The First Line has published my story "The Great White Way Is Where The Heart Is" in their winter volume. It's available for download on their site: http://thefirstline.com/index.htm or via the Kindle Store on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006XGLLSU or at bookstores around the U.S.: http://thefirstline.com/bookstores.htm
I'm excited to announce that The First Line is publishing my story "The Great White Way is Where the Heart Is." It's the second part of the tale of Tom and his twin sister and will be available this winter. Part one, or "The Homecoming," was published this summer, and the pdf version can still be purchased here: http://bluecubiclepress.com/TFLsummer2012.htm
I'll publish a link to the list of bookstores or to a pdf as soon as it's available for the second, more bittersweet part of the story. For a long essay about my experience writing this "novelette", please visit this link.
This past year I've been very fortunate to work quite a lot with Every Day Fiction and their sister site Every Day Poets. The feedback and insight I've received from the site's readers and editors has proved invaluable and has helped me grow in ways for which I'm incredibly grateful. Grown from someone who was half a writer, half an actor into someone who understands herself a little better and is putting all her energy into writing and nearly, finally and good God hopefully finishing up her first novel.
At first the unfiltered feedback frightened me, but over time (and this was very unlike my experience with acting), I began to welcome the comments. All of them. I really want to know what works and what doesn't, what resonates with people and what leaves people cold. That never happened with acting. With acting I just wanted to be patted on the head and called a good girl.
Writing is different. Writing makes me better and braver. I'm delighted how the process has pushed me to write about matters outside my comfort zone-- take my latest protagonist for example. He's a 38-year-old alcoholic stuck in the (not-so-distant) past, a Little Italy and a New York City that no longer exist, and his bitterness is consuming him alive. And there's also a dog in the story. A dog who was so real to me I couldn't kill him off... I did in the first draft, but, well... you'll see I hope. And let me know what you think please. Whether you hate it or love it, I'd love to hear why. Thanks for stopping by my site!
I'm very happy to share that Every Day Fiction, a site where very short stories of a thousand words or less are published every day, published my very short story "The Mrs. Rose Special" today. I hate that I'm sharing this link so late in the day, and I hope I haven't missed all the site's readers. My computer is broken, and I finally figured out a bit late in the game that I could update my website from my husband's laptop.
It's the sort of story I always feel frightened to submit, but I'm glad I did. It's a story about a dreamy girl, who in a lot of ways very much resembles me... when I was a young girl at least-- she's shy, she lacks that sort of glowing self-confidence that my husband or (it seems like) anyone who's ever been an athlete posseses, she's desperate to appear special at something (not necessarily to BE special but to be thought of as such.) In short she's your typical self-conscious, semi-neurotic young girl, who puts on a tiny bit of a British accent as some girls of that type do-- readers cottoned on to the double voice in the piece, which I thought was great! And were a little confused by it, which I think is my fault, and something I could flesh out in longer piece. She's at the cusp of growing up and figuring out a real, non-fantastical identity for herself. An incident happens one day in math class that ends up shaping her more profoundly than she realizes at the time... Here's a link to the story: http://www.everydayfiction.com/the-mrs-rose-special-by-izzy-david/
I hope you enjoy it!
Every Day Poets is a wonderful resource for poets. Not only does it publish English language poems from poets around the world, but it also frequently posts ideas and essays to inspire poets. Recently, one of those posts was about a Japanese short-form called haibun. A haibun is essentialy a prose poem with a haiku at the end, although there's much more to it than that. I'd never heard of the form before and instantly fell in love with it. I began to study Japanese poetry for the first time in my life, and I was thrilled when Every Day Poets published the second result of my studies Monday, August 7. (The first I self-published on my lifestyle blog here). I actually spent my "honeymoon" this May and June helping my professorial sister move across country from Colorado to Maine and the second haibun, the published one, was inspired by that trip through the American heartland in summer. You can read it here.
Every Day Poets is also the site that recently published my poem "The Trophy Bride", which I wrote as an exploration of the charcter I played in the short film Michel Jean-Michel: Overexposed. More about that here.
I hope you enjoy both poems, or well even if you don't... please let me know what you think. At this point in my writing career, I value feedback more than anything.
First: don't worry! I do have news about an exciting venture I'm part of, but it's not actually called "Hear Izzy Speak". Thank goodness, right? That's just me being cutesy, because...well...because I got my library card at last this week, and I'm thrilled about it. It's no exaggeration to say I'm bouncing off the walls. My first library card in years. Yippee!
Free movies, any book I want and they'll order it, plus free foreign language conversation groups...It's an incredible resource for a big language nerd like myself if such a term exists. And why shouldn't it? I'll say it loud and proud: I'm a nerd. A card-carrying, lifelong, big language nerd. Yesterday I watched HBO's About Face about aging supermodels on the recommendation of my favorite feminist blog, and I loved what Cheryl Tiegs had to say about staying beautiful through the decades: "The key to feeling beautiful is educating yourself, always learning something new, having something to say for yourself." Yes. And so I'm back to learning Spanish.
If you've ever lived in New York, you'd understand why I'd want to although the downside is understanding when people discuss you. Two women in a bodega once called me La Blanquacita con los ojos verdes. "The very white one with the green eyes." I decided to take that as a compliment. If you speak Spanish better than I do (which most likely you easily do), please don't disabuse me.
In college as a comp lit major I tried to learn four or five languages at once-- Latin, Hebrew, Italian, Russian, Greek-- and failed at actually learning all of them. Now I've learned the wisdom of focusing on acquiring one language at time. I've been driving my husband crazy insisting on turning the Spanish subtitles on for every program. Viva los olympicos!
Speaking of focusing I just realized here I've gone on and on, and I still haven't told you the news. A bit more backstory first regarding my honeymoon this summer, or well lack of one. Instead of a honeymoon I spent two weeks helping my sister move across country from Colorado to Maine, where she's a new professor of hydrology. (I wish mere type could convey my pride in her.) We drove from New York to Colorado and back, and oh boy, it was painful doing so, packed into her vehicle with all her worldly goods en tow much like shrimp in a tin can, but on the plus side I discovered I loved reading stories aloud to my sister, and what was even better...she loved hearing me read them.
Well, my great, self-effacing, honeymoonless virtue was rewarded twice over. I wrote a haibun about that trip which is going to be published August 7. I'll have a link for you then. And also around that time I saw that Every Day Fiction was looking for people to record podcasts. Inspired by my experience of making endless, infinite Kansas cornfields whizz by simply through the power of reading stories aloud, I applied, and they said yes, hooray! First I recorded two of my own stories which you can see..or rather hear... here and here. And then I recorded two whimsical and hilarious stories written by other authors that will be up on the site and available on iTunes this August.
Barbara A. Barnett's "The Little Things", an utterly hilarious tale of the travails of internet dating, will be up Monday, August, 13 and Madeline Mora-Summonte's whimsical, clever story "Back Roads" will be available Monday, August, 20. I have to admit I enjoyed reading other people's work much more so than reading my own. I felt much less self-conscious and had a lot of fun bringing the characters to life. I hope you enjoy them, too. I'll post links closer to the dates.
I'm so pleased and happy to share that today Everyday Poets has published another of my poem's here. Everyday Poets is a site I check for daily inspiration-- not only to catch up on poetry being written by poets from around the world but for frequent inspirational essays on themes and form.
This particular poem "The Trophy Bride" came together through a funny set of circumstances. After long reflection on a character I'd played in the Funny or Die short film above-- reflection concerning what I felt I'd done well versus what I felt I could improve on after finding it surprisingly challenging to bring depth or sympathy to such a shallow character-- well, around that time I happened to read an Everyday editor's post on Greek mythology and (what with having trophy wives on the mind) wondered to myself: how might Midas's wife have felt about her husband's obsession with the finer things...? The result was this poem. I hope you enjoy it. Thank you!
First I have some good news to share. I've had an essay about my favorite novel Howards End accepted for publication in one of The First Line's four issues for 2013. I'll let you know which one as the time draws nearer and the editors decide where it will best fit-- winter, summer, spring or fall. I've worked with The First Line Magazine quite a lot,and I started thinking about why that publication inspires me so much. At this point in my life I think it really helps me to have such clear guidelines for my writing. You want to write an essay? Well, focus on the first line of a book or poem and write! And then for their fiction they also give you a starting-off point. Here's the first line... now write us a story that keeps up the quality of that line.
It's a sort of twist on the old Hemingway adage: "Write the truest line you know one after the other.... And heck, we'll give you the first one." It's the push I need at this point. If you feel you could benefit from similar guidelines then check out their website and... submit!
One of my close friends is an editor in New York and she put it this way: in her experience writers either have a hard time starting or a hard time finishing. I guess I'm in the former category. For some reason I found that comforting.
"So all I need to do is start..."
Speaking of new beginnings: I've returned to my family's homeland (as my mother terms it.) My animal family and I have moved to Brooklyn, that mecca for writers, where my mother's family lived for three generations before dispersing to warmer climes-- California, Florida, Virginia. For the first time in my life I have my very own, admittedly very small office with doors that close (or at least slide shut). I'm excited to hunker down and revisit several longer pieces I've written for children. I've been writing a lot of short stories for adults, but I don't feel ready or perhaps confident enough to tackle a longer piece for adults quite yet, although I'd like to start as soon as the children's novel and chapter book revisions are completed.I feel like my longer, grownup work muscles need a little more toning. And while children's books aren't easier to write-- no, not at all-- they've proved easier for me so far. Or maybe there's something about writing a 30,000 word novel versus an 80,000 word novel that my imagination finds less terrifying. It's illogical since the children's book market is harder to break into, but there it is.
Here's hoping the news of my essay's acceptance will give me that 3 a.m. encouragement I'll need to keep plugging ahead and challenging myself through 2012!
Thanks for checking out my new site! I plan to share professional news and other writing on this page.
These past few weeks as I've transitioned back into full-time writing have been some of the best so far in my life. My first short story was published. You can purchase the pdf version here online:
or at many independent bookstores in major cities. Here's a list:
They were the first guys to publish me years ago-- the last time I submitted any work for publication were some essays straight out of college--and I am HUGELY grateful to them. Specifically David LaBounty who worked closely with me on the edits and gave me a lot of wonderful guidance.
And if that wasn't enough I had my first poem accepted for publication by Apollo's Lyre, an online literary journal. The poem will be available on the e-zine March 20. It's entitled "A Dream Both Voluptuous and Sincere."
And lucky writer that I am I also had a great time working with their poetry editor, Michele M. Graf, who provided me with invaluable insights into the editing process and really helped me workshop the poem into its final stage.
That's all my news for now! Please check back again soon since there'll be a lot of changes as I get back up to speed after taking the last few years off to study and work in theater.