I’m so excited to report that my novel, THE DEVOTED, has been acquired by WW Norton. It will be a book! I’ve worked on this story for quite a while and there’s still more work to do in the months ahead. I’ll keep you posted on when to look for it.
Hello, readers. It’s official: I’ve moved to Canada for a writing teaching position, and I’m looking forward to immersing myself in the culture and literary scene here. The timing is downright odd, I know, and I’ll be writing about my experiences here as well as my thoughts on what it means to be leaving the States at this particular time. You can see some of my first posts on my Medium blog here:
And here’s an excerpt of my first post:
Hello, Canada! I’m new to you! The timing might seem suspect, an American arriving in Canada just now, after a crazy 2016 and a maddening election season. It’s so suspect, in fact, that I’ve gotten used to shrugging and smiling when people joke about my fleeing the country. But I’m here because my fiancé and I got teaching jobs at a university. This was in the works for nearly a year. So while I watched the election results with the same obsessiveness as all my friends, and bit my nails and watched too much MSNBC, there was always this knowledge in the back of my mind…that I’d be leaving soon. Either I’d be looking proudly on from afar as our first female president set up shop, or, well…I’d be high-tailing it out of there.
I knew I wanted to observe everything that was new to me in Canada as soon as I got here. My job as a newcomer, I think, is to look with big eyes and listen with big ears. To notice the differences and the similarities. And as a writer, my job is to observe and form theories about the national character. To see the contradictions and learn the jokes. To put my foot in it a few times and learn how to step gracefully out again. So this post will be the first of many scattered thoughts and observations about what might become my new home.
Stay tuned for more thoughts on the writing life from North of the Border, and also come back for some exciting new progress on the novel. More soon.
I’m pleased to report that I’ve had several successes this month with new short stories.
“A Night Odyssey” was a finalist in Glimmer Train’s Fiction Open.
“These Things Happen Here” was a finalist in AWP’s scholarship competition, and judge Lori Ostlund had these kind words for the piece:
Because the world of “These Things Happen Here”—an urban community college classroom—is so familiar to me, I was prepared not to be surprised by the story. How wrong I was. In fact, what was most impressive to me about this story is the way that the author constantly takes risks, writing with great honesty about a main character who is vulnerable and wants what is best for his students but is in way over his head. The unspoken secret of the classroom is that sometimes teachers dislike their students, and this author goes there also, as well as into the complicated relationship between art and revenge. The ending is complex and spot on. Like all great stories, this one stayed with me after the first reading and the second, but the meaning kept shifting, changing and evolving.
“The Deconstruction” was shortlisted for The Masters Review Anthology.
I’ve also been selected as a resident at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts and as a scholar at Sewanee Writers’ Conference.
Readers, I’m excited to announce that a short story of mine, “Grimalkins”, is now available for download in Amazon’s online literary magazine, Day One. The story can be read on any Kindle or any Kindle app for iPhone or Android.
I worked hard on this story, which is loosely inspired by my stay at an artists’ colony and the very interesting characters one meets there. Somehow the story ended up being about motherhood and the gulf that exists between young and older artists as well.
Please support this writer by buying an issue or subscribing — there are some really excellent poems and stories to be read in the issues. Here’s the link:
I’m so pleased to say a couple of new short fiction pieces by me have appeared online. The flash fiction piece “Bats” is available to read at Lumina, and another short piece, “Decide”, is up at a literature blog I love, The Toast. Have you checked these guys out yet? I’d love to have more readers, and I’m proud to be among some wonderful pieces of fiction there.
I’m so pleased to report that a story I wrote over a year ago, “That Thing You’re Thinking”, has found a home in the wonderful lit journal, Hayden’s Ferry Review. Be sure to check out their haunting, dreamlike new issue; I’m delighted to be a part of this journal.
I wrote this story while at the Byrdcliffe Artist’s Residency in Woodstock, New York. I was working hard on the first draft of my novel but also noodling away at some short stories at the same time. One of these story ideas had come to me while waiting for the train to go to work one morning, and the need to write it was so compelling that I tapped out the first few sketchy paragraphs on my cell phone. A few months later, I finally revisited those cell phone typings and turned it into a real story. Then a year after that, Hayden’s Ferry got in touch. It shows that patience is a virtue in the world of writing!
You can also hear a little more about my process for writing this story at the Hayden’s Ferry Review blog. I’ve written a piece about the background of the story for their Contributor’s Spotlight series. Thanks, editors!