Nina Fosati

The Day After the Day of Love

I’m disgusted. I could write about guns. Or mental health care. Or schools. I have written my misogynist representative. I’ve attended forums, school board meetings, bitched on Twitter. I hope this school shooting is the last one. There is no animal you can hunt with an AK47 and if you want to whine about how you think I want to take away your rights, save it. If you don’t believe children should be safe in schools, you don’t deserve to hold anything in your hands to protect you from the truth. As Kathy Fish so eloquently wrote in Jellyfish Review, it’s gotten to the point where children can be classified as targets. That’s wrong; end of discussion. We need sensible gun restrictions and the laws we already have enforced.

2.13.2018

In other news, Husband brought home a lovely bouquet on the 13th so I’d have an extra day to enjoy these beautiful blooms. (Translation: He was in Hamburg that day to run an unrelated errand and also wanted to avoid the last minute rush of other husbands on Valentine’s Day at the Hess Brothers Florist shop.)

I found out I was on the long list for the London Independent Story Prize and couldn’t say anything for a day. On the 8th, I went to JD’s Brew Pub to hear J.T. and the Law play, and to keep my mind off possibly losing. They have gotten better and it was great to hear J.T.’s brother sing a song called “Galileo” and Anna sang Maddie Larkin’s songs beautifully.

Last week’s meeting of the Hamburg Writers’ Group consisted of me, Patrick, and Michael. The conversation about craft and submitting was both interesting and inspiring. I read the piece that was long listed and Michael said he thought I’d win. I still had doubts. On Saturday, I went to the library for my shift. It was hard to concentrate on reading submissions because I kept refreshing the LISP page to find out who won. With Lent coming up, I wanted to go out to have a glass of wine with a meal before I couldn’t. Husband let me use his phone to check. Just as we were finishing our meal at Julie’s, the winners were announced. As anyone who was in the restaurant that afternoon can tell you, I won.

 

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So, today is the last day to submit to the American Short(er) Fiction contest and I’m preparing my entries. I’ve sent out some queries to agents and next week, I send pages to my darling, awesome novel critique group after the incredible Nina Fosati has gone over the book again. In this revision, she’s highlighted the parts she particularly likes. I’m now in love with the color turquoise and I’m seeing a lot of it, which I really need because “new book” is pure dreck at the moment.

Writing…not for the thin skinned or the impatient.

Thanks for stopping by and for the read. As always, these are merely my creekside reflections so I expect your experiences to vary.

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Projects, Procrastination, and Self-Censorship

If you’re keeping tabs, more work was to continue in the kitchen. A dishwasher wasn’t exactly promised, but darn close. Anyway, that has been shelved because of a touch of mold in the bathroom has led to chaos, repainting, and tile. Or will soon.  *Sigh.*

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I completed Kathy Fish’s fabulous Fast Flash Workshop and highly recommend it. In the writing I was doing there, I went deeper than normal, which was a little unsettling. I didn’t post the “object” prompt because that led into something longer.  I thought I was being brave when I sent it to the incredible Nina Fosati for her thoughts. Her response was to go even deeper . . . so I’m considering it.

Let’s say it involves a messed up situation and I’ve self-censored about it this week already. Seriously, I had trouble with one piece that I really liked, but couldn’t get to end right. I imagined someone and it fell into place. Great. But then, it was accepted and someone quoted a line and this thrilled me and I went to post a link on Facebook .  . . and realized I shouldn’t. Luckily, I had a three-year-old memory pop up and pimped that instead.

It’s a miserable drizzly day here and I’m struggling to find bright spots.

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The baby waterfalls was the best I could do. I’m behind in my work count for Nano, my reading at both magazines and the extra reading I’m doing for the Best of the Net awards and a new member of Hamburg Writers’ Group sent a book that I said I’d read the first chapter of . . . and haven’t opened. So, thank you for stopping by. I know it wasn’t much, but I need to get back to the work I love and ignore the impending torn out drywall and paint drips.

*These are my creekside reflections and I hope your experience varies.

Changes like Ben

This year’s autumn has brought a few changes. The upper greenhouse window that was broken last year now has a replacement.

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Bonus, these windows open!

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And Ben has come into my life. Everyone, meet Ben, the Grey Subaru.

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Isn’t he fierce? This is the first car I’ve had in 15 years. I picked him up and got him registered on Wednesday. Thursday morning, he passed his inspection so he’s official and legal and it’s so weird to look outside and see a vehicle here. I need to start thinking differently, too. Last night I said something to Husband like, “Well after you get home on Friday I can go -” No. I don’t have to wait. I can go. My thoughts went to all the places I wanted to go and things I wanted to do and see and I had to stop. Priorities must be determined and the biggest and the best one is coming up this weekend!

Gina Detwiler, Jeff Schober, Mary Jo Hodge, Deb Madar, Barbara Early, Mary Akers and Kim Chinquee will be reading their work at 1:00pm at the West Falls-Colden Community Library on the 21st. You’re invited, so why don’t you come? It would be great to see you there! It’s autumn, the leaves are turning color. Gorgeous drive! What a great combination!

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Last week, Nina Fosati and I attended the Terry Temple Williams lecture that was part of the BABEL series. It was equal parts heartbreaking and inspiring.

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I know, bad shot, but that’s what I get for not thinking ahead. What was neat was that Jeff Schober and Kim Chinquee were there, too. Buffalo is such a small town and now that I have a vehicle, I bet it grows even smaller.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

*These are my creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.

Taking Comfort in Small Things

If you haven’t checked it out, please take a look at Harryhausen, Issue # 31 of Literary Orphans. It’s the first one with me being a Fiction Editor there, and it includes the first – and so far only – piece I’ve accepted in that capacity. Many thanks and congratulations to Tara Isabel Zambrano for her awesome story, “Measurable Hours.”

This is an incredible issue with pieces by Meg Tuite, Paul Beckman, and a story called “Bendy Bone” by Jenna Lyles. Hannah Lanier’s poem, “The World is a Wolf Who Wears Sheep’s Clothing” is an interesting piece worth the read. If you can’t tell, I love my job and am honored to read and champion work like this.

And thank God for art. I’m grateful for the daily choices Nina Fosati posts on Twitter. Last month was Women in Blue, this month is all about Autumn Women. It’s a daily dose of beauty and I appreciate it since the world feels like it’s gone particularly mad lately. Tuesday, I took a long walk in the woods. It helped some. The message I found while walking the labyrinth was to take comfort in the small things so I admired the sparkly rocks and the wildflowers. And then I went into the garden shed . . . There’s a window at the end which looks out at the frog pond. Lately, there have been 6-8 of them.

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I go in and peer out at them because they are skittish and will dive if I walk too close to the pond. Tuesday, I was passing through to go up the hill and I noticed something on the ledge. It was a frog. I walked over and he jumped off. I thought it odd. I left and when I returned to close the doors, the frog was back and I got a blurry picture.

10.3.2017

It was strange to become the watched. When Husband came home, we joked about how I’d missed my chance to kiss it and have a prince. Maybe. Maybe it’s good enough to have the small hope of inexplicable things in life. It beats thinking about the Las Vegas massacre and how disgusted I am because it wasn’t new. It wasn’t even news; it’s just life in the USA anymore.

Not that I’ve become jaded.

My piece, “The Basket Case” will be included in the Ellipsis One anthology. Magazines my work has appeared in are on display in the Concord Public Library (Thank you Kara Kane!) along with other local writers. Local Authors Live! – the occasional series I host – is coming up soon on the 21st.  The last few meetings of Hamburg Writers’ Group have been a delight and even though the novel critique group didn’t meet on Tuesday, we were in contact.

Perhaps the small things are the greatest comfort anyone can ask for . . .

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Thanks for stopping by!

*These are my creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.

Reunion time.

When last I posted, I was preparing for the reunion. It’s over now.

Many thanks to Kate

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and Ernie, our gracious hosts. Ernie brought beer that he brewed. It was fantastic and how cool is it that he inadvertently named one after me? (It’s not the first time I’ve been described as “toasty”)

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A group of us went to see the Essex Theatre Company’s production of “The Birds.” It was such fun to walk back up the hill and discuss the plot and motives. The cast party was at the schoolhouse so I got to touch base with Ted Cornell (the designer, director, and “Tierney) and Kathryn Cramer (the dramaturg) and to meet Martha Swan and Rob Farkas.

There was an excursion to swim.

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Croquet.

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Flights and corn hole at the Ausable Brewing Co.

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Paper flower making.

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And many, many meals

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and conversations

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and laughter.

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Rachael and I had a lovely chat across from this embroidered coverlet that hung in the room Husband and I shared.

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Once home, I went to both nights of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” tryouts. I have no idea if I got a part. The director said one of my readings invoked guilt in him, which – I think – was a compliment. I spent several lovely hours visiting with Nina Fosati at her home. Husband and I had a fantastic early supper with Bob and Teresa at Julie’s. And today, I hit the shops before three when the car had to go back.

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Today was the last bit of the “vay-cay” where I sadly turned in the rental. I hated that car but loved the bit of freedom it provided. Now all thoughts are on finishing up the revision, preparing for the reading I’m hosting in October and freaking out over how badly I did at the audition. Real life is such fun!

Thanks for stopping by and the read!

 

(*These are my creekside reflections. Your experiences ought to vary.)

Tearing myself away from honing #amwriting

Kudos to the wondrous Kathy Fish for hosting the Fast Fiction Reunion on Zoetrope this weekend. I met some wildly talented writers and had a blast. Plus, I wrote two new flashes. Yeah! It hasn’t been that long since I finished a piece, but it feels that way. Now, if I could just make time to submit…

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I’m in the middle of a minor kitchen project and when I say “I,” I mean Husband is doing the work and I’m coping with the displacement of things so of course this morning, Allison suggests coming round to drop off the “appreciation gift.” My life resembles a sit-com at times.

I’m honing “Near Eden, New York,” based on great suggestions from Nina, Mary, and Gina, plus my own thoughts after leaving it alone for a few months. My synopsis needs work, too. Being a writer is such fun, let me tell you. But I do take time to enjoy the roses.

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Literally. This is the sight that greets me on my way out the door.

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Sadly, the peonies are already waning.

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The bulbs that I can’t remember the names of are thriving in these days before the official start of summer. I hope you’re enjoying your time, no matter what you’re doing. As for me, I’ll be diving back into Tara and Pete’s story. It’s a lovely place to be.

Thanks for stopping by and the read!

 

 

(These are my creekside reflections. No sense getting worked up about them if they don’t agree with yours.)

May the 4th be with you, too.

Once again, I started this blog post only to discover I could write most of an essay without thinking about it. I don’t know if I’ll finish this one—I haven’t looked back at the last one yet. That’s out of laziness, not fear. This latest assemblage of words scares me a bit since I’d be unmasking a “truth.” Sigh. I don’t know. I suppose I should write it, try to find it a home, explain —like in most essays— that we, as humans, are less different than we suppose.

I had a bit of niceness writing wise. The editor at The Journal let me know that my story “Anum Cara” went far in the process but ultimately didn’t make the cut. The nicer part being that he genuinely seemed interested in me sending more work. What I have plans to do is pull up that story, look at it again and send it out. If it was close for a venue that sports a 1.09% acceptance rate on Duotrope, the odds are in its favor to be accepted somewhere. It worked for “Our Mother’s  Memoir was Published Posthumously. On Purpose.” Mark Budman at Vestal Review gave it a “good” rejection and the next time I pulled the story up, I changed a few words and sent it off and BOOM. It will be up in Blueshift Journal #7 soon.

The days of Board of Education duties are soon to be over and then it’s back to audience member for me. Whatever will I do with my free time – other than read books that I choose instead of Alison Duwe’s choices? Well, there is the revision of “Near Eden, New York,” which “Anum Cara” is a chapter of, to complete. Luckily, it’s in fairly good shape so knock on mahogany that won’t be a horrible slogging mess. I could be wrong though. Nina Fosati sent two pieces last night with the lament, “Are they ready? I can’t tell anymore,” and those were for short stories. Mary Akers is going through the same thing with changing the point of view in “The Belongers.” Sure, writing is rewriting but where does one get the gumption? If you hear of a sale, please let me know.

Otherwise, it’s been rainy outside. I need to pull out the tulip and crocus bulbs and plant the lilies I just got. The neighbors would probably appreciate it if the lawn got mowed—at least the roadside yards—but eh, it’s too wet and I don’t care about property values at the moment. It isn’t like anyone drives by to consider moving here. The road is in piss-poor shape and there are no new businesses to attract people to the area. Well, these two were attracted to our property. Probably because of the lack of traffic on the road.

4.27.2017

Thanks for stopping by!

 

*These are my Creekside Reflections. Your experience may vary.