Ultreia, Inc Reading and a Podcast

A few days ago, I mentioned that I had submitted “I Can Hear You” for a local reading event.  That event was held by Ultreia, Inc. last night, and my piece was accepted.  Huzzah!  Two of my college professors were in the audience, as well as a former classmate, so it was neat for me to have people I knew out there.  The reading featured 9 other local writers and there was some amazing work that was being shared.  It was a fantastic experience and I hope I have the opportunity to do more with this group in the future.  If you have Facebook (and I know you do.  Stop playing Candy Crush and look at me when I’m typing to you.), consider giving them a like, even if you’re not local.

This Friday, 11/15 at 6:30 pm, I’ll be doing another reading on IU-South Bend campus in The Grille.  The theme of the night is Analecta, which is the campus literary journal, and I’ll be reading a portion of my story “Blood and Rain” which was published in this year’s issue and won the first place prize for fiction.  It’s a small literary journal with no distribution, so if you just happen to be a publisher and you happen to be in the mood to publish it, you should let me know that.  😀

This past Friday, I recorded my first ever podcast interview with the good folks at Newbie Writers.  Have you ever wondered what I sound like?  Wonder no more!  Listen to my dulcet tones as I explain why my pets must be able to double as a food source.  It was a great interview and I had a lot of fun doing it.  I don’t plan to change my own interview format, but I had fun with the podcast, so maybe I’ll do something with that in the future.

More Fundraising For AWP

Most of you know that I am the webmistress for the Indiana University-South Bend Creative Writing Club.  If you’ve not heard, we are trying to raise funds so we can attend the Association of Writers and Writing Programs annual conference in late February 2014.  The conference changes cities every year, and this conference will be held in Seattle, Washington.

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AWP is a lot like the fortress in Krull. It’s constantly changing locations.

The money we raise will be to help us cover travel expenses and lodging.  We  held a fireworks fundraiser for the 4th of July holiday, but as anyone who lives in Northern Indiana can tell you, the weather refused to cooperate.  Now we’re starting a new fundraising event and you don’t have to live in Northern Indiana to help up out.

Brandy Bohm, Vice-President of the CWC, is holding a Perfectly Posh event from July 22nd until July 28th.  Perfectly Posh is a line of spa and pampering products that are not tested on animals.  Brandy is donating 100% of the proceeds to the AWP fund for the club.  There is a Facebook event page if you would like more information and you can go the the Perfectly Posh website to see their catalogue of products.  They make excellent gifts, as well.  If you are not local, Brandy will ship your orders to you.  This is a one week only event and every penny counts, so please consider pampering yourself or someone you love (or yourself and someone you love) and help this great group of writers attend this professional conference.  After the event closes, we will randomly select one person to receive an autographed copy of my book Celia from Rainstorm Press.  We will choose two other names to receive 3 Celia bookmarks.  They’re high quality and very shiny.  You’ll like them.  Celia has a 4.8 star rating on Amazon.

We appreciate all of your help.  And as a little added incentive, if we reach our goal as a result of this event, I will randomly select one person to be a character in my current work-in-progress, Enraptured.

What Happens When the Lights Go Out?

Why, we take our final exam in the dark.  Apparently, there was an accident yesterday afternoon that took out power to half of the city, campus included.  I did my best to convince my Professor that final exams were overrated anyway, and surely this was a sign that we didn’t really need one.  He didn’t buy it anymore than you just did.  So, we opened the blinds, sat with the lights out, and took our final.  I do feel I am adequately qualified to discuss with you, at length, Judith Butler’s theory of gender performativity and all of the many ways it is illustrated through Shakespeare’s comedies, how racism is inextricably entwined with Othello, the colonialism rampant in The Tempest, and how Elizabethan England had a seriously messed up world view and how that totally harshed Hamlet’s mellow.

Because there were no lights, there was also no awards ceremony last night.  I’m not sure when that will be rescheduled, or if it will be rescheduled, but it’s ok.  I also finally tracked down my honors cords.  I don’t know what makes me more proud: that I earned the cords or that I figured out how to properly wear the cords.  They came with an instruction card.  Yes, it was that complicated.

Today is my last day of work before I get two glorious weeks of vacationy bliss.  I’m spending the weekend with my small men, and then on Monday it’s back to work on Enraptured.  I’m starting to get nasty emails about its lack of completedness.  Someone even threatened to withhold pie.  Shit just got real.

The Finish Line is in Sight

I’m finally caught up enough on everything that I’m no longer freaking out about it on a regular basis.  If you are in the area and would like to go, there is a reading at The Well on April 28th (next Sunday) at 2pm.  I’ll be the featured reader at that event and I plan to read the first chapter of Celia, my short story “Blood and Rain,” and if there is time, a couple of the shorter pieces from Some Reassembly Required.  If you are local and would like to read at this event, there are some open slots left, so leave a comment or send me an email, or invite me over for refreshments and let me know.  I can get you in touch with the proper people for that.

Graduation is just over two weeks away.  The ceremony will be held on May 7th at the Joyce Athletic Center on Notre Dame campus at 7pm.  It’s free, so if anyone would like to attend that, you are most welcome to.  I hope to have some pictures, so I’ll post a couple so you can see my spiffy honors cords.  😀

Awards Ceremonies and College Football

You probably don’t know this, but my boyfriend is obsessed with the University of Michigan football program.  It’s so bad that I would have to name my only daughter, should I ever choose to have one (and I don’t, so there’s that) Maisey Blue after their school colors.  My dog was moments away from being named Victor because their fight song is “Hail to the Victors.”  It’s bad.  I mention this obsession because today is the U of M Spring Game and he wanted to be in Ann Arbor, Michigan to see it.  The problem, because of course there is one, is that today is also my awards ceremony for “Blood and Rain.”  It’s going to be cold in Ann Arbor.  He should be thanking me.

Dr. Amina Gautier was this year’s guest judge for the writing awards.  Her short fiction collection At Risk won the Flannery O’Connor award for short fiction so you can imagine how excited I am that she chose my story to win.  She’ll be at IU-South Bend for a Q&A at 4 pm in 1001 Wiekamp Hall if anyone is local and would like to attend.  It’s open to the public and it’s free.  The awards ceremony itself will be at 7 pm in the same location.  I will get my award for my story and Dr. Gautier will read from her award-winning collection as well.  The Analecta, the journal my story appears in, will be released after the ceremony.  Those are also free to the public, so if you want one, you should pop on by and grab one.

And the Winner is…

Wow, today has been a very busy and exciting day for me.  First off, my short story “Blood and Rain” won first prize in the IU-South Bend English Department Writing awards.  There will be a formal awards ceremony for that next month and a ceremony for Analecta, the journal that published “Blood and Rain” in two weeks.

On April 28th, I’ll be the featured reader at The Well.  Local writers will be reading their work and I’ll be doing a short reading from Celia and then reading “Blood and Rain.”  If you’re in the South Bend, Indiana area, you should try to make it.  It should be a great time.

And last, but certainly not least, the amazing Susan Dorsey had me over to chat on her blog today.  We chat about Celia and a bit about my current work in progress, Enraptured.

Cracking the Whip

One of the many projects that I’ve been working on is being the webmistress for my university’s Creative Writing Club.

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The only thing that should wear this much leather is a cow.

I won’t lie, some mornings (translation: all week) I wake up and I just don’t want to deal with it.  And then I pull up the blog and start in on the day’s writing prompt.

I have not had the chance to write on any of them because of all the other stuff going on.  If you get the chance, you should check them out.  The book I’m pulling the information out of was one I used for my advanced fiction writing class and the end result of the class was the publication of Celia.  These are especially great if you’ve always wanted to write, but had no idea where to start, what to do, or was too scared of ridicule to try.  You have to be local if you want to attend the club’s weekly workshops, but you can participate online almost as much.  You’ll meet people who just started writing and who have been writing for awhile.

Stop on by and then tell me what you think of things.

Updates and Whatnot

I’ve been battling a second round of flu this week, but I’m happy to report I’m finally on the winning side.  Still sick, but not begging people to rob pharmacies anymore.  Yes, I actually did this.  No, there were no pharmacies robbed as a result of my illness.  Before you judge me, you should know that at one point my face looked and felt like this from all the sinus pressure:

Puffer fish photo

The week wasn’t all bad, though.  I received word that I was unanimously accepted into my grad school program.  I start in the fall and I have my classes already picked out.  It’s only six more weeks until graduation.  As part of my multimedia writing class, I have to build an online portfolio.  I’ll be sure to post links to that once it’s up and running.  I plan on including a book trailer for Celia, so if you’ve been waiting to get it, hopefully it will convince you to wait no longer.  Since I’ve been sick, and all of my efforts have revolved around breathing properly, Recommend It Monday will be put on hold next week.  Instead, I’ve invited Lori Michelle over to vist for the first ever author interview.  I wanted to add this as a Tuesday blog feature, and will in the future, but this week I’m going to cheat a little bit.  At least I’m honest about it.  I was recently interviewed about Celia as well.  That interview will be posted on April 24th, and I’ll provide links to that.  The poetry chapbook is almost finished.  I’m waiting to get some feedback on the MS before I decide I’m officially done with it.  Hopefully, I’ll have some official news on it in the next few months.

New Publication Announcement

I just received word that my short story “Blood and Rain” will be published through Analecta, the Indiana University-South Bend’s literary journal.  Traditionally, Analecta has hated me, so I’m very excited to be included in it this year.  I haven’t heard back on the poetry I submitted, but I’m guessing that it was not accepted.  I’m ok with that, though.  My fiction piece made it in.

In other rejection news, I still have not heard back from Yale on the writers conference this summer.  The hear back date was March 20th, and I sent a follow up email after that date with no word.  I am assuming they did not accept me into the conference.  I’m sad, but it was a lot of money to come up with in short notice.  Instead, I found a conference in Ireland at Lismore Castle.  And by me, I mean someone else entirely.  It costs more, and it’s international so travel will be more plus that whole passport thing.  Still, it’s good to dream and the conference isn’t until December so it’s also good to save.  I may pull it off yet.

No word, yet, on the status of my grad school application.  I’ve been told not to worry because I’m going to be accepted, but there are a lot of things I can’t do until I’m officially in the program.  Things like picking out my classes.

In a few weeks I should be hearing back on all the scholarships I’ve applied to.  Grad school will be less stressful if I can pay for it.

Recommend It Monday–Out to Lunch

This image is not intended for commercial use.

This image is not intended for commercial use.

As I mentioned last week, RIM is on vacation today.  I’ll be back next Monday, though.  Spring Break is this week, so I’m looking forward to the time off.  I finished my Othello paper last week, so I only have my Chaucer paper to write.  I have some miscellaneous items to finish up through the week, but mostly, I have the time to catch up on rest and reading.  If you have not yet done so, why not join me over at the IU-South Bend Creative Writing Club for some writing prompts?  We’re getting some great stuff posted.  I’ll be posting today’s prompt in a bit.

Some good news: I had a company contact me for a position today.  I’m a little sad I won’t be able to take it because it sounded really interesting.  It would mean relocating, though, and I have grad school here, so that’s not going to work.  Still, they came to me so I’m pretty happy about that.

I should have an empty house which means I might even get some writing done.  I still have work this week, but it’ll be a lot easier without classes after.

Hope the weather is turning sunnier and warmer wherever you are and have a Happy Monday!

Michiana Monologues

Tonight is the first showing of the Michiana Monologues.  It’s been going for a few years now, but this is my first year going.  I submitted a monologue, and I’m curious to see if it made it into the show.  It’s patterned after Eve Ensler’s “Vagina Monologues” and features the stories of local women.  All of the proceeds benefit support services for women who have been victims of sexual and domestic violence. If you’re in the area, and you’re interested in catching the show, it starts at 7 tonight and tomorrow night in the auditorium of North Side Hall on IU-South Bend’s campus.  There is a silent auction before the show starts and you’re sure to hear some amazing stories.  You might even hear mine.

NEW at IUSB: Creative Writing Club

If you are a part of the greater Michiana/IU-South Bend community, you might want to check this out.  This is a new creative writing club that is open to the community, as well as students.  You do not need prior creative writing experience, nor do you have to be an English Major to participate.  It’s workshop based and I’m sure it will be a lot of fun as well as a great experience for the beginning writer.

NEW at IUSB: Creative Writing Club.

“Day Off” is a Mythical Creature

I don’t know about you, but my days off never feel like days off.  There’s always a million things that need to get done.  It’s been a rather productive morning, though, and this stuff won’t do itself.

  • Updated my book contract and reviewed my quarterly royalties statement.  That was pretty neat, actually, since my book just came out last quarter.  If you have not yet read it, please consider doing so.
  • Made edits to a story I have coming out in a few weeks.  The name of the collection has not been decided on yet, so when I have it I’ll pass that information along.
  • Formatted and submitted two manuscripts for my university’s English Dept. Writing Awards and the campus literary journal Analecta.  If you submit for one, you’re automatically considered for the other, which is handy.  I sent one manuscript for fiction and one for poetry.  Analecta has a history of hating my work, so I’ll be posting my first rejection blog in a few weeks. 😀

I’m hoping once I get through the homework portion of my day that I can get to work on some new poetry pieces.  I wrote a new piece last night, and I’d like to continue down that road and see where it takes me.