Monday, January 8, 2018

Spinning Wheels/Plates

First on the agenda: I am starting a column at Occulum under the pseudonym Valkyrie 13. It's called Victorian Spam, and it will appear every Tuesday under "Ragtag" at If you follow Occulum on Twitter you'll get notifications about the column every time (I think).

To tell you more would spoil the fun. Except: if you run a small press and you like what I'm doing there, get in touch with me.

Second: I'm losing track of, among my published/accepted items, what I've promoted on this blog, what I've promoted in my newsletter, what I've shared on Facebook, and what hasn't gone out into the world yet. This is a terrific problem to have, though the inherent joy there makes it no less frustrating. I'm including a list of links at the bottom of this post in case you missed anything recently, but I'm not specifically jockeying for you to read any of them. A thing you should definitely do if you're interested in all things me is subscribe to my newsletter.

Third: In truth, all the writing problems I'm having lately are good problems to have. I'm having simult sub problems, which means more than one market wants my work instead of no one wanting it. This is good in the abstract but awkward in fact. I'm having problems finding time to read everything I want to review and keeping straight for whom I'm writing reviews and from whom I've requested ARCs. This is terrific but stressful.

Fourth: I finished two long essays, made major progress on a third, and wrote easily half a dozen short essays/book reviews across the end of December. It was such a productive period that I'm feeling disappointed I haven't gotten much done yet in January. I have interviews to prepare, but I'm stuck feeling unready. There's so much planning taking place for the year ahead that I can't seem to actually do. Y'know?

Fifth: At some point I'll stop spinning my wheels like this and actually have something to say about writing, so stick around. XOXO

Out in the world:

An interview with ME on the Collagist. First time I've ever been interviewed as a writer. I had fun. I'm sorry I didn't like The Sellout.

Listish essay on the art of bad men, "Famous Men I Have Been Asked to Forgive (Abridged)," on the Offing. The editors are some large percentage responsible for what's in this piece, because what I submitted had not a single word in common with what was published. Originally, it was just about Woody Allen and was more esoteric. I rewrote it inspired by #metoo. I am hoping to do something else with what I submitted, but in the meantime this was very satisfying to write and to see in print.

Sort-of review, sort-of CNF exploration of Claudia F. Savage's Bruising Continents on Anomaly. As I write therein, I am bad at understanding and/or reviewing poetry. The review was commissioned so I couldn't bring myself to say no. When I came up with this and sent it to the editor I was worried she would be mad at me, but I was also a little panicky about what I'd do if she asked me to rewrite it into a straight review. This book was so deeply sensate that I couldn't think of how I'd talk about it in reasonable terms. Thank heavens, she liked it.

Straightforward review of Malu Halasa's Mother of All Pigs at the Los Angeles Review. Really recommend this book, even though it's hard going sometimes.

Review of my friend Claire's wonderful memoir, Imprint, at the Wisdom Daily. They asked me to write for them again, which is flattering, but I have no idea what to send them.

A six-word story on Medium. The process of finding markets for six-word stories is surprisingly difficult, so after an initial 160-day rejection, I just posted it myself.

"YA as an Impediment to Reading" on Medium. I thought this one had legs for the internet, and that most of the readers in the world would want to argue with me about it, but so far, few takers. I sent it to a few places that publish articles about education, and in reply I heard either that it was too focused on college or too focused on high school, so I threw up my hands and out it went on Medium.

Books I Hate interview with duncan b. barlow. This may be my favorite of the series so far, although one I'm preparing at the moment mentions Over the Top.


Reviews of Tomb Song, Nothing Good Can Come from This, Daughters of the Air, Animals Eat Each Other, Everything Here is Beautiful, and I Wrote This Book Because I Love You. "The American Way of Work" (CNF) and "The First Snow" (fiction). Medium post about my (former) eating disorder. Many more Victorian Spam columns. Books I Hate(s) with an editor and two writers. Nervous collapse?

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