publishing my first adult fiction in many years, in Clockhouse

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Years ago, when I was a young mother desperate to find more hours in each day, all there was for me was fiction. Short fiction. Published in journals like Sonora Review and Alaska Quarterly Review and International Quarterly and Rosebud. Publishing was my conversation with the world. I had yet to meet an actual writer. I'd taken no classes. I was naive. My critiques came in the form of letters from the editors.

Later there would be attempts at "adult" novels, but always something intervened. The El Salvador novel became the El Salvador memoir (Still Love in Strange Places). The adult novel about southern Spain became, after nearly a decade, Small Damages, a novel for young adults. And so on.

In the meantime, through other projects, panels, moments, rides on subway trains, I met so many special people, including Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, who remains my dear friend today; indeed, I recently spent a blissful Brooklyn afternoon in her company and missed her for days afterward. It was Reiko, a beloved faculty member at Goddard College, who suggested to the Clockhouse team that I might be a right contributor for the second issue of this new and beautiful magazine. An essay, they suggested. How about a poem? I suggested back. But in the end, we went with fiction.

I can't tell you how happy it makes me to see this first sliver of adult fiction, an excerpt from a novel in progress, appear in a magazine produced by such an incredibly kind team, including Julie Parent, Kathryn Cullen-DuPont, and Stacy Clark. I am equally happy that Reiko is the angel on all our shoulders. And I was touched to learn, a few weeks ago, that Heather Leah had been asked to read my story aloud to a gathered few as the printed journal emerged from the press. I wish I could have been here.

There are excerpts from a number of pieces here.

The list of contributors can be found here.

Thank you, Clockhouse.

from Beth Kephart’s The Velocity of Wings:

“Oh, Love,” Becca said. “Oh, God. Kate.” And she couldn’t lift her, couldn’t hold her, had to keep herself back, no harm, she kept thinking, no harm, and she ran her finger just as gently as she could up and down Kate’s one whole arm, singing a song she remembered from long ago, some idle tune from Prague that Kate had loved, that Kate remembered, she could tell that Kate remembered it now; it was the right thing to sing, it was all Becca could do—no questions, don’t make Kate talk, no harm—and now, at last, from around and above, from a place far away but growing near, there was the sound of sirens.

Blue, Becca thought. The sound of blue. A hard scream into a spring day until the macadam crackled and a van door slammed, and there were two pairs of boots coming, a stretcher between them, Becca calling them around to the rear.


Serena said...


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