Dang it. Despite world affairs being horrendous, I’m going to relish some good things that happened in 2016. First, I achieved my goal of obtaining 100 rejections (106!). If you’re not getting rejecting 90% of the time, you’re not aiming high enough–so goes the wisdom from Creative Capital. The fruits of this labor paid off with eight publications. Here they are, plus other goodness. (Find the zoetrope!)
- Artist Trust and Gar LaSalle threw a party to celebrate my winning the inaugural Gar LaSalle Storyteller Award. With delicious homemade pizza! Pictures here. Thank you, forever, Gar and Artist Trust. The door this award opened is tremendous. And congrats to the 2016 winner, Peter Mountford! I can’t wait to read his next novel, In The Rush of Everything.
- Jewish in Seattle published my personal essay “Threads of Memory” and my first feature article “Art After Auschwitz.”
- Steve Barker interviewed me for his podcast Ordinary Madness. Check out his debut essay collection Now For The Disappointing Part.
- Pacifica Literary Review published “How Do I Fit This Ghost In My Mouth,” my first poem.
- The Rumpus published my personal essay “Used To Be Schwartz,” featuring a very sad ham sandwich.
- M & I traveled to the Netherlands so I could research Novel #3.
- The anthology Airplane Reading included my essay “Mapping Imagination,” about travelling to Argentina to research Novel #1, Dirty.
- The Jack Straw Cultural Center released a podcast from my 2015 fellowship, in which I discussed with Kevin Craft Novel #2, Paralegal, and read an excerpt. It’s got cabbage and spite in it.
- The Los Angeles Review of Books published my essay “Dark Fruit: A Cultural and Personal History of the Plum.” Hooray for plums! This essay was a loooooong time in the making.
- Syntax & Salt published two micro-fairy tales.
- For their 30th Anniversary celebration, Artist Trust included my story “Cauliflower Tells You” in the window of V2, a temporary collaborative arts space that used to be a Value Village. The party was super fun; I especially enjoyed Cathy McClure’s installation in the elevator, “Such a Nasty Woman.” It’s similar to her piece “Carnival of Life” except with female figurines.
- Moss published my story “Don’t Worry,” inspired by something disturbing I overheard at Anne Frank Huis.
- Though I am sad Corinne and I brought The Furnace to a close, our farewell evening was just beautiful. Lisa Nicholas-Ritscher closed out the night by leading a sing along to “Dance Me To The End of Love“ with the help of the klezmer group The Schtick Figures. Ah, Leonard Cohen! RIP.
My plans for the holidays including gorging myself on kreplach, cholent, pizza, and rainbow cookies and devouring Donna Tartt’s The Secret History and Paula Fox’s Desperate Characters. Happy winter solstice!