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“Fairway” Now Live and Online at riverbabble.

“Fairway,” has been launched! Huge thanks to riverbabble, an imprint of Pandemonium Press, for publishing my flash fiction in their Seeing and Looking themed issue. I’m honored to be included with this talented group of writers, and what better place for “Fairway” than riverbabble, as it inspires us to look and see, and see some more.

I remember my mother, not unkindly (well, maybe not exactly kindly), telling me to stop staring at people with my mouth hanging open. Taking this good advice to heart, I learned to keep my mouth closed (not really, alas…) and my eyes and ears wide open so as not to miss a second of that crazy jumble of humanity that is our world.

See it here. Take a look! Enjoy.

Zephirus Swete Breeth

The cherry blossoms have whisked away, the forsythia have had their fun. Spring rollicks into summer, and I’ve left a gray street and passionate darkness on the front page of my blog. This cannot stand. And who better to usher in the pleasures of summer than the rollicker himself, Sir Geoffrey?

How acutely I recall standing in the office of the Head of the English Department at Yale reciting the Prologue to The Canterbury Tales. I’d climbed and climbed the stone steps to the top floor of Linsly-Chittenden Hall to find…was the door open? The scene cuts to a book-lined garret, burnished wood and lancet windows, and there the Head, an ex-hockey player, waited, not old enough to be not confusing, and altogether too good looking, in a jock-y (Chaucer-toting?) way. Did I stumble through my recitation? Or maybe I had fun. That pesky thing, memory. So acute, but a trickster at heart, much like our friend, Geoffrey.

So here we are, ready to embark on summer’s next adventure. When read a few times out loud, the rhythm, even without footnotes, of Chaucer’s Prologue transports like Zephirus’ sweet breath or the prick of longing to go on a pilgrimage somewhere. Tally ho!

The Prologue to THE CANTERBURY TALES
By Geoffrey Chaucer (1340?-1400)

Here bygynneth the Book of the tales of Caunterbury
Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote,
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licóur
Of which vertú engendred is the flour;
Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours y-ronne,
And smale foweles maken melodye,
That slepen al the nyght with open ye,
So priketh hem Natúre in hir corages,
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,
And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes,
To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes;
And specially, from every shires ende
Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende,
The hooly blisful martir for to seke,
That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke.

 

 

Blog Taking a Hiatus

The blog is taking a hiatus from publication news to work on a longer project, but not before giving a nod to March, that fickle-bad-witch of budding trees, chopped ice, transcendent light and mud.

From “Time”by Dragana Tripković

“…I cannot promise you much but a gray street
and passionate darkness in the Ides of March.
Spring always brings a pile of survived decay,
undreamt winter loves
that shudder to melt into summer, white wine,
and mussels.

So take your time…”

P.S. Did you know that horse sweat smells of jasmine, orange blossom and Tide fabric softener? Or so I’ve learned courtesy of June Soulis, equestrienne star of the fictitious Byrd Family Circus from the soon-to-be (soon being a relative term) novel…

H IS FOR HAWK by Helen Macdonald

"The goshawk is staring at me in mortal terror, and I can feel the silences between both our heartbeats coincide...She breathes hot hawk breath in my face. It smells of pepper and musk and burned stone."

H IS FOR HAWK, a memoir about grief and loss, through the training a goshawk, is brilliant, unexpected, and deeply satisfying. It is a testament not only to Macdonald’s talent, but to her profound connection to life, and to us, earning it an unqualified spot on my Books I Love bookshelf.

Read more

“Ray’s Juice” Now Live and Online at Foundling Review

Ray’s Juice,” is now live and online at Foundling Review!

Farmer’s market season is just around the corner, even if last night’s deep freeze toasted the magnolia blossoms to shriveled, frost-burned blooms. Which makes this a perfect time for a story that takes place under the stars surrounded by abundance and bitty bites brownies.

I’m honored to have “Ray’s Juice” included in the March issue of Foundling Review, “where simple pleasures are corralled into folds of finely finessed sentences.”

To read “Ray’s Juice,” click here.

“Toroid” Nominated for a Pushcart Prize!

I am thrilled and honored that my short story, “Toroid,” has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Each year the Pushcart Prize honors the best of the independent presses, and in spite of the commercialization and commoditization of publishing, the Pushcart has survived and thrived since 1976, supporting the stories that sustain us through small, independent presses.

The reason? In the words of Bill Henderson, Publisher and Editor of the Pushcart Prize Series, “Spirit will never be quelled, certainly not by big bucks and bluster. Each edition of the Pushcart Prize is evidence of this. Many new presses and dozens of new authors emerge annually and are honored in classrooms, bookstores and libraries around the world. And so the Pushcart Prize has been renewed since our first edition in 1976. We celebrate this renewal every year. This is our joy.”

I am tiddley-wink proud to be part of this legacy of wholeheartedness, truth and beauty in a world that so desperately needs it. As I tell my students more often than they want to hear, storytelling is a superpower!

“Toroid” was published in the September 2015 issue of Pithead Chapel, Volume 4, Issue 9. You can read it here.

Wish me luck!

 

Author Reading Tonight, October 1st, at the Warner Library in Tarrytown, New York

Come join us for what promises to be a fun and fabulous evening at the historic Warner Library in Tarrytown, NY!

Authors Lori DeSanti, Ann Podracky, Andrea Stone and I will read from the anthology SIBLINGS: Our First Macrocosm. Works of poetry, memoir, and story explore and celebrate the mystery of those earliest relationships with those who knew us before we knew ourselves.

“Our families, especially our siblings, provide our first macrocosm. How much of that experience do we carry out into the world as part of our deepest, inchoate expectations of the world and of our self?”

If you can’t make the reading but would like to order a copy of the book, click here and use the code “Tarrytown” for free shipping.

“Toroid” Now Live and Online at Pithead Chapel

I’m thrilled that “Toroid” is now live and online at Pithead Chapel!  I could not imagine a better home for “Toroid” than Pithead Chapel, which publishes “gutsy narratives…[that] leave a brilliant bruise.”

“Toroid” holds a special place in my heart, in part because it’s an homage to those ancient emperors in spirit, of which my father was one, who create wormholes in the universe. My father was not a mathematician like the one in the story, but he was a poet – a bit cracked, shades of a tyrant, yet someone who scoured his soul in the pursuit of truth and beauty.

“Toroid” has earned its own category in my mind, if only because I’ve been writing and revising this story for five years. You heard it, folks, five blimey years (“blimey: a minced oath from [God] blind me”Wicktionary). Even a real, live baby only takes nine months. Over the years the story expanded and contracted, shape shifting and boiling itself down into the condensation you find here. Enjoy!

“The Messenger” Published in SIBLINGS: Our First Macrocosm

I’m delighted that my short story, “The Messenger,” originally published in Kestrel, is now available in SIBLINGS: Our First Macrocosm, an anthology published by Wising up Press, edited by Heather Tosteson, Charles D. Brockett, Kathleen L. Housley, Kerry Langan, and Michele Markarian.

“Our families, especially our siblings, provide our first macrocosm. How much of that experience do we carry out into the world as part of our deepest, inchoate expectations of the world or of ourselves? Is birth order destiny? How are we shaped by the constellation we’re born into, whether dyad or nebula? What is the appropriate sentiment to have towards those with whom we may share only a preponderance of genes and, before we have any choices in the matter, propinquity? Towards those who knew us before we had a sense of self? Towards those who helped us define what we are not as much as what we are? What happens to us as adults when we return to these first numinous macrocosms trying to understand how they still shape our ways of being? Fifty-three talented contemporary writers share poetry, memoir, and story that help us explore these questions and invite us to deeper understanding, unexpected insights, release of old grievances and grief, and celebration of the mystery of the present moment which is so core to our early relations, that graced sense of community that often precedes language, insight, all the mechanisms of adult intimacy.”

You can purchase the anthology through Amazon, here, or directly from Wising up Press, here. Enjoy!

“Ray’s Juice” Accepted by Foundling Review

Huzza hip-hip hurray! My short story, “Ray’s Juice,” has just been accepted by Foundling Review, “where simple pleasures are corralled into folds of finely finessed sentences.” If that ain’t a delectable concoction, something along the lines of egg whites and chocolate, or farm fresh eggs, bacon and cheese, then I don’t know what all.

Check back in December, when the new issue of Foundling Review will be up and online, to find out what’s so special about Ray’s Juice anyway;-)?