Go read something!

Last week I shared an essay from “Fringe” magazine which ceased publication in 2014. This week, I’ve got something from “Pank” which (shockingly and sadly) will stop publishing new work online this year, and their last print issue will be spring 2016. I’ve read “Pank” for years and am incredibly sad to see them go, but I know the fabulous folks who adorn their masthead will carry on in their amazing work in the world of writing.

Go read all kinds of things from “Pank” in their final year. But maybe start with Kara Vernor’s “Four Hands.”

**UPDATE: Pank did not stop publishing after all. I learned that they’d be staying open not long after this post but forgot to mention until now. They’re still there! Go read more from them!

Go read something!

It seems like many lit mags are shuttering their (proverbial) doors and turning out their (online) lights. Although new ones are popping up all the time, it’s still sad when somewhere you loved is no longer publishing new work.

Like “Fringe,” which stopped production (I believe) last year. BUT, on the bright side, their website remains open and functional and accessible, leaving open the door to all their wonderful offerings from the past.

One great example? “Self-Portrait in Apologies” by Sarah Einstein. Go read it!

Go read something!

Back by popular demand. Or … just demand. Or … just back.

It’s been a loooong time since I posted a Go Read Something, and I’ve got oodles of stories and poems and essays that I’ve gathered to share! I’ve just been slacking on posting them because … life.

I’m trying to get back on track, so please enjoy!

For this week’s return to “Go Read Something!” please enjoy Rebecca McKanna’s “A Chain of Tiny Disasters” from “Narrative” magazine.

Sure is dusty around here…

Sooooo, what happens to a writing blog when the writer stops writing on it for months and months?

Nothing, apparently.

It doesn’t spontaneously combust or disappear.

Little writing elves don’t come along and do all the work for you.

Previous posts don’t disappear in anger and resentment.

It just sits there. Silently mocking you. And the longer you go without writing or updating it, the harder it is to get back to it.

So, you find yourself writing a weird second person post about this poor neglected website in the hopes that it will get you back into posting, like you had so optimistically planned for this year.

Fingers crossed, it will work…

Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’…

To give you an indication of how my 2015 is going so far, I just tore off January from the little fridge calendar we have.

February ends this weekend.

So, yeah. Things have been busy.

I went to the Tin House Winter Workshop at the end of January. It was amazing. I am still trying to find the time to write a proper blog post about it.

I also found out I wasn’t accepted into the PhD program at UNL for English/Creative Writing. I was really disappointed at first, but I’m a big believer in things happening the way they should. Surprisingly, I’m totally over it and have started refocusing my efforts in a different direction. Thank goodness for a supportive husband and good friends.

Some work things have been picking up, and I’m hoping some others will slow  down so things can even out. I’ve been pretty much drowning in a constant to-do list that keeps growing longer before I get any traction on marking things off. In the meantime, I’m trying to make some solid decisions about where I’m going from here.

I’ve been writing. Not as much as I’d like, but I’m doing it. I’ve committed to at least 30 minutes a day, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but for me it’s huge to develop some consistency. And, more often than not, that 30 minutes turns into an hour.

I STILL need to write a post about the short story collections I read in 2014 because there were some awesome collections that I didn’t get a chance to review and I want to spread the word.

And I STILL need to pull together my goals for the year and post about them as well.

I need to get this blog back on track and start making some real postings and get some more Monday Quoteday and Go Read Something posts out there.

I realize this is just a rambling list, but I need to hold myself accountable. I publicly say I’m going to do something, there’s a far greater chance I will.

But, it’s just now February, right? I have plenty of time. At least if I go by what my refrigerator is telling me…

Monday Quoteday

“This sentence has five words.
Here are five more words.
Five-word sentences are fine.
But several together become monotonous.
Listen to what is happening.
The writing is getting boring.
The sound of it drones.
It’s like a stuck record.
The ear demands some variety.

Now listen.
I vary the sentence length, and I create music.
Music.
The writing sings.
It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony.
I use short sentences.
And I use sentences of medium length.
And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals—sounds that say listen to this, it is important.”

— Gary Provost

Monday Quoteday

When in doubt, the rule of threes is a rule that plays well with all of storytelling. When describing a thing? No more than three details. A character’s arc? Three beats. A story? Three acts. An act? Three sequences. A plot point culminating in a mystery of a twist? At least three mentions throughout the tale. This is an old rule, and a good one. It’s not universal — but it’s a good place to start.

— Chuck Wendig