August 2013

Writers often are embarrassed by their early work; they cringe at their rough edges, their lack of polish, & wish they could take it back and rewrite it, or disown it, bury it. But of everything I’ve written, I think I’m fondest of my first published piece, “Seventh Inning Stretch,” flaws and all. Maybe because it encompasses much of what I hold dear. And checking early memories with my brother brought us closer than we’ve ever been–that alone makes it special.

So I was delighted when Stymie, an online journal that focuses on sports in literature, asked to republish it. Here it is, “Seventh Inning Stretch” in its second incarnation, not really a double header, but I had to come up with a baseball analogy.

In May I had the honor of being named the National Award Winner by City Works, the annual literary anthology published  by  San Diego City College. At a launch party and awards ceremony, I joined student winners and authors from both the college and the community in reading from our work.

My winning piece, a personal essay called “In the Balcony,” (linked here), is proof that everything in our lives is potential material, but past relationships can be a goldmine, allowing you to laugh at yourself and exact a bit of revenge if appropriate. Remember to take notes!

The journal itself is beautifully designed and produced by SDCC students. The artwork on this year’s cover includes an excerpt, in Spanish and English, from Pablo Neruda’s “Ode to Peace and Quiet”:

Nothing on earth lacks a voice:
when we close
our eyes
we hear
things that slither,
creatures that are growing,
the creaking
of unseen wood,
and then
the world,
earth, heavenly waters,

I’ll drink to that…