New stories and essays this fall

RichardSerraGuggenheimThanks to the kind and generous editors of some great magazines, I have several new pieces out since this summer.

In Okey-Panky (Electric Literature)  “Walls” appeared.

In Jellyfish Review “Brunch” was born.

On the Prairie Schooner blog, my flash essay “Playing the Sports Fan” got a chance.

My flash “Message from the Forest” flew off in Litro in September.

And on JMWW, I praised the work of others in a review of “Condensed to Flash.”

It’s back to writing now, I guess. I’m working on a near future novel that is very corporeal, a children’s book set on a remote Dutch island, an essay on my father, a surrealist short story about dancing, and many flash fictions in which my wild voices get a chance to be heard. I love words. Did I ever mention before I love words?

Photo above: Richard Serra at the Guggenheim, illustration by “Walls.”

Short Story: Animal Puzzle

DenverQuarterly2016My short story “Animal Puzzle” was published in Volume 50, Number 4, Year: 2016 of Denver Quarterly.

NOMINATED FOR A PUSHCART PRIZE.

Preview of “Animal Puzzle”

It all began on Scheveningen beach with the sea rolling toward them in long waves, leaving foam behind and broken shells and plastic scraps and what all not. You’ll see. The sun was out and the wind was in everything, blowing an air of cockles and fake coconut. Nothing reeked of death.

The family of four had arrived in the early morning to beat the coastward traffic and now, in the late afternoon, they were exhausted. Doing nothing is no joke. Mother mostly read with eyes closed, an open book in her hands. Father did something similar, reading the same page of his magazine over and over, his eyes swerving to the legs that passed in front of him. It was dizzying, so many legs there were. Closer to the water, Son and Daughter were in cahoots together building an abstract sand sculpture. Or perhaps they were trying to build a rhinoceros. (The family is a member of Amsterdam’s Artis Zoo, some fifty kilometers North.)

Continue reading? Copies of the magazine can be ordered online.

Essay: The Empty Space in Front of Your Hand

GMR-LogoGreen Mountains Review published my essay “The Empty Space in Front of Your Hand.” It’s a personal essay on inexplicable coincidences & the intersection of life and art. It also tells the story of how my husband and I met.

Preview of “The Empty Space in Front of Your Hand”

Michel was an old and charming man as only an old and charming painter in a Parisian atelier can be.  He was our neighbor. Whenever we ran into each other in the courtyard and spoke, I let him touch my hands and in the summer even my bare shoulders. This was a huge thing for me, although I didn’t know at the time whether it meant a compromise or a victory. Michel was also my second novel.

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Essay: Flash Addiction

smokelong_logo_h-300x110The kind and fabulous people over at SmokeLong Quarterly are publishing a series of essays and asked me to contribute. In “Why Flash Fiction?” writers and editors explore what draws them to the form. My column begins with these words:

“Once I wrote my first flash I was hooked. So much so that I often need to remind myself I have a novel to finish. It all began when I brought home The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis from the American Library in Paris.”

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Short Story: Surfacing

Folio_Cover_CropMy short story “Surfacing” was included in Volume 31 (2016 – The Surreal and Fantastical issue) of Folio, the lit mag published by The American University in Washington, D.C.

I’m honored and happy: the issue is a great read.

Preview of “Surfacing”

—Do you have any idea how much anger there is in you?

Nine weeks into my escape, I got noticed. My plan was to remain invisible for at least a year. But what was one to do? I couldn’t hide under a rock all my life. So there I was, sitting on top of one, facing the Phare de Gatteville, a historic lighthouse I would later refer to as a firetower (the literal translation from the Dutch word vuurtoren).

I’m from Holland, by the way, and most of this happened in France.

The air above the English Channel was lavishly blue except for a few petty clouds on the horizon. I was cobbling sentences together for a revenge letter I would never mail. Even then I knew my words wouldn’t make it out of my notebook. The point was to get them out of my head. From time to time, I glanced up from my lap at the underexciting view. The granite firetower soared up dispassionately, a seal-gray phallus incapable of seduction.

Continue reading? Copies of the magazine can be ordered online.