Catching Up

That crash writing project left me reeling—I am very, very behind in posting here and reading all my favorite blogs. But what happened, you may wonder. Did I finish? I did. I did! So, yes, I would now like a lollipop.

In the past week, a scattering of things happened.

* A story of mine in a lit mag I admire!
One of my short stories appears in the latest issue of Small Spiral Notebook—an e-book of the issue is now available online until the printed copies are rescued. More info from the editor here. I hope you’ll consider supporting this incredible magazine. (And I’m not just saying that because they were nice enough to take my story, I swear!)

* More details on the crash:
So, somehow, with little sleep, many vitamin-C fizzy drinks, and intense drive, I made my deadline. The next night I had some extras to add in, and a few edits, and I made that, too. I would have expected to crash, literally, at this point—sleeping with abandon even through the alarm clock—but it was weird: I had caught a second (or third? or twenty-third?) wind. I wasn’t even tired anymore, just a little loopy. So I caught up on free episodes of Ugly Betty online, gazed intensely at the walls, fantasized a life near the Pacific Ocean, and went to bed as if it were any other day. Huh. I guess crash-writing isn’t so stressful after all. Good thing, because…

* Need a ghostwriter? I’m back.
I took a break, but after the crash project—same day as turning in the last little bits, in fact—I got asked to sample for another project. I have the spec assignment here, which involves watching some shows and reading some scripts to see if I can get the voice and then diving in for a sample chapter or two. I do hope it works out because I really like working with this editor. I’m also supposed to be sampling for something else; I might get the spec assignment next week. And why would I be doing this, after all I said about wanting to stay focused? 1) It pays. 2) It pays more—much more, when you add up the hours—than freelance copyediting. 3) There is something so incredibly fulfilling about seeing a book you wrote in print, even when your real name appears nowhere on it. I can’t explain that feeling. I mean, okay, the feeling is thousands of times better when it comes to the story in Small Spiral Notebook—nothing can compare to that. But since no book publishers are banging down my door begging to publish my real novel, I’ve got to do the next best thing. The challenge will just be finding a way to balance it with the writing that actually has my name on it. And I know it will be a challenge.

* A box of books on the floor of my kitchen.
Speaking of ghostwriting, two days ago I received a carton of novels I wrote, packed in a warped box filled with little styrofoam bits that smelled like someone’s cat. I picked up one of the books and sneezed. Still, I’m psyched to have them. Even if I have no one to show them to—except for my mother.

* And something to do this summer?
Also in the mail was an acceptance letter to a writers conference. I’m with W on this one–dying to go, but I can’t afford it—so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for any kind of scholarship they can offer. (This isn’t the one in Italy, though. Congrats, W!)

* Now back to the grind.
Just because I finished one deadline doesn’t mean I don’t have another. A copyediting project that was delayed for many months surprised me by arriving in my inbox, so here I am, two days to deadline, Webster’s 11th at my side, needing to stop this blog-updating and FOCUS. I won’t do a play-by-play on the editing, though. No “I’ve added a serial comma!” or “Typo #33!” I swear.

So all that was to say, this week was pretty decent. Now how are you?


  1. Congratulations Nova! I’m going to settle down with a cup of coffee in the morning and read your story. Wonderful that you’ve been published in a journal you admire and wonderful that all the other writing is coming on so well. I’m so glad for you.

  2. I read it and I loved it. I especially loved the image of Angela’s feet stroking Larry’s cheek, the image of their bodies in the frozen herbs, the heart at the beginning being echoed by the tomato at the end, Angela’s treachery, Delia’s hopelessness and Sandy’s abillty to give. It’s a gem, Nova.

  3. Just seeing it makes me think: Oh, yes, trouble. Then I try to come up with a good way to make her crazy.

    I really enjoyed Last Resort. The story itself–I loved how dry and matter-of-fact Angela’s tone was but still really raw and heartbreaking some people create chaos wherever they go and her mom, wow. I was surprised by Sandy and I was glad to be surprised by Sandy–and your style. I dig your style. The best kind of writing (to me) is the kind you don’t have to wade through and this was tight and effective. And the ending–the music I was listening to while I read really fit the experience and I’ll admit to a knot in my throat. It was just a really good read, Nova. Congratulations.

    And! Congratulations on meeting your deadline! And I hope the spec assignment turns out for you. I’ll be crossing my fingers. And more congrats (heh–so many!) on the acceptance to the writers conference–I’ll cross my other set of fingers for any scholarship possibilities!

  4. Yay nova! I really like the journal that has taken your short story, too. I can’t wait to get the edition with your work in it. Also, glad you found an editor you enjoy working with. Glad you are back to posting, too!

  5. Welcome back, and yay to all accomplishments! I really hope you get to go to the conference, too. Many fingers (and toes) crossed for you . . .

  6. Yojo, you said it all. It’s so weird—and exciting—to have people reading a story of mine! Thank you to any of you so kind as to check it out! I’m thrilled, as you can tell by all the exclamations.

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