|Mysterious teaser photo, for ending announcement.|
My first order of business is to give you all a long overdue publication update. Back in December, my short story "Work Day" appeared in Issue 6 of the Hudson Valley-based journal River River. (Bonus: it's perfectly paired with a moody urban scene by Sharon M. Paster.) Written during my undergrad years, "Work Day" was for many years my favorite fiction project and is probably my most-submitted work to date (or most-rejected, technically), so the fact that it's finally found a home at a place like River River means a lot to me. You only need to read the issue's introduction to see how passionate the staff is about storytelling, and their activeness in promoting local artists makes them a valuable resource for the writing community. It's an honor to be included in their publication, and I hope you'll take a look at all the great things they're doing.
You can read my story "Work Day" here.
When I write a short story, the smaller format means I can usually picture the plot and the characters pretty fully in my head before I start. Yes, there's discovery involved (what comes out on paper is almost never exactly what I originally envisioned), but for the most part I know my protagonists and the basic structure well enough to feel fairly confident where they'll end up. Novel-writing (for me at least) isn't like that. The mere size of the story means there are countless more directions a plot or character could go, and the image of a protagonist that I start with turns out to be barely a skeleton for the flesh-and-bone person they need to be to remain sustainable. So, there's a lot of blindness in novel-writing. That's where the messiness comes in. Discovery happens through experimenting, and in drafting that means pages upon pages of exercises, monologues, shaky chapters, half-formed sections -- making my characters walk around, trying to see what they'll do and where they'll go.
And what happens to a lot of those pages?
They turn out to be unusable, and end up in the trash.
Item 3 on today's post: I kicked off the New Year by starting a new position in a public library, and I'm LOVING it with every fiber of my being. I've been attracted to the library profession for years, but while I have done internships at libraries in the past, doing "the Real Thing" is better than I could've ever dreamed. It feels amazing to be busy in an environment that I'm passionate about -- helping provide an educational, enriching, and safe space for patrons and families free of charge. (Plus, I'm surrounded by books all day, so there's that.) I feel absolutely at home in this line of work, and hope to be in it for a long time.
|For those in doubt of what public libraries do, I present this brilliant meme.|
Grace and peace to you.