Hello All! I’m posting a link to an interview I did with the staff of The Offbeat after placing first in their CNF contest. It is such a wonderful magazine–check it out!
So I’m really excited about this one! My lyric essay “15 Rounds” won The Offbeat’s 2016 Creative Nonfiction Competition. The essay is structured as a round (inspired by Gwendolyn Brooks’s poem “We Real Cool”) and combines several threads (meditations on the number 15, memories of myself at 15, and the 15 minute rounds we do at work). It is one of my favorite pieces I’ve written, and I am so honored that The Offbeat selected me as their winner.
“15 Rounds” is in Volume 17, Fall 2016, and can be ordered here: http://offbeat.msu.edu/purchase/
And, even if you’re not interested in my essay, check out the magazine anyway. It’s a wonderfully quirky, brilliant collection of some phenomenal writing (mine doesn’t come close to some of the pieces there!)
(Sorry in advance for the political post)
It has been forever since I’ve updated, I know. I would offer excuses, but they don’t matter. Here’s what does matter: not posting is no longer an option.
I spent a great deal of last year in a haze–a good haze: finishing my MFA, getting married, spending time with my sister and four beautiful nephews while they were visiting from Ireland, and a bad haze: volunteering for campaigns that didn’t succeed, reeling from disbelief as someone was elected to the highest office with no experience and no willingness to learn–and the haze meant that I wasn’t writing. Not only was I not blogging, but I wasn’t creating ANYTHING. Not sending out my memoir. Not revising or writing new pieces for my essay collection about living as a bisexual liberal feminist in a red state. Not working on a novel about addiction. Nothing. Nada.
Then the inauguration happened. Then the executive orders began, and the nominations for deplorable people in ill-fitted positions. And I was still reeling. Then the discrediting of the media, labeling outlets such as CNN(!) as fake news, and calling lies “Alternative facts.” I did my part, I thought–I made signs, I marched, I rallied.
But then I remembered a quote from Angels in America:
“We won’t die secret deaths anymore. The world only spins forward. We will be citizens. The time has come. Bye now. You are fabulous creatures, each and every one. And I bless you: More Life. The Great Work Begins.”
Silence is no longer an option. I cannot allow my writing to die a secret death, no more than I can allow others to silence it. When the media is silenced, it will be up to the rest of us to speak out, to share information. And it works–a potential LGBTQ discriminatory executive order was not signed. Many of my more conservative friends and family members are speaking out.
And I am writing. I am creating. This is my task in the great work. And I am beginning.