series, hosted by our pal, Meg Tuite:
Our featured reader was the exceptional Kate Braverman, and once Karen Stefano and James Claffey arrived, everything was A-OK! Meg’s Santa Fe reading circle rounded out the twelve readers. Also the Denver writers, with Sally Reno, Kathy Fish and Nancy Stohlman (at a Karaoke Lounge after the reading) :
Last photo of me actually reading a new piece, “Keep it, Curt”:
Overall, it was a festive event and a great extended weekend!
The winner of the January Raffle is…Julia Fiero!!! There were seventy-four entries and I asked a non-writer to select a name out of a hat (blind). Congratulations, Julia- I hope you enjoy Luke Goebel’s Fourteen Stories, None of Them Are Yours as much as I did!
February Raffle is Together We Can Bury It by Kathy Fish! To enter, simply comment here or on my Facebook Post, Twitter or Tumblr. This is another book you simply must have!
And, my piece called The Fallow Heart, which is in my Addicts & Basements book, you can read at Fictionaut: “The Fallow Heart” by Robert Vaughan — Fictionaut
And that, sugar plums, is a wrap…stay warm and informed.
The Human Line– Ellen Bass (poetry)
Something Has to Happen Next– Andrew Michael Roberts (poetry)
Space, In Chains– Laura Kasichke (poetry)
A Thousand Morons– Quinn Monzo
Somewhere Piano– Sarah Busse (poetry)
The Bill From My Father– Bernard Cooper (memoir)
Debacle Debacle– Matt Hart (poetry)
Racing Hummingbirds– Jeanann Verlee (poetry)
Pomegranate and Other Stories– Gay Degani
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?– Jeanette Winterson (memoir)
Moods By Rachel Glaser
Shampoo Horns– Aaron Teal
House of Incest– Anais Nin
Laure: The Collected Writings– trans. by Jeanine Herman
Winter Stars– Larry Levis (poetry)
When the Only Light is Fire– Saeed Jones (poetry)
Smoking Mirrors– edited by Meg Tuite, Connotation Press
Fast Forward: A Collection of Flash Fiction 2012– edited by Leah Rogin-Roper
leadbelly– Tyehimba Jess (poetry)
A Secondary Landscape– Aaron Gilbreath
the great enigma– Tomas Transtromer (poetry)
Letters From Robots– Diana Salier (poetry)
Blue Rust– Joe Millar (poetry)
Machine Dreams– Jayne Anne Phillips
Life on Mars– Tracy K. Smith (poetry)
But Our Princess is in Another Castle– BJ Best
A Little Soul: 140 Twitterstories– Darren Cormier
What the Right Hand Knows– Tom Healy (poetry)
Native Guard– Natasha Trethewey (poetry)
He Do the Gay Man in Different Voices– Stephen S. Mills (poetry)
You Are Jaguar– David Tomaloff and Ryan Bradley (poetry)
Every Love Story is a Ghost Story– D.T. Max (memoir)
The Buoyancy of It All– Robert Walker (poetry)
Heroines– Kate Zembrano (memoir/essay)
Triste– Lisa Marie Basile (poetry)
Adirondack Camps– Craig Gilmore
The Art of Porosity– Andrew Franck
Aaron & Keoni– Loren Moreno (flash fiction)
Henry Darger Art and Selected Writings– edited by Michael Bonesteel (memoir)
Man Vs. Sky– Corey Zeller (poetry)
The Dream Police– Dennis Cooper (poetry)
A Taste of Cherry– Kara Condito (poetry)
Badlands– Thomas Biel
Verses– Ani DeFranco (poetry)
Slut Lullabies– Gina Frangello
Train Dreams– Denis Johnson
Glaciers– Alexis M. Smith
A Fast Life: The Collected Poems of Tim Dlugos edited by David Trinidad (poetry)
Men Undressed– anthology edited by Cris Mazza
the & now awards: the best innovative writing– ed. by Davis Schneiderman
The Collected Poems of Frank O’Hara- edited by Donald Allen (poetry)
Black Aperture– Matt Rasumssen (poetry)
Rough Music– Deborah Digges (poetry)
One Hidden Stuff– Barbara Ras (poetry)
Zin!– Kyle Hemmings (poetry chapbook)
Waging Heavy Peace– Neil Young (memoir)
A Marker to Measure Drift– Alexander Maksik
A Walk in the Woods– Bill Bryson (memoir)
Pleasure Trout– Gloria Mindock (poetry)
Antidotes For An Alibi– Amy King (poetry)
Milk Run– Kate Braverman (poetry)
My 1980s and Other Essays– Wayne Koestenbaum (essays)
The Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge– Peter Orton (short stories)
We Agreed to Meet Just Here– Scott Blackwood
Time-Bound– Kurt Brown (poetry)
Bound by Blue– Meg Tuite (short stories)
First Time– anthology, edited by Bud Smith
By Myself– D.A. Powell & David Trinidad (faux memoir)
The Buoyancy of it All– Robert Walker (poetry)
Eternal Patrol– Russell Dillon (poetry)
The Peerless Four– Victoria Patterson (novel)
In the Carnival of Breathing– Lisa Fay Coultey (poetry)
Her Skin Is a Costume– Meg Tuite (chapbook)
Cinema Verite– Sam Rasnake (poetry)
Alone With Other People– Gabby Bess
Inheritance– Steven Reigns (poetry)
Dead Letters- Joani Reese (poetry)
American Busboy– Matthew Guenette (poetry)
The Whack-Job Girls and Other Stories– Bonnie Zobell (flash fiction)
Morrissey- Autobiography- Stephen Andrew Morrissey
The Book of Women– Dorianne Laux (poetry)
The Anchorage– Mark Wonderlich (poetry)
The Laughter of Strangers– Michael Seidlinger
Box Cutter– Samuel Snoek-Brown (flash fiction)
Had I A Hundred Mouths– William Goyen (short stories)
Were there any outstanding books you read in 2013? Any prior to last year? Do you share your favorite books with friends? Are you a member of Goodreads, where anyone can share the books you’ve read, rate them, or write a review? Here is my Goodreads | Robert Vaughan page.
Also, thanks to Molly Gaudry and the great peeps at The Lit Pub, for the listing of Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits: The Lit Pub • Home. My publisher, Deadly Chaps Press, and Joseph Quintela, sent out his 2013 year-in-review newsletter, and included this excerpt:
“Deadly Chaps Press made one release in our continuing chapbook series but it was a doozy: the remarkable Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks, + Dipshits by Robert Vaughan. He’s already getting rave reviews and has been listed at LitPub. Get your copy now, or as always, you can give it a read online for free! We look forward to upcoming releases by Niela Mezynski and Mark James Andrews in 2014.” Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits
The Lost Bookshelf), and there is a poem in the chapbook, “My Bicycle,” that hints at a first time experience. Surely, as does most poetry, it leaves more details out than what might be included. So when I sent the poem to Bud (letting him know it was already in my chap), he took it. Then he proposed a suggestion: how about writing about it in non-fiction, or essay form? Hmm.
And I tried. More than once. Entering the situation from different angles. But it just wasn’t working. Then, I had a recent experience where it all came clear to me. When I was in San Francisco, we had the great fortune to take in City Lights Bookstore, an icon, and one of my favorite haunts. Among the books I purchased, was Marie Calloway’s what purpose did I serve in your life. I’d paid some attention to the initial publication of her story, Adrien Brody which had appeared at Muumuu House (included in the book). And the controversy that accompanied this, the Gawker article (Girl, Microfamed) and it’s ongoing debate. I remember thinking at the time, what’s all the hubbub? I’d read The Happy Hooker, most of Kathy Acker, among many other graphic, gripping accounts of sex.
So, then I read Marie’s (not her real name) book, in one sitting. And it felt anti-climactic. It’s not that the writing is “bad,” or too repetitious, or just bloody boring. It’s that one person’s sexual experiences are unique to their own person. And this is when I doubled back to my own complications with writing that scene in the tent. It’s mine. No big deal. Instead, enjoy this iconic song by Todd Rundgren, that came out the same summer I lost my virginity: ▶ We gotta get you a Women-Todd Rundgren – YouTube. Some great irony in those lyrics!
And, if you’re interested in sex (who isn’t?), or loss of virginity, or how over forty talented writers write about this topic, then by all means, get FIRST TIME:
Here is a list of contributors:
The Amazon Link to First Time: An Anthology about Lost Virginity
Description: Four dozen writers retell the intimate details about how they lost their virgnity in this touching, hilarious and shocking collection.
“Utterly unique.” Kleft Jaw
“A truly jaw-dropping collection, featuring some of the best underground writers around today.” Uno Kudo
“This is one bareass collection you just gotta’ have…” Robert Vaughan
This enthralling assembly of short stories, essays, and poems never ceases to entertain. Everyone has a story about their first time; these writers take it to the limit. Thanks, as ever, Bud Smith, for rocking it time and time again.
Flash Fiction Chronicles 100 Story Links in Honor of Short Story Month 2011 (4). Compiled by writers who suggested links to their favorite stories of 2010, my story, “10,000 Dollar Pyramid” , included at #66, was recommended by great friend and talented writer Meg Tuite. Thanks Meg, Gay and folks at FFC for compiling such a wondrous list.
Then I was shocked, and elated to see the same story appear at Sam Rasnake’s blog on his list 10,000′s favorite short fictions & verse: a would-be/should-be anthology « sam of the ten thousand things. Wowsah, thanks, Sam, and what a great list!
Meanwhile, we taped and aired our May Flash Fiction Friday program at WUWM: Lake Effect – Flash Fiction Friday: Writing & Reassurance. This month’s line-up was stellar with Wisconsin writers, bl pawelek and, Jack Douthitt and national writer Julie Innis. Thanks to all the talent, and co-host Stephanie Lecci!
Other writing published since I last blogged:
Blue Sky Ahead by Robert Vaughan « In Between Altered States (thanks Aleathia!)
Simo Freeshow – Pure Slush (theme was queer, thanks editor Matt Potter!)
“No Soul” by Robert Vaughan → Fictionaut
fwriction : review (this is a collaboration of work called “Fictionaut Six” by editor Danny Goodman, including, Ana Verse, Len Kuntz (People You Know By Heart), Meg Pokrass, Sam Rasnake (sam of the ten thousand things), Susan Tepper and me. What an honor to have my work included in the great issue and zine. Thanks, Danny!
My micro-fiction “Rejection,” is up at 50 to 1. Thanks editor Paul!
And this just in: a new home page at 52|250 A Year of Flash!!! The project is morphing into Baker’s Dozen, more forthcoming from editor Michelle Elvy (Glow Worm), who also selected my story “Breath” to be included in her “Language and Place at the Edge” for Edition #6 of Language and Place Blog Carnival. Thanks, Michelle!
I have work forthcoming at Metazen, Housefire, Yes, Poetry, Connotation Press, Midwestern Gothic, Eunoia Review, MiCrow, among others.
This morning I am listening to Nicki Minaj…thanks to Char for turning me on to Nicki last week. Her song “Moment 4 Life” is infectious!
What are you listening to? Any favorites? What are you reading? Standouts?]]>
WUWM: Lake Effect – Flash Fiction Friday: Choices in Gender Listen for submission opportunities.
My piece, “The Outlaw” is included in the May elimae! This is one of my favorite online magazines, so it’s fantastic to be included among such talent. I re-posted the piece at Fictionaut. (It appeared originally at 52/250 in January). “The Outlaw” by Robert Vaughan → Fictionaut Thanks editor Brandon Hobson!
And speaking of 52/250, it’s hard to believe this incredibly fun, generous, and gracious community will be writing it’s last segment this week, with the theme for the 52nd week: “Threesome.” For what’s to come with 52/250, read What’s Next? | 52|250 A Year of Flash Thanks editors Michelle, John & Walter!
And my latest When He Calls by Robert Vaughan | 52|250 A Year of Flash
Cold Front by Robert Vaughan | 52|250 A Year of Flash
Matron by Robert Vaughan | 52|250 A Year of Flash
I have a collection of three micro-fiction at Blue Lotus Review. Thanks editor Amy Willoughby Burle.
“Liminal” is included in a great May line-up at Negative Suck. Thanks editor Jeffrey Callico .Wordprompt 5 – NEGATIVE SUCK
“Loneliness” is up at Magnolia’s Press. Thanks editor Will Clingan “Loneliness,” Robert Vaughan « MP
Happy One Year Anniversary to Russell at The Camel Saloon! Check out the great line-up of writers, including buddy Len Kuntz with his poem, “The Truth About Snow”: The Camel Saloon Thanks Russell, for all of your ongoing support.
I have work forthcoming at 52/250, “Nowhere in Sight” at Pure Slush (check out this site for the Queer theme all May). About – Pure Slush
Also a non-fiction article called “On Writing Recollection and Flash Fiction” is forthcoming at Flash Fiction Chronicles (thanks Gay Degani). Flash Fiction Chronicles I’ve work coming out at Frwiction, Used Furniture Review, Rufous City Review, Cavalcade of Stars, Thirty-Nine, The Scream, amphibi.us and more.
During the month of April, Thunderclap Press supported poets and Poetry Month by publishing a poem per day on our blog. Check it out! A chapbook is forthcoming, as well as discounts on Thunderclap 5! Get it NOW! http://thunderclappress.com/
Please join us for our next Redbird-Redoak on the road! A Cafe Fixx Showcase in May 5th, more information here: RedBird-RedOak Writing
Also, I will be teaching FLASH IN THE PAN on May 14th. Register today, before its too late! “Flash in the Pan” with Robert Vaughan « RedBird-RedOak Writing
Happy trails my friends, until next installment!]]>
I am also reading still for JMWW magazine and loving the work there. Staff recently helped Jen Michalski to decide on the JMWW print Anthology #5 and it will premiere at the AWP Conference in Washington, D.C. in Feb., 2011. I can’t wait, as I will be there!
Here is where you can find more of my own recent work since my last post:
“Sometimes he feels like it’s numb” at Salt River Review…farewell issue! We will miss you! story by Robert Vaughan
“Casey’s Grill” at In Between Altered States In Between Altered States
“Nod to Jack” at The Camel Saloon
The Eye of the Needle: Jack Kerouac Day October 21, 2010: Nod to Jack
“A Good Pain” at Fiction at Work Short Shorts
“Stuffed” at Negative Suck current content – NEGATIVE SUCK
“Just Tell Me” at Amphibi.us http://amphibi.us/all/just-tell-me/
I want to thank each and every editor who has worked with me since I began this journey of submitting, and to those who accepted work above: Lynda (best to you dear!), Aleathia, Russell, Toby, Jeffrey, and Shannon. Each a talented writer in their own write! (right)
Last Saturday, I led a Flash Fiction workshop called Flash in the Pan! There were 14 participants and we had a great time at the Redbird- Redoak Studio. You can see some pictures here: RedBird-RedOak ~ A Unique Writing Community Thanks again, Kim Suhr for doing such a stellar job at the helm. It drove home the reasons why I do love this genre and continue to explore its dazzling facets.
If you are local and able to join me, please come to Boswell Books on Friday, November 5th at 7:00 p.m. A multi-talented trio of writers from Chicago will be there to read, laugh and talk about their latest books: Gina Frangello (Slut Lullabies) Davis Schneiderman (Drain) and Zoe Zolbrod (Currency). It’s going to be one you don’t want to miss! More information about the event here:
Forthcoming Events – November 2010 | Boswell Book Company
As our weather turns to chill, warm your heart with a great book, an interesting magazine, an author event, a great book on tape or Kindle. Sometime in December I will post all of my reads from 2010. Damn, my eyes have been busy!
Until next time…
Cowboys & Indians « Clutching at Straws
Fill the Void « Clutching at Straws
“Semaphores” at Amphibi.us: 2010 September 15 | amphibi.us
“Zasu Pitts” at: The Camel Saloon: Zasu Pitts
“Test” at Indigo Rising:Indigo Rising Magazine. Also inclusion of “Box Elders” in Indigo Rising Print Edition #3.
“Harley Heaven” at Orion headless:Harley Heaven | Orion headless
“Pool Hall” at Girls with Insurance: Pool Hall | GwI
“Salt” at Magnolia’s Press: “Salt,” Robert Vaughan | Magnolia’s Press
A thousand thanks to editors: Shawn, Shannon, Russell, Tannen and Michael, Sara, Dawn, and Will. Behind every amazing web or print zine is a person or a staff that makes tough decisions. I am so honored to be found among these pages.
I also want to give a huge shout to my girl, Amanda Deo, for honoring me with editor credit on the latest Thunderclap! Press, Numero Tres: The Femme Fatale issue! I was so excited to find this all female issue chock full of inspirational points of view, and the gamut of female experiences. You can order that here, and please do!
Thunderclap! Special Edition – Femme Fatal by thunderclappress in Poetry
Also, Amanda and I are looking forward to reading submissions for the upcoming Thunderclap! Magazine Numero Quatro issue. Theme? LOVE! Send us your LOVE poems and LOVE flash pieces. Today! Here is the place to mail them:
SUBMIT! « Thunderclap Press
Last Friday I was able to scoot over to Madison to take in the Wisconsin People & Ideas book fest reading at Avol’s. This was to honor the winners’ of their 2009 annual Wisconsin People & Ideas contest. The top three poets read (keep an eye out for the first place winner, Austin Smith, who’s first book “in the silence of the migrated birds” is out by Parallel Press). And the top three fiction readers read, topped off by dear friend and bottomless talent, Sheila Hanrahan. She read her 1st place winner, “Anything that Sticks” which was included in the Summer 2010 Wisconsin People & Ideas magazine. Sheila was fantastic, and her story held me on the verge of tears numerous times. Here is more information about the contest winners, and also a link to this year’s contest:
Wisconsin Academy : 2010 Short Story Contest
Wisconsin Academy : Writing Contests
In closing, I was surprised to see a friend make a recent comment on my blog. She and I met briefly the first morning of the Iowa Summer Writing Festival in July. We were early birds, eagerly among the first to check in that morning, and fell easily into chatting about our craft, lives, and the world-at-large. After we attended the massive “welcome” session for all writers, all workshops, we departed to our separate writing worlds, never to see one another again. And yet…this is one of those fantastic things about the internet! She tracked me down through my blog! Yes, I know, I could delve into the darker realms of the internet, and I might wait to do so, as I am seeing “The Social Network” movie today. Instead I’ll just say, thanks, Nancy, for finding me!]]>
Shakespeare and Company
Here is the latest short list of pieces of mine that were published since I last blogged:
Motherhood at Short, Fast, and Deadly: Motherhood – Short, Fast, and Deadly
A, B, C at A-Minor: A, B, C « A-Minor
British Faux Pas at A Handful of Stones: a handful of stones: British Faux Pas
The Empty Nest at The Not:
not from here, are you?: Robert Vaughan Guest Writes
Also, while I was in Paris, the second installment of my WUWM Lake Effect interview about flash fiction aired. Here are the links for both Part 1 and Part 2:
WUWM: Lake Effect – Flash Fiction Fridays Begin with Robert Vaughan
WUWM: Lake Effect – Flash Fiction Friday! Returns: How to Get Published
It looks as if I might be co-ordinating the Flash Fiction Fridays program at WUWM if it does, indeed, get off the ground. I love the idea of more writers sharing their short work, and we shall see after I have a chance to meet with the producers at Lake Effect. Thanks again, Stephanie, for your interview and vision.
I will be leading a workshop produced by Redbird-Redoak called Flash in the Pan. Check it out, I’d love to have you participate. The writing Roundtables are also listed at the same site. You can get more information about them here:
“Flash in the Pan” with Robert Vaughan | RedBird-RedOak ~ A Unique Writing Community
That about wraps this installment. A bluejay screeches. An acorn plunks onto the roof, rolling onto the patio. The leaves, ready to turn overnight, await their colorful destiny. A dog barks in the far off distance. A deer?
And you? Where will you travel to…this autumn? In your dreams?]]>