Tag: Literary Orphans

My New Story at Literary Orphans and Ocean Beach, Sand Diego

My new story, “A Crash in Boston,” went live today at Literary Orphans.  I blogged a couple of weeks ago about the publication in a post called, “Published Three Years Later…”  So, just to keep you up to date, I tried for three years to publish “A Crash in Boston.”   In 2010, it won a contest at my graduate school, and all the rejections I received afterwards really humbled me in a lot of ways.  Being a writer, well, it’s a tough battle, and the biggest confrontation is with the self, especially when you receive so many rejections.  I just kept on fighting.  I hope you’ll give it a read. Here’s the story: A Crash in Boston.

Reading at Florida International University

The story is about James Tully.  He’s back in his hometown from college for his grandfather’s memorial.  And the only thing he wants is to get the hell out of his town.  Home, to James, feels like a prison, and he needs, more than anything, to avoid the reality of his mother’s worsening mental condition.  He just needs to get away.  Well, what he finds out on the snow covered highways that head into Boston is that sometimes, no matter how hard James tries, certain paths and outcomes are out of his control. But the story is based on my life.  I used to know a man — someone who I admired very much — who drive me to the airport.  My mother would never drive me to the airport.  The roads into Boston freaked her out.  It was a complicated journey for her.  And while Mr. Kaminski, the driver in the story, is based on the man I knew; there are many fictional liberties.  He was a great man. It’s been a long time coming for this story.  And I’m very excited to have it published.  It’s good to take a moment, really only a second, and appreciate my journey.  There’s also a great interview with Joe Clifford on the site — a FIU MFA alum. I found myself taking a moment this weekend to reflect.  Heron was out of town, so I went and saw her sister and her sister’s boyfriend in San Diego — a whale’s vagina.  They live in Ocean Beach, and we went to Pacific Beach one night.  That area is so interesting.  Everyone seems like they’re clawing at life, demanding the world give them every inch of life and pleasure and adventure possible.  It’s like a bunch of people with the same mentality from all over the country moved to one place, because they woke up one day and realized there was something better out there.
And San Diego is incredible.  The ocean, the islands — it’s still so new to me — the weather.  I swear, I could make a million dollars if I figured out how to bottle the air in San Diego. I would send the bottles back to New England in January and make a killing.  People would be sitting there and opening up bottles, sniffing the San Diego air. What a trip. We all went out one night, and at one point, I snuck off from the group.  We were at some bar that reminded me of a place I went to in college.  So I went down to the ocean, and I watched the water, the waves, crawling along the beach.  It just kept coming.

Ocean Beach, San Diego.

I just stared at the water for a few minutes.  I thought about how far away I was from my hometown — Clinton, Mass.  And I thought about what a different person I was, and how I will never be the same person again. But when I reread my story, “A Crash in Boston,” it’s almost like looking at myself from a parallel universe.  While it’s fiction, that character, James Tully, is me.  It’s like staring into a mirror through a kaleidoscope.  And it’s just nice to look back sometimes.  Even if it hurts.

Published Three Years Later & Other Good News

This morning, I drove Heron to work, and on my way home, I heard John Lennon’s version of “Stand By Me.”  I knew it was going to be a good day, but I didn’t know how good.

When I got home, I walked Hendrix before I started working.  And on the walk, I received an email.  That email was informing me that my story, “A Crash in Boston,” was selected for publication in Literary Orphans.  Well, I was excited.  It comes out at the end of September, and they have published great writers like Tom Pitts and Joe Clifford.

Let me provide you with a little bit of back story.  In 2010, I won the fiction prize for graduate students at Florida International University.  The winning story was “A Crash in Boston.”  Well, I thought I was some hot shit.  I was just 24 years old, winning a graduate competition in a MFA program.

So I started sending the story out to literary magazines.  Not just any magazines — the top, la creme de la creme.   And do you know what I found: yeah, that’s right, rejection.  Boy I received so many rejections I stopped counting.  But if I had to guess, then I would say about 50.  My story received, at least, 50 rejections.  I revised, and I continued to believe.  Continue reading “Published Three Years Later & Other Good News”