Hope everyone found a small piece of joy during the holidays.We spent a quiet Christmas at home with the beasts (two cats and a dog, all aging, all with health and personality quirks), watching movies and reading. It was peaceful and serene, and I was so happy that I baked a loaf of bread. There’s something about the smell of baking bread, isn’t there? Something life-affirming and warm and hopeful. Something that eases one’s hunger.
I was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize by The Boiler Journal. I’m thankful and grateful that the editors found my work worthy.
I first discovered the Pushcart Prize series years ago when I was an undergraduate at Western Michigan University studying anthropology and English. I carried a volume home from the library (without bothering to check it out–sorry) and curled up in the apartment I shared with my best friend (who would later betray me and steal my cat, but that’s another story), and began reading. I didn’t stop for days. I cut all of my classes, stayed in bed amongst those filthy sheets, with my surly cat and the smell of my sweaty armpits, which I found oddly comforting, and I read the collection from cover to cover.
A few weeks later I came across Catherine Gammons’ short story “Night Vision” in the Missouri Review and I fell head over heels for Gammon and words and the weight of syllables lingering fat and heavy across my tongue.
Now I am here in Alaska, writing through the blue-tinted winter darkness.
Speaking of Alaska, the Alaska Dispatch mentioned me in their year-end state writers’ roundup. I’m excited and grateful for their support, except ummm, they got it a wee bit wrong:
Honorable Mention: The Best American Sports Writing 2013 for Cinthia Ritchie’s essay “Running”
Cinthia Ritchie may not have had a whole book published, but her remarkably moving essay “Running,” first featured in the literary magazine Sport Literate, and later as one of 26 pieces of sports writing included in the annual anthology. The essay, written in a breathless, frantic tone meant to mimic running, recounts Ritchie’s own personal struggles through her passion for the sport. Runner’s World called Ritchie’s essay — on the “transcendent” power of running — a “gem.”
But I did! I did publish a book in 2013, a real book through a real New York publisher.