Writers writing about writing is the stuff of cliché at this point. In my defense, I had tried and failed to write this story in a couple different ways first. A previous version of this story centered around a mother-daughter road trip to visit the father in rehab. The heart of the story—the bit that came to me first and animated the rest of the piece—was the moment where the daughter lies to her mother. The mother is optimistic that this stint in rehab will produce a substantive positive change in their family dynamic. The daughter cannot bear to break her mother’s heart by disagreeing. Another version of the story changed the road trip to a friendly sports betting pool. The family dynamic was much the same: an optimistic mother, a toxic father-daughter relationship that went unacknowledged. Eventually the story comes to a head in a similar way: the main character chooses to lie about the irreparable damage done by the father-daughter relationship to spare the mother. I ended up shelving both versions after I had run out of ideas. I hate to say I do this quite a bit.
“Tailor Made” at the Gallatin Review
Afterwards, I turned to my S.O. and said something along the lines of “This turns out fine because magic, but if magic didn’t exist like it currently doesn’t, it’s just a depressing ass story.” Then a light clicked on in my head and here we are.
“Simmer” and “Echolocation”
Literary Oprhans and The Rusty Nail both featured short pieces of mine this summer!
“Transatlantic” at Apocrypha and Abstractions
I wrote ‘Transatlantic’ during a writing conference of sorts. By writing conference I mean one conference room with fifteen writers, one instructor, two plates of sandwiches, and two hours.
“Inertia” at Scissors and Spackle
This piece, Inertia, originally was part of a longer work that lost steam very early on. I couldn’t figure out where I wanted to go with it but I always kind of liked this one section so I cut it out and made it so it could stand alone. The gist of the original project and this piece are both nicely reflected in the title I chose about a month after I was done writing– that an object(or a person or a life path) in motion will tend to stay in motion. Read it at Scissors and Spackle here.
“Teaching You To Breathe” at Eunioa Review
This peice orginally came into existance for a Creative Writing workshop. It’s about history, memory, family, and how malleable they can all be sometimes. Read it at the Eunoia Review here. I hope you like it.
Melissa, all over the internet
Indifference is Unacceptable This summer I’m an intern at Concern Worldwide US, a Non Profit organization based in New York City that helps the poorest people in the poorest countries. I do pretty much whatever stuff they ask me to do. It’s nice work. One thing they asked is to try to write a guest post for one of their blogs so I did. That’s what that link is. It’s kind of about what the name suggests even though I didn’t name it myself because I’m not good at naming things. You can look at my previous attempt to encourage people to help the universe called “A Dollar A Day” and see how that probably wouldn’t work and why I had to try again.
A Dollar a Day
I’m on a diet because I have the financial ability to be either fat or skinny. I’m trying to figure out which one makes me happier. I have those options—like skipping school or not going to the dentist. It’s amazing. A couple next to me talks about their upcoming camping trip because it’s invigorating to sleep out in the open when you have mosquito repellent and a GPS and house to go back to at the end of it.
A white man with white hair and khaki pants kneels down next to a young boy with no parents and no money and younger siblings to take care of. With my help, the man tells me, he can be saved.
Dance With Who You Came With
Mamma said you gotta dance with who you came with.