New Poem at Strange Horizons

If you have a moment, you can read my poem “One Fabric” in the latest issue of Strange Horizons.

Here’s what the critics are saying:

“I’m not sure I really understand what this is about…” -my mother

In real life, I am home again after four months of working as a housekeeper and server on a cruise ship.

Happy holidays! If you live somewhere where winter exists, stay warm.

Surprise! I’m Still Here.

I’ve maintained radio silence for three months now, but don’t worry, you haven’t missed much as far as writing is concerned. At the moment, I have three short stories and a poem floating around the internet looking for homes, but no luck so far. If one of them does get picked up, you’ll hear about it–and all of my friends and distant relatives will probably get an excited phone call, too.

In real life, Virginia is rainy, my senior year is full of classes and swiftly approaching deadlines, and it’s been raining for days. Did I mention the rain?

Stateside Again

After nearly a day and a half of travel, including three flights and a ten-hour layover, I’m back home in Wisconsin. I had an incredible semester, mostly because of the people I met while I was in Spain. Now that I’m home, I’m looking forward to the chance to do more writing and reading than I did while I was abroad (for reasons I explained in my last post).

I’m focusing on my creative writing thesis this summer, which I’m hoping to finish before the end of this academic year. Like a lot of writing I’ve done lately, my thesis is heavily inspired by the “Hansel and Gretel” fairy tale. Also, space. Unfortunately, I don’t think imaginary whales (my other favorite thing, if my brief publication history is any indication) are going to make an appearance in this project.

As usual, I’ll update this website as more of my work is published. I’ve already sent a few pieces to wander in the dark woods of the internet in search of publication, and hopefully I’ll be sending some more out soon. Wish me luck!

New Stories + Writing Inspiration for 2016

First things first: Happy 2016! I think my New Year’s resolution will be try to remember what year it is now and write the date accordingly (rather than date documents with “January 2015,” which is what I’m currently doing).

My first published pieces of 2016 are two super-short stories at Nailpolish Stories, a website that describes itself as “A Tiny And Colorful Literary Journal.” All stories published at Nailpolish share two interesting features: They are exactly 25 words long, and they use the names of real nail polish colors as their titles. If you think that means they have titles like “Red,” “Pink,” and “Magenta,” you should take another look at your nail polish bottles!

I’ve always liked very short stories and poems, so I had a lot of fun with Nailpolish’s simple concept. I’ve actually published stories in Nailpolish before (April 2014), but I enjoyed looking through the bottles of nail polish on my shelves again to find inspiration for a new set of stories this month.

Using the names of nail polish colors for titles is a pretty swell idea, but I think there are other sources of inspiration out there just waiting to be tapped. Here’s a list of my favorites.

  1. The subject lines of spam emails
    • I use these a lot as poetry titles, and they are gold. I’m frankly not comfortable sharing some of them, but a couple I’d love to figure out uses for are “Release Your Soul with Angelina Jolie” and, more simply, “hey!”
  2. Other people’s names
  3. Dreams
    • So maybe the cigar is just a cigar…or maybe your subconscious is telling you that your protagonist should smoke one. Either way, write down your dream-ideas as soon as you wake up to keep from forgetting them.
  4. Eavesdropping
    • As if you needed an excuse!
  5. Photographs
    • I’ve seen this one used a lot at writing workshops. Where is the scene in the photo set? What kind of mood, time period, or political climate does it suggest? If there are people in the scene, do they look happy to be there?
  6. Phoning a friend
    • Writing doesn’t have to be a solitary endeavor! If you get stuck, ask around for ideas–someone will almost certainly be able to help you out.

How do you get inspired?