Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Current Reading List (& Middle School Memories)


Last night I finished reading Margaret Atwood's The Testaments. I think everyone should read the writing of Margaret Atwood. If it's been many years since you've read The Handmaid's Tale, you'll be fine. The second time I read The Handmaid's Tale was about five years ago. You could probably even read The Testaments first and then The Handmaid's Tale (even with a big gap between reading the books), but you should definitely read both for the full impact.

I had disturbing dreams while reading The Testaments, but I also had disturbing dreams while recently watching the Netflix documentary series The Family. And of course, it's the Trump era... A completely crazy, corrupt Gilead style of life feels much more possible now than any other time before. At least in my lifetime. (The end of The Family is connected to the Trump era and brings to mind every dystopian novel and short story I've ever read.)

I read The Handmaid's Tale for the first time when I was in seventh grade. One of my teachers saw me with the book and said, "That's a scary book, kiddo." I didn't say anything, but I decided if she brought it up again (she didn't), I would tell her my mom gave it to me. (Which was true.)

I remember that in seventh grade I also read The Thorn Birds (don't judge me, I was thirteen), and the autobiography of Bill T. Jones called Last Night on Earth. I cried so much during the section about Arnie Zane's death. Luckily, I was at home when I read that part so I didn't sob in public. This is the cover of Last Night on Earth:
In seventh grade we had a free reading period. The guy who sat next to me (who I ended up dating part of my junior year of high school) said to me, "You're only reading that because he has his shirt off." I looked at him, probably smugly, and said "He's gay." He looked shocked and said nothing to me for the rest of the day.

Anyway... Next up I'm going to read Bully Love by Patricia Colleen Murphy. I really like her writing and I really like Press 53 so I'm really curious about it. Also on my reading list is Lara Vapnyar's Divide Me By Zero, Sonny Brewer's A Sound Like Thunder, and Mary Biddinger's Partial Genius.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Best of the Net Nomination (& Looking Back)

I found out last week a poem of mine was nominated by the publication Vending Machine Press for Best of the Net. You can read the piece here. Thank you so much to Vending Machine Press. 

I actually found out about it a bit late because sometimes I don't check social media for up to two weeks at a time. I know that's sort of a big gap, but it feels like a compromise to me. (Using some social media, but not letting it distract me too much. It still distracts me though.) The best way to contact me is email. meg4margaret@gmail.com

Finding out about the nomination made me think about the first time I was ever nominated for anything, which was a Best of the Net nomination in 2010. I was stunned. Then I was really excited. (You can currently read that poem here. It's the only place I could find it online.) 

I think it's good for me to reflect. I feel like I have too many days now of feeling dissatisfied with myself. A big part of this is because I still have serious fatigue after Guillain-Barré Syndrome, even though I technically made a full recovery. I found out this issue with fatigue a long time after GBS is incredibly common. The good thing is, other than motion sickness (throwing up in a plastic bag one time), recent travel has been great!

Anyway... I think I have my website fairly up-to-date. 

I think those are all of my updates for now. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Photos: 31 Days in Fairhope, Alabama (Writer-In-Residence)

I'm back from my August residency. I enjoyed my time as a midwesterner in the deep south. Fairhope, Alabama is a bit like a southern version of Madison, Wisconsin, which I mean as a huge compliment. It's a great community that takes the arts very seriously. I felt drawn to experiencing the south because of southern literature and southern writers. The residency gave me time to work on a project that is very different from what I have previously written, which I won't go into detail about right now. Leaving Fairhope was bittersweet.

Thank you to Fairhope Center for the Writing Arts, Friends of the Fairhope Public Library, Skip Jones, Margie Gewirtz, Randal Wright, Gil Wright, Tamara Dean, Nan Denson, Elsie Pritchard, bj Cooper, Linda Foster, Betty Bowdoin, Mary Streu, Patsy Napier, Deborah Pennington, Sonny Brewer, Convergence Book Club, Book Club Night at Page and Palette, and whoever makes the peanut butter fudge sold at Greer's.

There are a lot of photos in this post. Before August, I read various articles and blog posts about Fairhope and about the residency which really helped me prepare. I thought maybe this post could add on a tiny bit to all the helpful information online. I recommend bringing plenty of bug spray in the summer. 

The photos of different places are interspersed. Locations in the photos include Wolff Cottage, Fairhope Public Library, downtown Fairhope, Gulf Shores, Eastern Shore Arts Center, Panini Pete's, and Fairhope Municipal Pier. I didn't use any filters or edit the photos in anyway, other than cropping some of the pictures. I thought I would mention it just because there is so much over editing of photos now.