Three good things, all at once! My story “This Is a Test of the System” is in the spring issue of Massachusetts Review; Pine Hills Review published my story “What Would John the Evangelist Do?” (you can read the whole thing online); and 200 words that I wrote in praise of Hannah Tinti‘s editing are in the March/April 2015 issue of Poets & Writers, as part of a feature titled “The Moment of Truth: Eleven Authors Share Stories of Life-Changing Retreats,” edited by the great Kevin Larimer.
This all makes me feel kind of mid-aughts-ish: I wrote “This Is a Test” in 2005 at the Albee Foundation, “What Would John” feels like a story that could only happen in the early to middle years of the last decade (the two female characters met at the Radcliffe Publishing Course, for example), and my contribution to “The Moment of Truth” is a (true) story from April 2006. I’m going to include it here (with permission):
In 2006, I spent the month of April at the Ucross Foundation in Clearmont, Wyoming. A friend of mine, writer and editor Hannah Tinti, also happened to be there at the same time. I’d gotten my MFA from NYU the year before, and since I knew how to make a galley from my work at a small press, I’d self-published one hundred copies of my thesis: perfect bound, small trim size, matte pink cover. I’d been giving them away to friends, and I gave one to Hannah at Ucross; she liked one of the stories in the book enough that she wanted to run it in One Story, the literary magazine she co-founded and edits. We worked on “The Samoan Assassin Calls It Quits” over the course of a few evenings, when we were done with our writing for the day. I had the great experience of watching Hannah make masterful edits to the story. She made it better than it had been. In a small way, it felt like how George Saunders responded to the news that he’d won a MacArthur: “I feel smarter already!” I hope always to have brilliant writer and editor friends like Hannah, and I hope that unhurried, meticulous editing, and the slow time and beautiful isolation of places like Ucross, never go away.
More mid-aughts: here’s a picture of Hannah and me at AWP Austin in March 2006, taken by indefatigable indie publishing genius Shannah Compton:
And some related, mid-aughts-y old posts here: a picture of the little pink book, Some Notes on Wyoming, and a number of photos I took with a tiny, terrible camera that I loved, but that was rendered totally obsolete by new technologies like the iPhone: Wyoming One, Wyoming Two, Wyoming Three. (Also my idea for Red-County Tourism, inspired by Wyoming, which I still think could work.)
All posted back in the olden times, before blogging, too, was rendered totally obsolete!