A little news about my short fiction manuscript, We Don't Celebrate That:
1) I just got the new issue of Grain (40.3), which contains my story "You Didn't have to Tell Him." It's a great looking issue, with some unsettling art by Zachari Logan on the cover and throughout the journal, and great work by Sheri Benning, "Gone." I've long admired the way she writes about Saskatchewan, our common home, especially since I've made my own attempts since I was quite young, and have not quite succeeded, where it seems she does so effortlessly. A line from "Gone," for instance -- "The farm, sold, and our blue spruce, their sleek shadows all we knew of water on skin during those years of drought, are dying too."-- captures somehow everything I know about my own background, the endurance of my relatives, the harsh landscape, and my own necessary leaving.
And again, in a poem called "Saskatchewan," in the same issue, by Bruce Rice, the lines:
Then between this blue and this,
the world went on, creating itself over and over,
a rasping sound, then nothing--
Anyway, I grew up reading Grain, and wanting to be in it. This was when it was smaller and literary journals seemed more rare. It was back in the old days, when we had no cable television out on the farm and so we didn't know anything about the NBA except a few names and our heroes were players on the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, or the teams they played, like UVic. I was a point guard and I wanted to be Eli Pasquale, not Magic Johnson.
It was the same with Grain. I'd find the old issues in the old Westgate Books, when it was on the west side of Saskatoon, with its original owner. I'd find my models in there as I was learning to write.So it's always a great feeling to be published in there.
2) My story "Leave Her Alone" has been accepted by The Fiddlehead.
I've always struggled to reconcile the two competing impulses in my fiction, one toward minimalist realism (as the story in Grain is) and more voice-driven fiction, as this story is. The voice ones seem harder to place in journals, so I am really happy to have this one in The Fiddlehead. I reread it prior to sending off the digital version and it seems like a different mode completely, which makes sense. The novel I've been working on all year is 3rd person and realism. Still, it makes me want to get back to something a little more loose.