My story “City Girls” is up at fwriction : review! You can read it here. This is exciting for me because I’ve followed Fwriction for a long time. I found a lot of terrific and favorite short stories through editor Danny Goodman’s Story of the Day posts.
Also, a cool thing the journal does is ask writers to select a song to accompany their stories. I chose “On Powdered Ground” by Agnes Obel.
Other writing news: All I’ve been writing is flash lately. And I started Lightning Cake, a tiny ‘zine where I illustrate speculative flash fiction. I would like at this time to thank Carlea for all the name brainstorming and guiding me away from some pretty bad names. Anyway, everyone should check it out because all the pieces so far have been awesome—delightful, strange, super marvelous. So far there are four pieces, with more electrifying bites to come.
Reading news: Last week I finished Karin Tidbeck’s collection Jagannath. A lot of people have been saying a lot of good things about this collection, and it’s all true. It’s very imaginative, but what makes it stand out for me is the language. Reading the stories, all the words feel freshly used, new. Also, this week I read her short story “I Have Placed My Sickness Upon You” on Strange Horizons. It’s melancholy and kind of funny and great.
I just finished Patricia Brigg’s Frost Burned, which was excellent. Hands down one of my favorite urban fantasy (or paranormal I guess) series. I will admit it took me three tries to get into it (success on the third try). It was my fault: I went into it expecting a relaxed, casual reading and wasn’t very focused on it and then got frustrated for missing things because the writing is packed. So much action happens on just one line, and it would happen line to line. Anyway, this summer I gave it a third try (actually being a good reader about it this time), and I was effing hooked. And now I am sad because who knows when the next book will be out.
Now I’m about to start reading Karen Russell’s Vampires in the Lemon Grove: Stories. She’s participating in the Writers Here & Now at UMD, and I AM SO BUMMED I’m not there for it!
New layout! I’m calling this a seafoam/mint scheme. I could be getting those colors totally wrong, but they sound nice. The header “features” my handwriting. Sadly, I lack Jenn’s typographic skills.
So I stumbled across this illustration of the man who walks his dog down 6th and Houston—not that he’s a particularly famous man, but just that this is an actual man is quite awesome. And browsing the illustrator Monaux’s FAQ, I saw he is represented by the Jacky Winter Group. Who represents another one of my favorite artists, Kat MacLeod! I like little connections like that. Meanwhile, my brother Leon has been playing with the Bamboo tablet. Here’s hoping he can illustrate stuff for me in the near future.
Writing I have been working on: a story about graves, a story about a prince with his heart locked in a pocket-watch, a story about a boy and his father, recently retired with nothing to do at home. Yes, I thrill even myself. I am not even going to bother tagging this into the “Writing” category.
Anyway, I recently read “The Porcelain Man” by Richard Kennedy, a neat little fairy tale from 1987 about a girl who glues together some porcelain fragments into the shape of a suitor. Her overprotective father destroys the porcelain man, but the daughter reglues it into something else…at the end, her dinner plate still whispers “I still love you.” No real spoilers there. ETA: Almost forgot! Another little fairy tale I read is one Kim pointed me in the direction of, and I was super engrossed in: “The Princess Who Stood On Her Own Two Feet” by Jeanne Desy.
Also, “Punching In A Dream” by The Naked and Famous is the fun song I can’t stop listening to. ETA: This song too: “About Today” by The National. God I love this guy’s voice.
And that concludes my random post. A little art, a little story, a little song.
Still writing. Totally want some fingerless gloves. Still freezing in the apartment. The heated toilet seats are now the warmest places in the entire apartment.
I’m working on a couple things for workshop/thesis. Nothing worth talking about yet, unfortunately. In any case, here is the playlist I am working off of. It’s titled “Winter ii” because the original playlist had songs added to it without much order. After shuffling it a few times, I found that I liked this shuffled list, so here it is. Click the screencap so you don’t have to squint at it!
My siblings and cousin and I have played endless rounds of Rummikub, charades, and Cranium. We saw Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol, which I LOVED, of course. Have been eating super good eats in Taipei. Had Din Tai Fung on Tuesday. Have hit all my favorite night market vendor stands. Am going back for SECONDS!
Weather has been pretty gloomy here, a lot of overcast skies and rain. On New Year’s Eve, the wind blew all the smoke from the Taipei 101 fireworks in our direction, so the entire building was completely enshrouded. Still, it looked pretty spectacular.
Here we are, with Mixtape Occasionally-On-Monday. A few songs that evoke (for me anyway) setting out and getting lost. A willingness to depart and arrive. Maybe with a little wistfulness dashed in there. I had some vague ideas of all the photographs illustrating some movement from dawn to dusk, and the songs start from convincing/conspiring to leave, to going home or someplace new.
Oh, and, Happy Halloween!
I used to do these posts matching photographs with songs, which I loved, except it got to be a little time-consuming. But I miss doing them and sharing music, so I thought I’d try picking it up again except this time I’d just do a mini version (5 songs instead of 12). My goal is to put it out on Mondays b/c Mondays are No Fun. Anyway, in honor of it being almost October, and for me getting Pretty Monsters a day early and reading “The Constable of Abal” (a mother and daughter team catch ghosts with ribbons and charms), a mixtape of specters and strangeness. Excerpt:
Zilla fed gobbets of tragedy, romance, comedy to the ghosts who dangled so hungrily at the end of their ribbons. One has to feed a ghost something delicious, and there is only so much blood a grown woman and a smallish girl have to spare.