I kind of thought that after I graduated, the writing and reading slumps I’d been in would magically dissolve. I’d have loads of free time since I was taking a break before the big job search. I wouldn’t have classes or homework to exhaust my energy before I could get around to writing or pleasure reading. The summer was gonna be magic.
Well. Uhm. Yeah. It hasn’t quite worked out that way.
I’ve been feeling pretty shitty about this, to be honest, like I’m defective and I should be ashamed that I’ve only read four books this month and that my word totals leave something to be desired.
Weird how shaming myself into a spiral doesn’t help my productivity much.
This week, I realized that the past few months I’ve been apart of several really cool things that I didn’t celebrate on the blog. Right now, I kind of need a confidence boost, so allow me to be just super, super self-indulgent and tell you about all this cool stuff.
I got a really cool chance to speak at a TEDx talk at my school. It’s actually a reading of my “Fat Revolution” essay – a version of which I’ve posted before. This one is revised and, in my opinion, way improved. Here’s the video:
Side B Magazine: Attacking Our Assault
For Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Side B Magazine did a special online issue. I was asked to contribute, and they published my short essay, “Not the Men You Know”. One of my best friends, Brittany Means, is also in the issue, and quite frankly her talent consistently blows me away.
It is probably self-evident but I’m still gonna say that reading our essays and the other essays in the issue comes with a pretty hefty trigger warning on sexual assault and abuse.
You Are Here: Finding Yourself in Middletown
My last semester at Ball State, I had the great luck of taking the first English senior seminar taught by a creative writing professor – the wonderful Cathy Day. The class was based around how to do research while writing fiction.
Ball State is in Muncie, Indiana, which was the basis for the Middletown study in the 1920s. Using research from the original study, subsequent studies, and dozens of other sources, my classmates and I created our own version of Middletown and wrote a linked short story collection set there.
The collection is called You Are Here: Finding Yourself in Middletown can read it here. My story is the last in the collection, titled “Between the Beams”.
Along with working on You Are Here, I was also taking a class called Creative Writing in the Community with Lyn Jones, who is possibly the most organized professor I’ve ever had and makes impossible projects (like putting together a book in a few weeks) totally possible.
In this class, Ball State English students get together with elementary school kids in the Muncie and surrounding communities and write. I worked with two amazing sixth grade girls, Sara and Marisa.
At the end of the semester, we sorted through the mass of material we’d gathered from these kids and put together a book.
You can buy Stomping Ground on Amazon, and perhaps I am biased but you should seriously consider doing so. The range of talent and emotion and depth presented by these kids was stunning. I was incredibly lucky to work with them and proud of the book we produced.
Last but DEFINITELY not least is the fact that I will be interning at the Midwest Writers Workshop for the THIRD TIME (read about my first two years here and here) as an agent assistant.
Oh, and this time, I’m also the lead intern. They actually just made me in charge of these people.
Okay, it really will be fine. The other interns are amazing, smart people and I’m only one of two interns who even has two years of experience to back me up. (This is me convincing myself that I’ve got it.)
I think that’s all I’ve got for the cool things round up, although if my calculations are correct there should be another publication post coming up in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime – I love all of you, you’re beautiful, and here’s a truly amazing reminder that my dear friend Katy made for me: