Witness: The Trans/lation Issue (Spring 2015)

Where is self? She is here, right here:

Witness: The Trans/lation Issue, Launched at the AWP Book Fair in Minneapolis, April 2015

Witness: The Trans/lation Issue, Launched at the AWP Book Fair in Minneapolis, April 2015

This issue of Witness features writing from around the world. And self is more than proud to be in the same issue as:

  • Dario Belleza (translated from the Italian by Peter Covino)
  • Arthur Rimbaud (translated from the French by Donald Revell)
  • Hossein M. Abkenar (translated from the Persian by Sara Khalili)
  • Christos Chartomatsidis (translated from the Bulgarian by Velina Minkoff, Rayna Rossenova, and Borislava Velkova)
  • Moniru Ravanipour (translated from the Persian by Shirindokht Nourmanesh and Moniru Ravanipour)
  • Karl Ove Knausgaard (translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett)
YAY! Self made it! She is here!

YAY! Self made it! She is here!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Two of Self’s Flash Were Published This Month (April 2015)

“The Ark” is in the Spring 2015 of Local Nomad, an e-zine edited by poet Jean Gier.

“I Am Cyclops” is in the inaugural issue of Nimbus Cat, edited by novelist (and writing group member) Lillian Howan.

Both are speculative fiction.

2015 Mendocino Coast Writers Conference, Open for Registration

The Mendocino Coast Writers Conference takes place August 6 – 8, 2015 in the beautiful coastal village of Mendocino.

You’ll work closely with top authors, agents and editors to bring your work closer to fruition. Find expertise, encouragement, and inspiration to bring your story, poem, book, or memoir to the next level.

A few of the teaching faculty this year:

Lisa Locascio * Indigo Moor * Sheila Bender * David Corbett * Catherine Ryan Hyde * Albert Flynn DeSilver

Back by popular demand, James Maxwell will coach writers to “Make Your Mark on Stage” followed by open mic night.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Annaghmakerrig, Ireland

Before self left the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig, Ireland, last May, they gave her a hardbound copy of a book called, simply, Annaghmakerrig. A compilation of the best of Irish literature, by writers who had all done residencies at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre.

She brought the book with her to Mendocino, and this evening she finally gets a chance to crack it open. She lets her fingers land on a random page, and finds a poem by Rita Ann Higgins:

Anything Is Better than Emptying Bins

 I work at the Post Office.
I hate my job,
but my father said
there was no way
I could empty bins
and stay under his roof.

So naturally,
I took a ten week
extra-mural course
on effective stamp-licking;
entitled
‘More lip and less tongue.’

I was mostly unpleasant,
but always under forty
for young girls
who bought stamps with hearts
for Valentine’s Day.

One day a woman asked me
could she borrow a paper-clip,
she said something about
sending a few poems away
and how a paper-clip
would make everything so much neater.

But I’ve met the make-my-poems-neater type before;
give in to her once,
and she’ll be back in a week asking,
‘Have you got any stamps left over?’

Well I told her where to get off.
‘Mrs. Neater-poems,’ I said,
‘this is a Post Office
not a friggin’ card shop,
and if you want paper-clips
you’ll get a whole box full
across the street for twenty-pence.’
Later when I told my father,
he replied,
‘Son, it’s not how I’d have handled it,
but anything is better than emptying bins.’

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Lydia Davis, “The Other”

From the Lydia Davis collection Almost No Memory (1997):

The Other

She changes this thing in the house to annoy the other, and the other is annoyed and changes it back, and she changes this other thing in the house to annoy the other, and the other is annoyed and changes it back, and then she tells all this the way it happens to some others and they think it is funny, but the other hears it and does not think it is funny, but can’t change it back.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Stanford Creative Writing: How Self Came To Be

Self is thinking this more and more: how different her life would have been if she hadn’t taken that summer creative writing class from John L’Heureux, who was the Director of the Stanford Creative Writing Program back then.

He told self she should try applying, and since she didn’t have anything better to do (BWAH. HA. HA), she did. And lo and behold, she got a fellowship.

That’s how she met Penny Jackson, Beth Coryell Alvarado, Ehud Havazelet, and Jeffrey Eugenides.

Now, she’s checking out the Stanford Creative Writing Program website, which she only does about twice a year. She discovers that the Program’s been at Stanford “for more than 50 years,” and that it was founded by Wallace Stegner in 1946.

Well, I’ll be darned.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Poem-In-Progress Self Wrote on Twitter

Self has no idea what #PoemCrawl is. But in no way, shape or form did this prevent her from tweeting a nondescript poem last night. It goes:

An island. Notes written on an island.

An island big enough for games.

Where the death of Jesus sounds like today’s headlines.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Chapter 45 of Self’s Hunger Games Fan Fiction: EPHEMERA

Rumor had it they went to Four. Where the other Victor, Annie the Mad Girl, waited.

It’s years and years later, but people still can’t seem to let go of the story.

And what of Finnick, someone asks. That bronzed creature. Of whom tale after tale has been told.

Snow tortured him cruelly, but some lovelorn Capitol wife risked her life to save him. Poor woman, she was brave. She didn’t survive long after they found out Finnick escaped.

Perhaps the only one who’s gotten it right is Primrose Everdeen. She was her sister’s only confidante. The last evening Katniss Hawthorne spent in 12, there was a bitter chill in the air.

People keep asking self for her fan fiction alias.

Ixnay.

Must be content with snippets, dear blog readers.

Stay tuned.

Work-in-Progress: Short Story

Monica knew how to laugh! She knew how to enjoy her life! She would never sit at home like her mother, with her nose buried in a book.

— “Things She Can Take” a work-in-progress

Hunger Games! Fan Fiction! Self’s New Chapter!

An excerpt from self’s magical realist, Haruki Murakami-inspired, multi-chapter Hunger Games fan fiction:

There’s a sharp knock on the door.

A voice he doesn’t recognize calls his name:  “Mr. Mellark! Mr. Mellark!”

Then, the door seems to open by itself. Peeta turns. There, standing in his apartment, are two ordinary men. They are somewhere between the ages of 50 and 60, and Peeta is sure they aren’t from the Capitol because of the clothes they’re wearing.

“Who are you?” he blurts out.

“We are your friends, Mr. Mellark,” they say in unison.

“No, I don’t know you,” Peeta says. “It’s a trick.”

“We’re here in answer to your call,” the taller of the two says. “Do you recall, about a month ago, speaking to Greasy Sae at The Hob?”

Peeta gapes.

“Mr. Mellark, did you or did you not go to Greasy Sae at The Hob? About a month ago. Think, Mr. Mellark, think.”

It’s a bone-chilling day in New York City. Self spent part of the day on Columbus Avenue. But now that she’s back in the apartment, which is warmer than anywhere in California, she refuses to leave again. Cancel everything! Dinner plans, meeting plans. She’s going to finish reading the latest installment from one of the writers she follows, Fanfiction Allergy. And also write a little bit.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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