Research Notes: The Gold Persimmon
"The plan was a one-night writing retreat in an upscale hotel, one night being all I could afford. The lobby was a rectangular chamber with a high glass ceiling, escalators rolling on a loop on either side of a cascading fountain, ferrying guests up, down, and away... They had my name, but it was meaningless to them. I was anyone, no one."
I Had Professional Nude Photos Taken To Surprise My Partner. It Was A Disaster.
"The experience of having nude photos taken, then pinning myself naked to the wall, frozen in a frame, was supposed to be the ultimate expression of confidence and self-love. Instead, it exposed raw layers of insecurity and amplified my feelings of self-doubt."
The Secret Practice of Writing at Work
"Overall, most people in your life will not understand what you do as a writer. Because literally anyone can type out or dictate words, most think writing isn’t a craft the way playing the violin is, or that it doesn’t require study and mastery. But they’re wrong. If your desire to write is part of what makes you you, you should protect that core of creativity. Cherish your writing and keep it at the center of your life."
How to Become a Feminist Horror Writer
"It’s the early 90’s. You watch “Gremlins” at a sleepover at your best friend’s house. You love sleepovers; you secretly pray you’ll never have to go home. Your friend and her parents chuckle at the scaly, horn-nailed puppets, while you—Muppet-lover that you are—cover your eyes, hurry out of the room."
5 Literary Cocktail Recipes Inspired by New Books
"Crafting a cocktail that embodies a written story—drawing upon the scents, flavors, and imagery that make the book unique—results in a sort of flavor narrative of my experience with the written text. The visceral experience of a cocktail becomes a tangible language to express what a book means to me, and how it’s affected me."
Turning Contemporary Fiction into Cocktails
"Once upon a marketing meeting, my publishers and I were brainstorming pre-order giveaway ideas for my debut novel when I offered to create a collection of cocktails and mocktails. Mixology is a hobby of mine, as my Instagram can attest. Plus, I’d already created one signature cocktail for The Gold Persimmon. What’s a few more?"
The History of Losing Your Grip
“The only sure thing about the future is that it is uncertain. Nevertheless, history shows us humans have marched on through wars and plagues before, collectively orchestrating atrocities along the way. It’s not the sound of our own howl we should fear, that barbaric yawp, as spiritual enthusiast Walt Whitman put it. If we desire catharsis, not destruction, accept the risk of marginalization and commune with the wolf within, we embrace the possibility of transcendence...”
Why Won't Men Leave Me Alone When I'm Trying to Read in Public?
“I am the kind of woman who goes to bars alone and reads books, regardless of poor lighting or noise level. I have a tremendous ability to block out surrounding sounds and distractions, and can lose myself in a book even amongst a noisy, boisterous crowd. It’s just a talent I have, and I don’t see any reason not to employ it. I enjoy being in the company of other humans without having to directly interact with them. I enjoy having a cocktail by myself while engaging with a piece of fantastic literature. But some men seem to find this behavior threatening and many are not as subtle about it.”
Review: Viable by Chloe Yelena MIller
"As a culture, we prefer sunny stories of motherhood, where the 'mommy' is blissfully exhausted yet cheerfully engaged with her charge. When the un-airbrushed truth comes out, it’s often greeted with disbelief and hostility. Take, for example, the reaction to Chrissy Teigen’s brave telling of her miscarriage. Many insisted they didn’t want to hear about the tragic transition from one state to another. Instead, the taboo of miscarriage renders this very common experience not just unspeakable, but impossible."
Kelly Link's New Short Story Collection Explores the Dark Side of Adolescence
"Link writes earnestly, her prose straightforward, never winking at the reader about her own clever imagination. There’s a clear parallel between her work and that of masterful contemporary writers like Karen Russell and Aimee Bender, who also weave fairytale elements into their stories with fantastic result. What sets Link apart is her resistance to the confines of genre. Despite our genre-obsessed literary culture, her stories keep readers guessing."
Reading Instruments: A Fictionista Reports on Monika Zobel's Poetry Collection An Instrument for Leaving
“My deadline is upon me. I am confident that if someone did a poll and asked the general population which produces more anxiety, the end of the world or a deadline, they would all choose the latter because the end is coming someday, but a deadline is happening right now. So, I bake muffins. Then I eat muffins. Then I pace, fiddle with my pen, press “print” and review the four or five pages I’ve got so far.”