Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Publications and Goings-On

Dear Reader,

You are beautiful and kind for your patience as the old soul in me gets used to keeping up with this befuddlement called the Internet. As evidenced by my creation and consequent neglect of a Twitter account (God help me, I succumbed), maintaining a reliable presence on social media is a skill I have yet to master. (Seriously, how do I not bore you with random 140-character spats throughout the day?) However, I am determined, and hope that with more practice I can improve.

My recent absence on this blog, however, is not due to inactivity. On the contrary -- I am happy to inform you that my writing life has been rather busy in the past few weeks.

First, I have two exciting publication announcements. I was recently informed that a flash fiction piece of mine has been accepted for publication at a national journal. That should be out in April, so I will be sure to provide a more formal update when that appears.

Secondly, after a lovely Spring Break in sunny Southern California, I came home pleasantly surprised to find that one of my pending publications had now been sent to me in print. My short story, "Big Things," is now available in the current volume of The Sigma Tau Delta Rectangle, an international journal featuring the creative works of chapter members of the Sigma Tau Delta English Honors Society. As far as undergraduate-level publications go, this is huge; my understanding is that I'm one out of only two or three students from my college who has ever been printed in STDR. I am deeply humbled, then, to have my little story (one of my best, I think) published by such a distinguished journal.

You can view the story via PDF online (page 116) here.

Third piece of news: two days ago I returned from my first Sigma Tau Delta International Convention, held this year in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I have to admit, I truly loved this trip -- all day, every day, the convention offered numerous student readings, round-table discussions, featured speakers, and all-around geekiness to satisfy any English-loving heart. I was elated to experience the intellectual stimulation I've been missing through some lovely presentations and discussion sessions (I got to witness the full meaning of "Janeite" at a round-table discussion of Jane Austen fan-fiction). My muse went crazy hearing some wildly talented peers at creative writing readings. And Bad Poetry Night? Well, overused sexual puns aside, at least I got to see the amusing side of the English language.
The Westfield State University chapter of Sigma Tau Delta
at the Sigma Tau Delta International Convention's Red & Black Gala Dinner
Additionally, I read my one of my own short stories at a student reading session on Thursday. I'll have you know, as a crowd-fearing introvert, I was terrified for this occasion. In the days leading up to the convention, I can't remember how many times I made family and friends listen to me rehearse, stumbling over piled adverbs and awkward conception jokes (why do I even put those in there if I can't stand to read them aloud??). However, karma was kind to me, and the overpopulated audience I had envisioned turned out to be an intimate group in a tiny corner room of the convention hall. I was relieved, preferring this setting not only for the smaller numbers but for how freely it allowed me to express myself. Literature was never meant for the stadium, folks -- as a written form, it is meant to be experienced closely, quietly, conversationally, never flaunting loudly in the stage-light (at least, that's how I feel about it). So the small group was a welcome venue, and in spite of slightly shaking knees, my reading went rather well.

What I enjoyed most about that reading, however, was the discussion afterwards, in which audience members were invited to pose questions to the writers. Speaking extemporaneously is not one of my strengths, but I was surprised to find that it came easily when asked about my writing. If you ever want to make an artist's day, ask her about her work -- and I mean, really ask. Dig deep beyond the general "What do you write?", and ask about her inspiration, her process, her philosophy. It's not so much a desire to brag (hey, I still think my story sucks) as it is an unbridled passion for one's field and its possibilities. A wise poet once told me that writing is conversation. However awkward I was, then, I was unexpectedly thrilled to further an appreciation for art by participating in such wonderful dialogue.

I am going to try to be stricter with myself in the coming weeks (i.e., not leaving blog-writing to the last minute) so that I can bore you at a more regular pace. ;) In the meantime, thank you to all who have followed me up to this point, and for all those who have supported me in my silly writing pursuits.

Grace and peace to you.

No comments:

Post a Comment