The Combination of Vanity and Kitsch

I received a very encouraging rejection from Copper Nickel. They were “very interested” in my story. I will consider this encouraging rejection an acceptance. That's how I roll. I like Copper Nickel quite a bit. The last three issues have been really strong. I don't know when I will have a Copper Nickel appropriate piece again but it's good to know they are feeling what I'm doing to some extent.

I'm reading on Friday night for the BLIP/Moon Milk Review/Potomac Review reading, at 7:30. Event details here. Come, see me read. I heartell it's going to be a lovely affair.

I have a story in Wonderfort, this new magazine I really like. Why do I like it ? The header and footer are scans of pen writing and the pen looks like it is probably a Bic and it has a feel to it I enjoy. The Bic aesthetic makes me feel nostalgic. There's something to be said for nostalgia. I also liked the first story they published last week AND they solicited me. The combination of vanity and kitsch makes me feel like Wonderfort is a good thing. My story is called “I Did Not Marry For Love.” I like how this story turned out.

Monkeybicycle 7 got some nice words in the latest round of reviews at New Pages. These things were said about my story:

Another interesting story is Roxane Gay’s “The Weight of Water.” Gay uses the curious image of a hard-working woman na

med Bianca who is surrounded by water. The first line is great (and the first of many great lines), “Water and its damages followed Bianca.” Short, complicated, and a bit tragic, “The Weight of Water” does a lot in just a few pages.

“The Weight of Water,” is one of my favorite stories. Sometimes, I try to play with magical realism and it's fun to just let go and make anything possible. I want to do more of that writing. I have a long list of things I want to write when I have a draft of the novel done. Knowing myself, I'll probably tackle a few of them before that draft happens. Sometimes working on shorter work helps me with this longer project. When I first started writing the novel, I thought I had to write it from beginning to end, and in linear fashion. That didn't work out for me. For weeks, I was stuck in the first few chapters even though I was thinking about what was happening later in the book. The novel is actually divided into three parts and once I realized there was no law stating I had to work from beginning to end without breaks in the narrative, I realized I could write scenes as they came to me

so I've been jumping across all three sections and I'm finding that it's really working. I'll certainly have to go back through and make sure there's narrative continuity but it's so much less stressful to write the scenes that need to be written instead. Writing process talk is not the most interesting talk in the world, is it?

I had a long chatty entry planned but honestly, this weekend sucked. I lack the enthusiasm. See you Wednesday. Travel safely, friends.


14 comments on “The Combination of Vanity and Kitsch

  1. You have a good eye for ink. I recently wrote Bic asking for a sponsorship of sorts (specifically: a small truckload of free pens). They have yet to respond.

  2. I *loved* your new story. I hate the fact that everything in the world is happening on Friday. None of us will have any audiences because we will all be reading. :) See you soon!

    1. Thanks so much, Amber. And it was a real pleasure meeting you this week. It is crazy how much is going on at AWP. Sadly we cannot be everywhere at once but because there are so many people at the conference we all have audiences, even if they are small.

  3. I Did Not Marry For Love was fucking gorgeous. I read it twice in a row and they will not be the last times.

    I’m in love with Wonderfort’s design too. It’s so clean, and you’re right about the Bic aesthetic. Digging that.

    I count encouraging rejections as half-acceptances. They make me a curious mix of giddy and embarrassed and disappointed and hopeful. Maybe that’s because I’m just weird.

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