April 2013

I was besotted with the online journal Sleet as soon as I saw it, first because of the line (a true exchange from a writing workshop) that gives it its name:

“Ice crystal rain fell from a gray-black sky.”

“Ice crystal rain? Why don’t you just call it sleet?”

And then by the content. I submitted an essay, but the editor, Susan Solomon, informed me that they don’t publish straight-on nonfiction. She steered me to Sleet’s “Irregulars”–a category for vignettes, odds & ends. I went to the folder I call “Orts and fragments” (from Virginia Woolf of course), where I stow writerly musings, responses to prompts, starts & fits, snippets to save for possible future use.

“Word of the Day” (linked here)  is one of these, and I’m happy to have it in the new issue of Sleet. I’m in good company too–click on “Irregulars” (after you’ve read mine, of course) and check out some of the other pieces.

Susan also solicited a recipe from me for her Winter 2012 Sweet Sleet Supplement. My “Hello Dollies” are immortalized in the archives.

Exactly–not 499, not 501. That was the challenge put out by Marco Polo Arts Magazine last year. I thought it would be a terrific editing exercise, and it was: slicing and dicing a 3000-word essay down again and again, until it was just a shadow of its former self, while trying to keep the essence intact. Writing in the second-person plural was my other challenge with this piece, using the voice of “we”–a kind of Greek chorus–that I so admired in The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides.

The result is “Kissing Frogs,” linked here, which was one of the winning pieces and just published. It’s about online dating–a true story, though fortunately not my personal experience; I’m just a bystander, coach and chronicler, one of the chorus. Names and identities have been changed to protect all of us.