Honk honk: April 2016 edition

The other day I was updating my CV (something I do periodically so when I need it, it’s just there already), and realizing that a lot of cool stuff has been going on in my writing life, and I haven’t even mentioned it here.

This is one of my main problems: I don’t like tooting my own horn, even when it’s appropriate. When I graduated with my MFA in 2013, I probably only told half my friends. More than one asked me later how school was going.

It’s true that bragging is pretty crappy, but simply acknowledging your accomplishments isn’t. Still, it’s something I struggle with a lot. So, some of this is old-ish news, and some of it is new, but here’s a short list of writing-related cool stuff I’m doing/did recently:

So that’s what I’ve been doing. Have you done anything awesome lately? Share in the comments!

Find me at The Rumpus

Yesterday my first blog post for online literary-type magazine The Rumpus went live.

It’s called “Internet Content Mills Have Nothing on the Hardy Boys,” and you can read it here (don’t worry, it’s short—like this post).

Read my flash essay about Vietnam in Watershed Review

The latest issue (Spring 2015) of Watershed Review features my flash essay about Vietnam, “Crossing the Street in Hue on Buddha’s Birthday.”

I visited Vietnam as part of the Chatham MFA program’s 2012 field seminar. One requirement of the “class” (two weeks in Vietnam can hardly be called a class) was to keep a detailed travel journal.

I dedicated myself to that journal, even going so far as to create my own out of cardboard, an old tank top with an elephant print for the cover decoration, and pages from half-used composition notebooks.

But when I came home and the deadline for our twenty pages of fiction or nonfiction crept closer, I froze. I didn’t know what to write. The deadline stressed me out, and my head hurt all the time. I felt I had barely had time to process the experience of visiting a country with which we had so recently been at war, in which a family member fought.

Finally, I knew I had to just write. So I did, one night, in a frenzy. “Crossing the Street in Hue on Buddha’s Birthday” was the last of the three post-Vietnam essays I wrote. My others focused on the war and my experience of being in the country and being a tourist.

I had to get those feelings out, down on paper, before I could embrace the love I felt for the country. Because I did love it. I loved being there. I loved the food, the jungle, the people, the little clusters of incense sticks tucked into any and every available space.

That love came out in the form of this flash essay, a tiny sliver of the joy and excitement I felt. I am glad I get to share it with you.