Thank you for checking out my new website. Since I now have a number of publications under my belt, I thought it was time to create a place where people who are interested in reading them can more easily find them.
Some of you reading this may already know me. For those who don’t, here’s a brief introduction: I’ve been writing since I was very young. Like most writers, I had dreams of writing and publishing not just one novel but a bunch of them, many of them later adapted for the screen. After a few failed attempts, though, I decided to stop writing altogether in 2009. (There were other reasons for stopping, too, but I’ll save those for another time.)
I continued to read, though. A lot. And I was spending a lot of time not just reading books but reading about things like “neglected books” and “literature in translation.” Finally, in 2013, I decided that I, too, would like to write about some of these things, so I set up a little Tumblr, calling it the Good Coffee Book Blog, and I wrote a couple of reviews (here and here). (By the way, I originally wanted to call my blog Good Coffee, but it was already taken by someone who blogged about – get this – coffee. Strange, huh?)
I think each of my reviews only got one or two likes, but it didn’t take long before they started getting more attention. One day, while I was scanning Twitter, which I had recently joined, I came across a tweet from Three Percent, the blog of the University of Rochester’s translation department. They were looking for reviewers. I sent them a resume and a copy of one of my reviews, and the editor, Kaija Straumanis, sent me a list of books to review. That began my relationship with Three Percent. Since then, I have written 17 reviews for them.
A year later, I decided to return to fiction writing. That November, I did NaNoWriMo for the first time in seven years, but after writing about 60,000 words of yet another novel, I decided I needed to do something different. Once again, I found my answer on Twitter: The Newer York (now tNY Press) was raising money to put out a print issue. I checked out their website, which contained something called the Electronic Encyclopedia or Experimental Literature, or EEEL, and came across a piece by Ani King called “Chicken Tikka Masala for Lovers.” After reading it, I decided I had to get into the EEEL.
Even though I was familiar with experimental lit, I never tried writing it before. After rejecting eight or nine of my attempts, they finally accepted a piece I wrote called “The Anatomy of a Bird,” which was inspired by my love for birds, the library of medical books where I work, and my awkward attempts at romance during my teenage years.
Soon after that, I started learning about (and learning from) other great writers while continuing to hone my craft and trying to get published more often. I also started dabbling in poetry, which I hadn’t done in a long time. I started by writing prose poems for Unbroken Journal (see here and here); later, I wrote my first found poems, which were published in Unlost Journal (see here). Also, while they weren’t poems per se, a couple of my flash fiction pieces (see here and here) were inspired by concrete poetry.
While 2015 was a great year for my writing, ‘16 so far has been even better. I had works appearing in Pidgeonholes’ Aught/Naught issue, Dirty Chai’s first print issue, and Yellow Chair Review’s tribute to Prince, among other amazing journals.
What’s next? Well, after spending a few months writing about relationships, I recently decided it was once again time to switch gears. I’m still writing poems, but their content will be different than anything else I’ve tried before.
Also, I recently sent out my first fiction submission in a while. It’s an old story, but I would like to find it a home. In the meantime, I may throw my hat in the ring for the Molotov Cocktail’s upcoming Flash Icon contest. I’ve sat out on the last couple of their contests, but this one seems too good to pass up. Also, I have a good idea for it this time.
Till next time,