This is the third post in a row in which I've had a number of things to mention/announce. I'm thinking that 1) I've had a lot of good luck lately, which is great and 2) in the very near future, I'm going to have nothing at all to post about, because this certainly isn't sustainable.
This week's goodness:
On Sunday, my story "The Most Beautiful Thing About Her" went live at WhiskeyPaper. In case you don't know, this site is run by Loran Smith and Leesa Cross-Smith. Jane and I interact every now and then with Leesa on twitter, and it's gotten to the point that I feel like she's a virtual neighbor of ours. She's also a great writer who was recently a finalist for this year's Flannery O'Connor Award. About this story: It was part of my collection for a couple years, but it eventually got the boot, mostly because I thought it was a little too similar to my book's title story, tone-wise. It's a kind of heartbroke alt-country tune floating up to you from some downstairs room so quiet you can make out only some guitar, a little bit of the lyrics.
* * *
On Monday, I had two stories go live:
"Open Mic Night at Fat Fish Pub" is up at one of my favorites, Wigleaf. I wrote the first draft of this story while bellied up to the bar at the Fat Fish Pub in Galesburg, though there wasn't any open mic taking place. I liked a number of things about that draft and kept tinkering with it for a while until things felt like they were coming together. I liked it quite a bit, but places kept rejecting it; I'm glad Scott gave it a home.
My story "Translated from the French" was also published on Monday, at BETTER: Culture & Lit. This is a new mag, and it seems to have a great team in place. I worked with Sophie Rosenblum, whose work I adore. This piece is part of a series of Monmouth-inspired stories, and it's fairly new. I wrote the first draft a while back but spent some good weeks with it this summer trying to whip it into shape. BETTER also has an audio recording of me reading the story, but please, don't listen it. Nobody should be subjected to the sound of my voice.
* * *
On Monday, I didn't just celebrate the publication of two stories; I also celebrated the official publication date of my story collection, Tell Everyone I Said Hi. Janey made me a cake! And we picked up some Prosecco. Then we ordered pizza and had Dad over, and it was a little sad, because all of us were wishing Mom were around to hold the book in her hands and drink some wine, but we cried a little and then got on with celebrating. I mentioned on Facebook, but it's worth repeating here: I have so much gratitude for all of the people who've been celebrating the path to publication with me these past few months. I wish I could have shared this cake with all of you.