Yeah! You Twine That Algae!

Most of the time, the story of how a story is made is boring. The Great Story Birthing often takes one of the two following forms:

  1. The Hollywood Version: I, THE GENIUS, shout EUREKA! while I’m in the middle of a shower, abandon the tub for my study and a pad of paper, and, shower still running, pen an entire story in one sitting.
  2. The More Often Version: I, THE GENIUS, shout EUREKA! while I’m in the middle of my shower, abandon the tub for my study and a pad of paper, remember that I most often write on a laptop, eagerly tap out five brilliant lines, go eat a slice of an entire box of pizza, forget about the story, return to it a week later, try again, hate myself for not being a better writer, eat an entire box of pizza, and repeat this cycle for several years until something finally manages to reach a somewhat conclusive ending, oftentimes because my house is at that point flooded and I have other things to take care of.

Sometimes, though, a story is something you carry with you throughout your life — something that grows as you grow, both personally and as a writer who goes from thinking ALL SENTENCES ARE COOL to knowing the precise rhythm and feel that make her heart sing.

And that, friends, is the story of the story I’ve just had published on, And How the Algae Twines!

The first time I wrote this story, I was a sophomore in college, staring out my dorm window at the shifting snow drifts howling across the campus quad, thinking of another time when the world was also made of snow and I could feel my first real relationship reaching its zenith and beginning its long, slow descent into the frozen ground. The result: a creative short essay, and the feeling that I wasn’t done.

The second time I wrote this story, I was mored on the shores of a criticism-ridden grad school workshop, trying to be a better writer than I felt I could be. Somehow, I stumbled upon this old essay, languishing in an ancient Word file, and found myself horrified at my use of language, yet intrigued by the thoughts, images and emotions that lay behind it. I returned to my keyboard, and tried to remember what it was to feel. The result: a thirty page behemoth, with ten pages of striking imagery, ten pages of a writer reaching for a moral, and ten pages of a 24-year-old woman, demanding her true experiences find an outlet. And a workshop with an excess of praise and an excess of criticism that would change my writing forever.

The third time I wrote this story, I had been torn down to my core. There were no safe places left — not for me, not for my work. Everything I did was wrong. There was no warm hearth upon which I could nestle. After so many years of fighting for independence, I was on my own and barely able to breathe. Left with the few words that meant something to me. The few words that wouldn’t leave me alone.

It’s been three years since the third time. Three years, and this story has won awards, and finally found publication. The joy of finally seeing this story in print…well, I can’t quite put that into words. Nor can I promise I won’t write this story a fourth time, as I navigate the shriveled climes of my very non-snowy setting. But I can say that the story of this story — this story that began nine years ago and continues on — is one I will carry with me, wherever I go. This story has not left me.

You can read And How the Algae Twines at

Garbage Cans on the Streets of Suburbia

Huzzah! I’ve got another piece up on Citizen Brooklyn. It’s all about suburbia. Specifically, garbage cans on the streets of suburbia, which is why I decided to title it, Garbage Cans on the Streets of Suburbia. Oh sure, it’s about love and life and children all that good stuff too, but those things don’t make for a good title.

Check ‘er out here. And thanks to Citizen Brooklyn!

What in the world is going ON? Published in Marathon! WOOOOHOOO!

Honestly, I don’t know what’s going on lately. I’ve been trying to find a home for this Seattle-inspired piece, The Freeways Between Us, for years, and voila! Now it’s up!

Check it out here at Marathon Literary Review.

If you enjoy sisters who love and hate each other and girls who wander through cityscapes musing about berries, man is this the story for you. I hope when you finish reading it you will like this little bit of news as much as I do!



Glimmertrain! Contest Placement! Hooray!

Yay! Huzzah! Hooray! Flajoygans!

I’m happy to announce that my story, To the Bright Blue Skies and Away, has placed as a top 25 finalist in Glimmertrain’s November Short Story contest. For anyone paying attention to my career (namely, me), this is a story that’s very close to my heart.

So… let us all throw our round noses up to the sky and rejoice, Snoopy style!