We have two invasive plants that grow on our five acres of mostly woods. One is garlic mustard, a biennial that sounds like it would make a great culinary addition to any meal. This one we have mostly under control, thanks to our friend, Jay, who sprays non-invasive chemicals throughout the growing season. It doesn’t kill our lovely woodland flowers: sweet william, lupine, phlox, Turk’s Cap lillies and many other varieties. But if we don’t manage the garlic mustard, it does attempt to take over; it is prolific and highly pervasive.
Our other species of concern is common and glossy buckthorn. It is able to spread aggressively because it thrives in habitats ranging from full sun to shaded, and is an abundant seed grower. There is also speculation that they are allelopathic, using toxins to outcompete other vegetation. Well, you can imagine how relieved I feel to have had a team of landscapers working on removing our buckthorn completely. It was not an easy project, but so necessary. To have those sight lines opened up again, and to spot even more woodland creatures: fox, deer, coyote. Oh boy!
In getting ready for my upcoming Flash in the Pan course that I will be teaching at Redbird- Redoak on October 30th, I made a list of writers and artists whose work had, continue to have, an impact on my short fiction: William Vollman, Anais Nin, Donald Barthelme, Rumi, e.e. cumings, Hafiz, Jayne Bowles, Joseph Campbell, Jamaica Kincaid, Barry Yourgrau, Margaret Atwood, Rimbaud, Kenneth Patchen, Jack Kerouac, Patti Smith, Laurie Anderson. Maybe take a moment to create a short list of those artists whose lives or work have impacted yours?
Here are the places you can find my work published this past month:
“Semaphores” at Amphibi.us: 2010 September 15 | amphibi.us
“Zasu Pitts” at: The Camel Saloon: Zasu Pitts
“Test” at Indigo Rising:Indigo Rising Magazine. Also inclusion of “Box Elders” in Indigo Rising Print Edition #3.
“Harley Heaven” at Orion headless:Harley Heaven | Orion headless
“Pool Hall” at Girls with Insurance: Pool Hall | GwI
“Salt” at Magnolia’s Press: “Salt,” Robert Vaughan | Magnolia’s Press
A thousand thanks to editors: Shawn, Shannon, Russell, Tannen and Michael, Sara, Dawn, and Will. Behind every amazing web or print zine is a person or a staff that makes tough decisions. I am so honored to be found among these pages.
I also want to give a huge shout to my girl, Amanda Deo, for honoring me with editor credit on the latest Thunderclap! Press, Numero Tres: The Femme Fatale issue! I was so excited to find this all female issue chock full of inspirational points of view, and the gamut of female experiences. You can order that here, and please do!
Also, Amanda and I are looking forward to reading submissions for the upcoming Thunderclap! Magazine Numero Quatro issue. Theme? LOVE! Send us your LOVE poems and LOVE flash pieces. Today! Here is the place to mail them:
Last Friday I was able to scoot over to Madison to take in the Wisconsin People & Ideas book fest reading at Avol’s. This was to honor the winners’ of their 2009 annual Wisconsin People & Ideas contest. The top three poets read (keep an eye out for the first place winner, Austin Smith, who’s first book “in the silence of the migrated birds” is out by Parallel Press). And the top three fiction readers read, topped off by dear friend and bottomless talent, Sheila Hanrahan. She read her 1st place winner, “Anything that Sticks” which was included in the Summer 2010 Wisconsin People & Ideas magazine. Sheila was fantastic, and her story held me on the verge of tears numerous times. Here is more information about the contest winners, and also a link to this year’s contest:
In closing, I was surprised to see a friend make a recent comment on my blog. She and I met briefly the first morning of the Iowa Summer Writing Festival in July. We were early birds, eagerly among the first to check in that morning, and fell easily into chatting about our craft, lives, and the world-at-large. After we attended the massive “welcome” session for all writers, all workshops, we departed to our separate writing worlds, never to see one another again. And yet…this is one of those fantastic things about the internet! She tracked me down through my blog! Yes, I know, I could delve into the darker realms of the internet, and I might wait to do so, as I am seeing “The Social Network” movie today. Instead I’ll just say, thanks, Nancy, for finding me!