Sunday, February 22, 2015

Metallic Sunrise & Juluchuca Homestead

I'm enormously pleased to share that two of my photos appear in Marathon Literary Review's latest issue. Metallic Sunrise is here. Juluchuca Homestead is here. These were both taken during a trip to Mexico in February 2013. The scenery was beautiful and the locals were welcoming and kind enough to let us catch a glimpse of their day-to-day life.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Two Acceptances

I'm very pleased to report that I have not one, but two (!), acceptances to share - one in fiction and one in photography. My short story "Prison-Orange Bandolinos" has been accepted by Rkvry Literary Journal. Two photos - "Juluchuca Homestead" and "Metallic Sunrise" - have been accepted by Marathon Literary Review. I'm super excited!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Saving Lola

The latest edition of The Summerset Review is out and includes my story "Saving Lola." I'm thrilled to be included! You can view it here.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Great read:

Liz Murray's Breaking Night is amazing, inspiring, and distressing. I found it painful to witness what the author, as a young girl-turned-teenager, endured. Her experiences were horrendous. I read many sections with tears pooled in my eyes. It's unfathomable to me how these sorts of things happen to children, how they happen every day, how her story is not unique. And yet she survived. She persevered. Hers is a story of true grit and determination, of unapologetic love and survival.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Great read:

I finished Stephanie Nielson's Heaven Is Here last night... what an amazing account of the human spirit. The book is divided into 3 sections: life before the crash, the crash along with the 5 months spent in the hospital, and life after leaving the hospital. Full disclosure: I didn't much care for the 1st section. For me, it was too pie-in-the-sky-and-everything-is-perfect... it was hard to get through it. But the rest of the book was fully engaging. I read with interest and sometimes with tears in my eyes. Simply incredible what she has gone through.

I took something away from this book that is so subtle yet so powerful:  
     ... without a doubt the true source of happiness, self-worth, and authentic beauty doesn't come from the outside. Woman are constantly being persuaded to want something unachievable, to look younger or thinner and above all to fit in because being different is too painful and embarrassing. ... our hearts matter most. YOUR heart matters most, so be gentler and more patient with yourself, and THEIR hearts matter most, too, so be kinder and more compassionate to others. It's a beautiful heart, not a perfect body, that leads to a beautiful life.

Thank you Stephanie Nielson.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Saving Lola

It saddens me to realize that I've not added an entry here since last December, but the truth is that my life has been extraordinarily difficult over the past 6 months, all to do with a personal situation I'm not yet ready to talk about here. But I will one day, hopefully sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, I have some good news to share... my story "Saving Lola" has been accepted by The Summerset Review. I am thrilled, thrilled, thrilled! This is a long story (nearly 7500 words) and some of my writer friends gently suggested that I find a way to cut it down to the more acceptable 5000 word range. But I held fast (some might label it stubbornness) that the length was needed and earned; I believed in the story and am pleased beyond words that Joe Levens at The Summerset Review agreed with my vision. "Saving Lola" will go live in their next edition due out in June. Woo-hoo!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

An Interesting Read:

Last night I finished Kate Atkinson's Life After Life. My non-reading friends were impressed at its length (529 pages) and couldn't imagine devoting the time to something so long. Then again, they don't read (I can't imagine a life without books!). I was drawn to this book because of the hints given on reincarnation, that the main character dies and is reborn again and again. In the strictest sense this is exactly what happens, but my take isn't that it's reincarnation, rather, it's an exploration into parallel universes.

To my mind, reincarnation is when a person lives a life as, say, a man who works in a machine shop, gets married and has three kids. He dies at the ripe old age of 81 and then, at his next incarnation, he experiences a life where he's an accountant with a gambling addiction, or a woman at the turn of the century. Different family, different circumstances, different body. What happens in Life After Life, though, is that we see how Ursula Todd's life would've turned out if B had happened instead of A, if G and H happen instead of A, etc. We see how all the different choices play out; if one were to take the path on the right instead of the path on the left. It's a very interesting experiment.

I did have some trouble getting into the narrative, though, and almost bailed not once but twice. It was around the 100 page mark before I really felt engaged - a long time to expect the reader to hang on. Part of this, for me, might be that I don't usually go for historical fiction. But some of the most interesting story lines and character experiences occurred during the bombings of WWII, both from the perspective of London and Germany. The other part was that seemingly all the rules were broken: multiple POVs within the same chapter and sometimes within the same paragraph. This, in particular, was hard for me to get past. I'm glad I stuck with it... I found that it grew on me, that I came to really know Ursula Todd and all her many sides/lives.