Thursday, February 21, 2008
My short story "Wood is Wood" just came out in Wheelhouse magazine. It's an on-line zine that I found to be edgy, political, and I loved the artwork and video aspect of it, so I submitted and voila. "Wood is Wood" is one of my funky relationship stories--you just have to read it to appreciate how weird people really are. I'll put a link at right. So what else, I'm teaching this fiction class and the question comes up--what is Memoir anyway, and I'm thinking how I read the Writer's Chronicle and whenever I come to one more article about the difference between fiction and memoir and James Frey's name gets mentioned, my eyes glaze over (break out the country girl / poor white trash profanity). Really, I think it's about our fear of writing true and personal stuff down and getting in trouble for that--at least for me it is. Whenever I write a fictional story that is somewhat autobiographical in nature (which is quite often!), my family members always say--well that is your perspective, or that's how you saw it. Of course it is! There's always some underlying tone of reproach, which I really think is guarded jealousy that one of them did not sit down and write it first. I know I DON'T always get my facts straight and that I bend and put events together that did not really occur at the same time. My sister or a brother will correct me and say--that's not when that happened or , "No, you said this!" But c'mon, as my MA teachers always said, you are digging for the EMOTIONAL TRUTH of the story, and that's why I write fiction--because I don't always have to stick to the exact facts. I have a poor memory for those things (facts) anyway, but I know I have emotional intelligence or else I wouldn't be a writer. I think that some of us writers are more concerned about writer's ethics and that this is just another way to block ourselves in our writing. I do have to say--there are some things I can't or won't write about (right now). I was reading an on-line interview with Junot Diaz on Failbetter.com where he said it takes ten years for him to write about his past, and for some reason that tidbit rang true for me, too. That is why the divorce stories of mine are still coming out in print (Sorry, Kent--they're fiction! and that's a story from your perspective, Jamey). And I am just now getting stories about post-divorce relationships published. I'm reading at a French Garden Restaurant in Sebastapol on March 2nd--poetry with the Topper's Hair Salon Poetry group. They graciously allowed me to read with them even though I have not recently been a dedicated attendee or have not even been writing poetry. I did, however, read a recent issue of West Branch and loved the poetry in there. So, on-line magazines to check out: wheelhousemagazine.com, failbetter.com , juked.com, and again, storyglossia.com, and smokelong.com. I'm trying to come up with a list of on-line faves. Going to the Chinese New Year Parade this Saturday in SF as my teenager is in Color Guard. GO DEL! still missing Roger. USF alumna are having a reading Saturday night at Canteen near the ACT theater. Their reading series is called Babylon Salon if your'e interested. I will attempt to post some links at right. Peace out--we need a new way to peace out. Keep writing...oh yeah, Jane Anne Staw is giving a free lecture tonight, Thursday, Feb. 21st at UC Berkeley on Creativity. Love her.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
On March 17th, I'll be teaching a class in "The Quickie." We'll be reading and writing flash fiction on a Monday night at the Sebastapol Arts Center. The classes are only $15 and are, in part, funded by the Poets and Writers Grant. So, look them up and see what other great writers will be there. I intend to take all of them! They start in late February or early March, so sign up early. It may be a ways for some of you to travel, but the rewards are worth it. On February 16th, the Progressive Reading Series is meeting at the Makeout Room in San Francisco to help raise funding to beat initiatives that want to get rid of rent control. Steve Almond and Charles D'Ambrosio will be reading so check it (along with other terrific artists). I'm going. How about you?