Monthly Archives: July 2012

If At First…

I’d like to share some good news.  Yesterday, I heard from an editor at a literary magazine that the revision of a story I’d sent them made the cut.  “We loved it!” she wrote.  Contract in the mail.  Wow! Yay! Yippee!  And Phew! It’s not always easy to share good news—and on a blog: Will it look self-congratulatory?  Gloating?  Self-promotional?  Slow down, I tell myself; it’s not as if I won the Pulitzer. Still, acceptance of short literary fiction is no easy feat, and the fact that it’s taken me almost an hour to write the two brief paragraphs you … Continue reading

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It’s Only A Dream

When I was in third grade, my class took a field trip to Kirby Cove, a small rocky beach just west of the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge.  To get there, we had to walk—or in my case, slide—down a steep dirt trail. I don’t remember it as a trail at all, but a horrifying sheer, wide fall of hill, brown-red and slippery with pebbles.  I was a klutzy girl, all arms and legs, with my center of gravity somewhere, as my younger and more agile brother once put it, above my forehead.  I was rather in shock … Continue reading

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All You Need Is Love

I’ve been thinking in terms of grand, declarative statements:  Writing fiction is an act of love.  Fiction depends upon empathy.  Writing fiction is a moral act.  Fiction is amoral.  Fiction is true.  Fiction depends on lies.  Beauty is truth, and truth, beauty. Etc. I’ve been thinking of short stories with clear, dramatized change: “Araby” by James Joyce; “How Far She Went” (Mary Hood); “Roman Fever” (Edith Wharton); “Barn Burning” by William Faulkner.  I’ve been remembering, and re-reading, stories with unsympathetic main characters and /or situations of rape, drug abuse, murder:  Denis Johnson’s “Work” and Grace Paley’s “The Little Girl”; Flannery … Continue reading

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