This blog will return for regularly scheduled programming on June 15th, and will now include interviews and features with prose writers as well as poets.
In the meantime, I have listed some news, recommendations, and upcoming events below.
I didn’t want to ask Julia Glass (National Book Award-winner, Three Junes) for another blurb because she gave me one for Garden for the Blind, but I was thrilled when she wrote to me that she’d read the book:
“What a beautiful book! As I finished the last of these astute, moving, and often funny stories, I was reminded of something a fellow writer once said to an audience of fans: “What I want is not so much that you’ll get into my book but that my book will get into you.”
I was also really psyched when Nina Lorez Collins and The Woolfer endorsed I Have the Answer! Here’s what they said:
Tuesday, June 16th at 7pm: I’ll be talking to the Harrison Public Library on Zoom. The event is free and open to all. Here are the details: Michigan Notable Prize-winner, Kelly Fordon reads and discusses selections from her new short story collection, talks about the writing process, and offers advice for aspiring writers. Her 30-minute presentation will be followed by time for Q and A. Sign up here.
Saturday, June 20th at 1pm: Workshop with Pages Bookshop (details below).
Saturday, June 27th at noon: St. Clair Shores Literary Walk with ML Liebler. More information to come.
Here are some other recent articles and reading lists, as well as an interview with Shelley Irwin at WGVU:
I could use some Review Help…
It’s been a few weeks now since the book was released and I think it’s fair to say it was not an optimal time to release any book, however I am grateful to those who purchased it and have posted and shared about the work.
If you’ve never left an Amazon review before, this is how to do it:
Again, thank you for your support.
PS: I adapted this “help me with reviews” template from a writer I really admire, Cynthia Kane, who also released a new book in April 2020. I’ve enjoyed all of her work and her latest is called: How to Meditate like a Buddhist. I highly recommend checking out all of her books.
Favorite show of 2020: Normal People on Hulu
Favorite recipe is from Cristina Garberding. This one is quite involved, but worth it: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/mac-and-cheese-recipe2-1945401
Favorite baked good of 2020 (with the caveat that this is grain free and probably doesn’t compete with a really decadent muffin) https://detoxinista.com/raspberry-chocolate-chip-muffins-grain-free/
My Review of Grief’s Country by Gail Griffin is here. I highly recommend it!
Books read during Quarantine, see my Goodreads Reading Challenge.
Please share some of your favorite books with me. I need more reading material!
I have one last update, however I do have to issue a trigger warning here, so if you are triggered by mention of assault or sexual assault in particular, please don’t read below the below this.
Last month, I talked about my sexual assault here on Bookstr.
And upcoming later in a June, an essay about the “real” experience will be out in River Teeth Journal.
As my friend Desiree Cooper says, it takes a long time to learn how to be an advocate. I’m not quite there yet. I want to be a part of the solution. I want to be open and honest. I have forced myself to write about it. I admire fierce advocates who can get up in front of people on panels and share their experience. It took just about everything out of me just to write that sentence above. I still go into a fugue state sometimes (even right this minute) when I think about it. Recent developments forced me to either face these grave injustices or remain silent, and remaining silent did not seem like the right personal choice given the tremendous bravery of other survivors.
It’s a sad fact that there’s no medal, and often much ridicule, for putting yourself on the line, but I’m also 100% sure the more people stand up and speak, the harder these crimes will be to ignore. Many of the people you talk to on a daily basis have been assaulted. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that 1 in 3 (35%) of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.
Keeping that in mind, when you speak to anyone about sexual violence perhaps it would be better not to assume that they have been lucky.
On June 20th and July 18th I will be conducting two workshops in partnership with Pages Bookshop about writing through trauma in fiction and nonfiction. My hope is to offer a few pointers about protecting your own mental health while writing about traumatic events. In my own experience, writing has helped me unpack my feelings about the event, first by using fiction as a way to distance myself from it, and later by confronting it head-on in nonfiction. The goal of these workshops is to help other writers express themselves while taking good care of themselves at the same time.
Here’s a link to the event signup.
Be kind and stay safe and well.