I have a flash up at Sick Lit Magazine, “How to Date a Surfer.” Surfing in 1970s LA, full of crochet bathing suits, Leif Garrett, and “Vals Go Home” graffiti.
I’ve been writing a lot about middle school and friendships. Two of the flashes from these series are coming out this fall — “Butterfly” in Third Point Press and “Body Like Paper” in New South Journal. I’m excited to see these two come out! “Butterfly” is based on my own experiences in middle school, and “Body Like Paper” on my daughter’s, at the same middle school. So we’ve got the late 70s with charm necklaces and roach clips, and the present with Facetime and ballet. Social dynamics the same.
I’m a little late, so it’s not exactly new news, but my story “The Girl Who Flies With the Superhero” was published in the Summer Issue of The Vignette Review. I wrote this story as an exercise for a class with Kathy Fish, and it started off with my hearing the voice of a teenage girl dictating the first and last sentences to me.
“The Girl Who Flies With the Superhero” is meant as sort of the little sister of “The Girl” in “The Girl Who Waits for the Superhero.” That story, the product of watching too many superhero movies and TV shows (which my younger daughter adores), was written when I was recovering from having my appendix out. It was originally published in Atlas and Alice and was just reprinted in a local literary journal, S-Curves.
My story “E Ticket” went live at Little Fiction this week. And I’m totally excited that Longform picked it as its fiction pick of the week.
This story is part of a linked series of stories about Maddy and her daughter Summer, two of which have been published at Atticus Review and The Rumpus. Lisa and Nancy (because every girl in the 80s was named Lisa or Nancy!), Maddy’s . . . “friends” in this story, also appear in other (as yet unpublished and in need of revision) stories as well. As I wrote in my self-interview at the Alternating Current blog, I’m fascinated with teen friendship (and adult friendship too). I’m also convinced that mean girls have a story too. (And Maddy’s daughter is a mean girl, although not in any published story yet.)
My goal for this story was to write a story with a “continuous take” (as if I were filming it in one long shot), something I’d never done before, aside from flash. And, of course, to imbue it with all the 80s and old Disneyland imagery I could, although I did have to tweak it a bit (for example, I restructured the atommobiles and the ride a bit so Maddy could get out of the atommobile at the climax).
Growing up in LA meant that we went to Disneyland at least once a year. I remember one great trip, in junior high, where my sister and I went multiple times on Space Mountain because there were no lines — an anomaly. Adventure Thru Inner Space, the Disneyland ride in this story, is close to my heart, this crazy ride where the riders are injected into a snowflake. I loved it. And it’s in sharp contrast with a lot of the rides now, which have movie tie-ins. (Even the old Pirates of the Caribbean has been Johnny Depp-ized.) Since it was sponsored by Monsanto until the end of the 1970s, after you got off, you had to walk through a hall of Monsanto’s science miracles. I no longer know whether my memories of this are real, or are colored by all the research I did on Adventure Thru Inner Space (and Disneyland in the 80s), but I “remember” seeing polyester or nylon shirts and other products like pesticides in that hall!
Supposedly, if you go on the ride that’s there now — some Star Wars thing — you can see the Mighty Microscope during the ride.
I have a story, “E Ticket,” going live at Little Fiction on June 1. The trailer for the story is here, and it is truly amazing.
I’ve got some upcoming publications I’m pretty excited about.
First, a flash, “River of Running Lava,” has been accepted by Necessary Fiction, and will be published sometime in the next few weeks! I wrote this after being immersed in Elena Ferrante’s novels about Naples.
My short story “E Ticket” will appear in June in Little Fiction. This is the “E Ticket” I’m referring to.
A flash, “The Girl Who Flies With the Superhero” will appear in the Summer 2016 issue of The Vignette Review.
“We’ll Fly Away” will be included in the Sky+Sea Anthology by Sugared Water/Porkbelly Press (which makes beautiful hand-bound chapbooks and magazines).