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We were able to bring our baby home today. She was born on Friday (8lbs, 5oz, 20.25 inches long). The delivery went pretty smoothly, both Nicole and baby did great. There was some trouble with Clara’s breathing that led to five days in the NICU, but all is well now and we’re grateful to be on familiar footing.
Out of more than 300 submissions, my short story “Shame Cycle” has been selected as one of ten finalists for PRISM international‘s 2012 Short Fiction Contest! Read PRISM‘s news release here. Jessica Grant will judge the finalists. Final results are expected within a couple weeks.
This is the second time “Shame Cycle” has been short-listed for a Canadian fiction prize. The story received finalist consideration in Matrix Magazine‘s (Montreal) LitPop contest. PRISM international is based out of Vancouver and published by the Creative Writing Program of the University of British Columbia. Apparently Canucks enjoy my tale of shame and transgression. God love ‘em for it.
Wish me luck!
An interview I did with notable novelist and memoirist Sigrid Nunez is up on the Prairie Schooner blog. I’m getting a little more comfortable with this interviewing gig, now that I’ve done a few. (Not counting high school journalism, I guess.)
Here’s a little about Sigrid.
Sigrid Nunez is the author of six novels, including The Last of Her Kind and, most recently, Salvation City. She is also the author of Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag. You can find more about Sigrid at her web site.
My contributor copy of the Spring 2012 issue of Boulevard arrived in the mail today!
Not only does the issue contain my short story “On a Train from the Place Called Valentine,” but there’s also fiction by Stephen Dixon, non-fiction by John Barth and Josip Novakovich, and poetry by Albert Goldbarth, Andrew Hudgins, and Floyd Skloot, among many others. (Did I mention John Barth?!) It’s a pretty stellar lineup. One I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of.
Boulevard puts out such a consistently great product. It’s hard to believe this is my third story published by them. “Welcome Home” appeared in the Spring 2008 issue–before it was anthologized in Best New American Voices 2009 and received special mention in the back of Pushcart Prize XXXIV. “The Approximate End of the World” was in the Spring 2010 edition, and will be noted as a “Distinguished” story in a forthcoming edition of New Stories from the Midwest.
Here’s an excerpt of “On a Train from the Place Called Valentine”:
It isn’t until later, when the freezing wind cuts through her, that Amy Gutschow actually considers what she’s doing. This is late December after all and she’s riding north on the bed of a railcar after sunset. She nestles into her downy black coat, shoves her hands deep into its pockets, and waits for the train to pass through a town where she can jump into a grassy ditch and roll away from the rails. She’ll have to call her father, wherever she lands, and beg him to pick her up, the way she did in college. A tall man with a dopey mustache, her father would wear gray sweatshirts and blue jeans, if he came for her on a weekend, or a tweed jacket and corduroy pants if he had to take time off from work. He never asked why she needed him, but just came for her, humming almost happily as they returned home. “My baby girl,” he’d say, as if it were part of an old song. “What has happened to you now?”
I love this cover.
Excellent books all.
Here’s what the jacket copy has to tell us about the book:
“Cheri and Geneva grew up on ‘a little patch of nothing made up of dairy farms in the valleys and boarded up iron-ore mines in the mountains, a town of old folks waiting to die and young people dying to leave.’ Now, Cheri has fled that life for the city, leaving Geneva behind to care for their aunt as she succumbs to cancer. Her death draws them back together, forcing them to face their past–and each other. When Cheri’s mother turns up with a strange baby and a dangerous secret close behind, the choices that follow will push all of them beyond boundaries they never thought they’d cross. In this stunning debut novel, Myfanwy Collins lays bare the hearts of three lost women called together by their own homing instincts in a season that will change their lives–and the place they call home–forever.”
Check it out. You won’t be disappointed, as Myfanwy if an immensely talented writer. Very happy for her and this opportunity.