I’ve been off the grid, or at least the world wide grid. With teaching, editing for a literary journal, and publishing I’ve been busy. I’ve also been publishing (or trying to publish) some of my work with literary journals, so most of my writing isn’t on this blog anymore. But I’ve started using Twitter and would like to follow those of you who have an artistic presence there too. My Twitter is @haylimayli, let’s do this!
I’ve just recently returned from one of the greatest events I’ve ever attended, Hippocamp 2016! Not only did I get the opportunity to hear amazing speakers, but I gave a presentation on composite characters. Even more, there were so many excellent writers of nonfiction and memoir, including Mary Karr.
First of all, she looks so. damn. young.
Secondly, a woman ask her a question and cried. Mary Karr descended from the “stage” area and embraced her. I was among many, voiced and unvoiced, who wanted to be immediately adopted.
Moral of the story- go next year. I want to hear from you and to meet you!
BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog
I did not eat six pieces. I may have eaten four.
Gentle Readers, I come to you from Amsterdam Schipol, my second-favorite airport, where I can get a haircut and some tulip bulbs and eat hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles) on toast.
It’s the little things.
At Hippocamp 2016, it was also the little moments that made the conference so worthwhile. The creative nonfiction conference is in its second year, and attendance was up to just over 200 writers. Large enough to meet a lot of new people, small enough to meet them more than once. Big enough to have memoir rock stars and small enough to personally interact with rising stars.
I always think I’ll write at a conference, and I mostly don’t. That’s not really the point. While there were a few generative sessions, and the opening day workshops involved creating or editing, conferences are mostly about information sharing–connecting…
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1000 feet up and I cannot see Canada as Superior stretches her waves across the horizon. Kirtland warblers call as I hang my hammock between Jack pines. Three hammocks, one of cloth, sharing four trunks. I’m swinging over a cliff, over the part of Michigan forgotten, the part some leave off of maps and even at its very edge. Here you can sip from a flask, drink rain water from basins in the stone. Here you can eat wild blueberries, can sleep overnight off the ground and away from prying eyes. Here, you can be what people were meant to be.
What’s in a name? That which we call thesis
by any other name would just as reek.
My Moscato highlights my task.
I have not posted in a while. Sometimes pain fuels writing, other times it stunts it. It has been two months since the suicide of someone I loved dearly, yet today I found out that he had a shortcut to my blog on his desktop.
Yesterday, I sobbed drunkenly into the arms of countless friends. I can’t remember how I got home.
Today, I published my first paid poem with Haiku Journal!
Last year, I lost three people I truly loved, and three beautiful mammals as well.
This year, I got invited to speak at two conferences and have received full funding for them!
I know this is not a poem or a story, an essay or a painting, I know this is not what you’re used to reading from me, but this needs to be said.
Dark and light, joy and sorrow, these are not opposites. They can exist at the same time, in the same place. Writing is how I balance these things. Writing saves my life every day, whether it’s in a private journal or on this blog among writers much more talented than I’ll ever be.
I’m an associate editor and assistant web editor for Passages North, a fantastic literary journal with a large readership that publishes all over the world! We’re opening our Submittable for submissions next week, and you should send us your greatest fiction, nonfiction, hybrid, spoken word, or traditional poetry. Take a look at the site to see what we’re looking for, as some pieces are available free online. Our graduate assistants all read for it so we’ve got a pretty fast turnaround. I’d love to see your previously unpublished work submitted!
Thanks for sticking around with me!
PS: You can like us on Facebook for updates and contests! (Hehe, I’m shameless, but I really love this journal!)
“We see it with children–that’s not happiness, that feeling of having to obey every impulse and gratify every desire, it seems to me to be a strange kind of slavery.”
-David Foster Wallace
This man has said something I’ve been trying to express my entire life. I have instincts, I have desires, there are things I’ve craved for years but never reached for. I don’t like being a slave to my biology, the neurotransmitters that beg me to please, just do it. I like the sensation of hunger, of pain, sexual desire, of disappointment because I know I have control over myself. I know I can be better than my body, more than just human. I try to be less selfish, I’m doing all I can. It’s hard, but damn is it satisfying to work toward even a moment of self-transcendence.
I’m sorry for all the suffering that man had to go through to produce the art he did for the world.