Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine published a story of mine in their upcoming issue (Vol. 8 No. 2). I’m so honored, ’cause look, I’m in the most excellent company:
Toasted Cheese Literary Journal accepted one of my flash fictions in their fall issue.
Preview of “An Interesting Case”
In the matter of doctors, I prefer the ones who are young. They’re still interested in your body. When you put your ailments on display, they act as though you’re handing them a scientific article stuffed with fascinating, mind-blowing facts.
Today in Minor Literature[s], a short piece of mine went up.
Preview of “A Ball is a Ball”
“When you feel it coming on, here’s what you do: imagine it as a ball. A football, or a tennis ball, whatever kind of ball you’re most familiar with, or whatever ball requires the use of the limb in which you have the most confidence.”
Literary Orphans published two of my short shorts in their beautiful October issue.
My sister got divorced and I worried. For a while, she considered marrying her horse.
In my dream, my husband is a woman. Not a beautiful woman with whom, despite my being straight, I can imagine myself in bed. He is a male-looking woman, resembling his reality male-self too much to attract me as someone from my own sex. In fact, I only know he is a woman because of the energy (s)he radiates and the curve of his/her chest.
Next, I find myself examining my own body, hoping, perhaps, I have changed gender as well, which isn’t the case.
My husband stands on stage and sings her heart out in a scene stolen from an early Lynch movie: dark bar-theater, red curtains, sparse audience. (S)he sings and sings, convincingly, and I am invaded by love, swept off my feet, in defiance of everything.
When I open my eyes and see my husband’s head, half-buried in the pillow, relaxed in sleep, I feel like the luckiest person in the world.
My shortest piece so far, “The Realist”, is up in Boston Literary!
Thank you for reading.
Today, I began reading The Sound and the Fury.
Most Americans have read this novel in high school or college, but I can safely say most Dutch have not. Our education on English literature was extremely English, meaning: it focused on writing from Great Britain and Ireland (Steinbeck and Dickinson being the exceptions). Apart from Woolf, Orwell, and Joyce, it also cared little about the 20th century.
Although I was happy to learn Shakespeare sonnets by heart, and could never get enough of Jane Austen, I felt retrospectively sad that I didn’t discover American masters such as Hemingway, Salinger, and Bellow until long after my graduation.
So today: Faulkner. The dialect is less difficult to understand than I had thought, and the style is far less complicated, too. It’s the perspective that’s troubling and intriguing all the same. I’m sticking with it!
They’ve named a hurricane after me, my husband says and he sounds proud. It was only a tropical storm this morning, he adds, but I’m sure it’s a hurricane now.
We Google his atmospheric namesake and learn that tropical storm Erica has already stolen his thunder. Danny is nothing but a “weak and disorganized cyclone with minimal impact.”
Looking disappointed, he suggests we search for my name. We do and meet tropical storm Claire from 1969, a depression.
Weak and disorganized, my husband says. That’s me.
A depression, I say.
We turn the computer off and let the evening wind down.
According to certain people in my life, I don’t exploit my feminine charm as much as I should. I guess I’m just one of these women who prefer being appreciated for other qualities, etcetera. But I must admit that on rare occasions, I draw satisfaction from recognizing my physical potential.
Today, jogging in the Luxembourg gardens, I passed a group of firemen in training in front of the Medici fountain. They were placidly listening to their coach until they caught sight of me. Over twenty heads turned. I couldn’t help but flash the young men a smile. Even the coach looked at me as though he’d never seen a woman with bare legs like mine before. Perhaps he hadn’t.
Back home, I made a note to myself: your legs may be of use some day.
I’m re-reading Don Delillo’s Underworld.
The first time I read it, I was twenty-two. I liked it yet thought it was overabundantly American.
I still think that, but now I also think it’s a masterpiece I can never live without.
The difference between these two responses makes me worried about who I was at the age of twenty-two.
I soothe myself with the explanation that I probably missed half of Delillo’s brilliance because of my poorer comprehension of English at the time.