“Hats”

hats“Hats” is in the new issue of Banango Street. It’s a short story about two brothers with a hat collection. It does not end well. The issue contains poems by Mike Young and Eunsong Kim, fiction by Erin Armstrong, a powerful, affecting essay by Joshua R. Helms, and many others. I’m pleased to be in such good company.

The story is part of a series called MILK TEETH. Other stories in the series can be found in Alice Blue Review, Squalorly, The EEEEL, Cheap PopThe Fanzine, and DREGINALD, and are forthcoming in Passages North.

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“OO:OO,” “Leash,” “Tape”

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“OO:OO,” “Leash,” and “Tape,” are in issue six of DREGINALD. It includes great work from Tim Jones-Yelvington, Emily Hunt, Camilo Roldán, and many others. Thanks to editors Lily Duffy and Rachel Levy for including the stories. Rachel has a book coming out in June from Caketrain called A Book So Red, and you can check out a preview and preorder it here. The pieces in DREGINALD are from a series called MILK TEETH. Previous installments can be found hereherehere, here, and here. More stories in the series are forthcoming from Passages North and Banango Street.

Slow Learner

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Lake of Earth is nearly a year old. As a way to mark that, I thought I’d list some things I’ve learned over the past few years. Some of this might seem painfully basic, but they’re lessons that’ve taken me a while to get right.

1. Do the Work

I had a professor in undergrad, Rebecca Gorman-O’Neill, who told us that “writers write.” This seems like obvious advice, but I didn’t do a great job of it after graduation. From 2008-2010, I wrote very little. I’d chip away at existing stories once or twice a month or write first drafts I never returned to. I almost never submitted work. I’m not sure what I was waiting for. I told myself that I was collecting ideas, that I only wanted to write when I was “inspired.” Those reasons were bullshit. I just didn’t want to do the work. While I discovered a lot of great authors in that time (Gary Lutz, Blake Butler, and Aimee Bender to name a few), I had zero disciple, so I never got finished anything.

In early 2011, I started writing on a schedule and sending out work. Later on in the year, the work started getting published. I also began writing in a journal about what I was reading, and that kind of close analysis helped my stories. In this article about Maria Bamford, her mantra is reportedly “Do the work.” It’s good advice for all realms of life. If you want to do something well, you’re going to have to put in the hours.

Continue reading Slow Learner

Natives

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“Natives” is in the 10th and final issue of Pear Noir. It can be preordered here. It’s a story about child thieves and a town that gets caught up in it all.

Partway through writing this story, I lost direction with it. I had a draft that wasn’t working, but couldn’t pinpoint the problem. I sent it to my sister Rain, and she helped to identify the issues and brainstorm some solutions. Her assistance was invaluable, and I greatly appreciate it.

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