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    Train Dreams: A Novella
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    by Maggie Nelson
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    We the Animals: A novel
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Catching Up

I've been a little behind updating this blog, as I tend to announce things on twitter or over on my Facebook page before I think to type out something meaningful or at least longer and post it here.

First: I published a new story not very long ago over at B O D Y. It's called "Status Updates," and if you're so inclined, you can read it here. I'd be grateful, of course. About this story: I was working on a series of stories told from the same narrator's point of view back in December and January. Then, in January, just as I was getting some good news about my story collection, one of my best and oldest friends received some pretty awful news that was very much related in certain ways to this particular story. I considered trashing the story forever but realized that the piece is about that same impulse that made me want to see it gone forever: how we go about making art in the face of a world that very regularly presents to us situations in which art can seem meaningless. So, I kept it around, and eventually started submitting it to a place or two. I'm glad it found a home at B O D Y, which I think looks great and is filled with lots of amazing writing.

Second: I published another essay that's about, among a few other things, my mom, at Carry On, a new site devoted mostly to travel writing. The essay is called "The Lake Cabin," and you can check it out here. It's not travel writing, but I'm glad Josh Lieberman liked it--and that he took such great care editing it. Really, he made this piece better than it was before I sent it to him. There's not a lot of work over at Carry On right now, but what's there is very good. I'm happy to be an early contributor to a site that I'm pretty sure is just going to get better and better.

Third: I'm grateful to Erika Dreifus for including a little write-up about Tell Everyone I Said Hi in the First Looks series over at Fiction Writers Review. It's strange/excellent seeing my book there, right next to BASS.

Lastly: My old pal/Excellent writer in his own right Justin Hamm posted something just this morning about my book. Here's a chunk of what he had to say:

"I have to tell you, it was just as great as I thought it would be.

There was the very same subtle, down-to-earth, heartbreakingly authentic voice I first read and loved in a fiction workshop ten years ago this fall and have continued to love ever since. If you want to know how real people live in this part of the country, what they feel and think and do and maybe sometimes wish they hadn't done, he's the writer to turn to. If beautiful language is your thing, if you live for those perfect lines that cut you to the bone, then he's the writer to turn to. As I finished reading, it began to dawn on me that soon a lot more people are going to recognize his talents, that soon a lot more people are going to be buzzing about his perfect sense of gesture and detail, his impossibly perceptive characterization, his fascination with everyday mystery, his big fat Midwestern heart."

I found his post in my Google reader while I was just waking up, and it was a great way to start the day. I'm incredibly grateful to him--not only for reading the book but also for writing such a thoughtful post. You can find the rest of what he had to say here.

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