The big news is there is another reading event for Solace in So Many Words— it will be July 21, Thursday, at 7 pm at The BookMarket, 2651 Navy Blvd, Glen Town Center, Glenview (phone: 847-904-7304). Contributors who will be reading include: Joan Corwin, J. Scott Smith, Kathleene Donahoo, D. J. Lachance.
Weighed Words celebrated the short story in May — the winner in the collection giveaway was Erika Dreifus although the two runners-up also received Solace in So Many Words as a consolation prize. (Groan if you must.)
A number of contributors have written short stories that should have been mentioned during Short Story Month. Constance Vogel Adamkiewicz’s story “Family” appeared in the anthology called Christmas on the Great Plains (University of Iowa, 2004). Jayant Kamicheril has three short stories published; they are: “Shaap #3” in Descant, which is a lit mag out of Canada; “The Physics of Kharma” in Rosebud; and “Wings” in Open, a New Delhi magazine.
I mentioned Joan Corwin’s novella “Safe Shall be My Going” last month, but she has an extensive list of stories that have won or placed in contests and appeared in print. I have always been particularly fond of Joan’s work and so will you when you read: “Hindsight,” which was Chicago Stories on Stage Winner published in River Oak Review, No. 20 (Spring/Summer 2003); “Sinners” which was published in StoryQuarterly 39 (and in the Hourglass anthology Falling Backwards), “Elm” which was a Tusculum Review Fiction prize winner (Volume 2, 2006); “Wings” which was a finalist for the Roanoke Review prize (volume XXXIII ,2008); “Point Man” which was published in Crate (Volume 5, 2009); “Settling Accounts” in Inkwell, No. 28 (Fall 2010); and “Wonderland” which won the Chris O’Malley Prize for Fiction and was published in The Madison Review, Vol 32: No. 1 (Fall 2010). Work is forthcoming in Pearl Magazine. Lit agents take note: Joan is at work on a novel.
How interesting that Jayant and Joan both have stories titled “Wings.” I think there must be others. How about it–do you know of another story called “Wings?”
Solace in So Many Words participated in a Goodreads giveaway in May and sent the book to seven of the 460 who responded to the promotion. Now we have four reviews (all raves) on this site. I will add the widget for Goodreads just as soon as I learn how.
As to contributor news, Jan Bottiglieri has two poems “The Fairy Scientist” and “Dear Mrs. Death” in Apercus Quarterly and Brent Calderwood has a book review in Lamba Literary of Michael Montlack’s new book Cool Limbo. Donna Hilbert just began a blog in the BelmontShore-Naples Patch; it features insightful poetry. Don’t forget to check out Kathleen Kirk’s blog. She always seems to say something thoughtful about what she is reading.
I am finding that keeping a blog is no easy task. I am not at the point where I sit down and write it routinely. Some people, like Mary Beth Coudal, manage several blogs: My Rules, Running Around, The Connected Life, and My Beautiful New York. I don’t know how she does it; blogging to me is still a daunting task though I am sure it will become second-nature.
I also started reading a great blog on improvisation called The House That Del Built and described as “The Intellectual Musings of an Improv Wonk.” Like much great writing that focuses on a specific subject, the blog’s lessons have greater applications. For instance, in the March 24 post on practice, I found this to be particularly useful: “The point of drills is three-fold: isolation, repetition, and experimentation. Isolate the skills, repeat them in well-thought out drills (or “exercises,” as we usually say in improv), and encourage the team to experiment so that you can both push the parameters of your skills and note where the edges start to fray.”
I should apply this strategy to blogging. To be quite honest, some days I don’t think I have anything interesting to say. Especially like the days I have had lately in which all I do is send out letters that plead for a review or coverage of Solace in So Many Words. My big excursion is a trip to the post office. And wouldn’t you know I missed out on the only excitement there this week when an elderly driver plowed into the building? The report says the driver is still hospitalized so my thoughts will go to her when I visit the p.o. in the next few days. Usually, however, when I am there, I think of Jayant Kamicheril’s wonderful essay “Waiting.”
Anyway, the blog on improv says the way to get better at something is to isolate that skill, practice it, and then experiment. Since I’ve already I blew it this week as far as isolating blogging and practicing it (tomorrow is another day), I will experiment. So I am already preparing my next blog–it is a poem called “Everyday is a gift.”
P.S. I have uploaded much better pictures of our May 12 event at Barbara’s — many thanks to Shama Yusuf Patel