We’re so excited to share that past contributor Paul Luikart has published a new book! The Museum of Heartache, a short story collection, debuted this week from Pski’s Porch Publishing.
Paul Luikart earns his spot on the shortlist of writers who can sink you right into the skin of a character in only a few lines. This collection of stories, some almost poetry, captures moments in his characters’ lives when they aren’t just down and out but squeezed in the vice of their circumstances, whether peculiar or mundane. In their shoes, you’ll grapple with what it means to be fully human and come out the other side changed.
Audrey Keown, Author of the Ivy Nichols Mysteries
The book includes Paul’s story “Blessed Assurance,” originally published by Superstition Review in Issue 22. That story touches on the reality of things we may never expect to encounter, framed by the binaries of heaven and hell, alive and dead. It’s an honest and intense glimpse into a life the narrator wanted to escape. Yet we leave the story hopeful. To read “Blessed Assurance,” click here.
The Museum of Heartache is available on Amazon and more information can be found on the Pski’s Porch website. Check out Paul on Twitter.
Today we are happy to announce the news of past SR fiction contributor Hannah Brown. Hannah’s debut novel, Look After Her, published by Inanna Publications, is now available for preorder. The novel takes place in the 1930s and follows two young Jewish sisters through the betrayal of a family friend, captivity, addiction, and danger.
“With the background of anti-Semitism and exploitation, of sex and love and art and dramatic ruses, all during the terrifying rise of fascism in Austria and Italy, Look After Her reveals this truth: no matter how close we are to another human being, even a beloved sister, that’s what we are: close—we all have our own secrets to keep.”
Next year, in September 2020, Inanna Publications will also publish a collection of her interlinked short stories, including “On Any Windy Day,” which appeared in SR’s Issue 15.
More information about Hannah and her forthcoming novel can be found here. You can find her fiction piece, “On Any Windy Day,” from Issue 15 here.
Workshop Title: Three Easy Steps to Writing a Dynamic Short Story
The American Book Award-winning author of If I Die in Juárez hosts a two-part writing workshop for writers of all levels.
From the host: “Once upon a time, deep in a great dark forest, lived three bears. The beginning of one of the most beloved fairy tales on earth is about three bears and a little girl named Goldilocks. Stories that become part of our universal experience reveal the human heart. This workshop will zero in on what it means to write a dynamic short story.”
Refunds will not be issued within one day of the event.
PARKING / LIGHT RAIL
Don’t want to drive? Take the Light Rail! It lets off at the Central Avenue/Camelback Park-and-Ride, which has hundreds of free parking spaces across the street from Changing Hands.
ABOUT THE HOST Stella Pope Duarte is described by Jacquelyn Mitchard as a “magical weaver with a sure hand and a pure heart,” and praised by Ursula K. Leguin as an author who “will enlarge humanity.” Her works explore the human heart, revealing both dark and light. Duarte has won honors and awards nationwide, including a 2009 American Book Award, a Pulitzer Prize nomination, the Southwest Book of the Year Award, and a nomination to Oprah’s Book Sense list. She is a descendant of Irish and Mexican American parents, and was born and raised in the Sonorita Barrio in South Phoenix. Inspired to write by a prophetic dream of her father, she believes that writing, like love, begins within, or it doesn’t start at all.
Location: Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 W. Camelback Rd., Phoenix
Today, we are pleased to share an update for former SR student editor-in-chief Ofelia Montelongo. Since her work with SR, Ofelia has graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Arts in English (Creative Writing), founded Chocolate Tour of Scottsdale, taught creative writing in Spanish at Palabras Bilingual Bookstore, and completed freelance writing projects for the Phoenix New Times, So Scottsdale Magazine, and Phoenix Magazine.
Recently, Ofelia published a short story titled “Five Guys” with the Latino Book Review. Join us in congratulating Ofelia on this exciting news!
I’m not the first poet to write memoir, but I’m probably the worst. I loved it anyway. There’s no hiking involved, and no drinking in the whole world with a sip. And it saves a lot of time by living each page rather than doing any research.
In poetry, my cat-like imagination tends to run into other rooms for no reason so it was nice not to worry about invention. And while a novel might require heart to write, all I needed for memoir was a walnut desk, and a small bronze sculpture of a nude man to hold the paper down on breezy days.
It took surprisingly long to write and re-write a ten month snap of my Tuberculosis. Like: 45 minute conversation about a 25 minute version of a 5 minute Phish song.
I went to the mirror to look at myself. I’d aged since beginning it. In writing almost exclusively about my body in 2013, I had neglected small details about my current portrait. I no longer resembled the bronzed man sitting so pensively on my desk. Was it true that you could sand blast wrinkles away? My soccer ball didn’t reply.
My publisher had asked for a book of poems. “Beautiful memoir,” he wrote, “But it’s so inscrutable. The problem is that there’s no plot. The narrative of your life is not the same thing as plot. What about a few scenes outside of the hospital? Maybe a train or two?”
I joined a vibration society. The salon had sixteen tables and each one vibrated a different part of your body. It was a caper to crank the timer and start the vibration before settling in, but I eventually grew fond of the slight nausea. Early afternoons were excellent for vertigo, before the after-work crowd came to jiggle. Still, it was nothing like an actual train. Last month, one had derailed about two hours away, in Columbia.
My memoir was full of seductive ache and longing, and horrible mortality, and impossible love, but without any plot—without any hiking into some dark wood—it was just a bar story. The set-up was the climax, which might be OK if I were Li Po drinking the moon.
The nearest passenger train depot was 25 miles outside town. The train passed at one in the morning. In spite of my florid disguise, I was spotted by a fiction writer as I boarded the regional train bound for Norfolk. “Barrett,” Mr. Yoon said. “This train is only for short story writers.”
“How short is short?” I asked, offering him a taste of my subject-verb-direct object sandwich with its plain spoken tomato.
The easy part about poetry is that you don’t have to show character motivation, a definite downer as far as writing prose. You just put a man on a train. He has two packages and he’s wearing eye glasses which he doesn’t really need. You don’t even have to say whether he’s stopping in Norfolk or changing trains to Richmond.
I blushed up each step to the garret studio off Broad Street. “I was sure you had died,” the artist said. I offered him the packages and accepted a drink. I walked around the studio blinking at the works in progress and taking my clothes off as if I were going to change into something else, but I didn’t change into anything. He reached for a stick of charcoal and rattled out a few coughs. I turned. I shifted my arms. I looked past him into wilderness.
Today we are pleased to share that past contributor Lee Martin has recently released a book titled Telling Stories. The book is intended for anyone interested in thinking more about the elements of storytelling in short stories, novels, and memoirs.Telling Storiesis now available for purchase from University of Nebraska Press.
Today we are featuring Lynn Mundell for our Authors Talk. Lynn speaks about how she came up with the idea for her short story, “Again.”
Lynn got the idea for the story from a photograph. The picture was black and white and had a young man with a golf club in one hand and a baby in the other hand. Lynn saw the baby and wanted to run with the idea of an old soul. Lynn talks much further about her creative process, and the literary magazine she helped to found,100 Word Stories.
“Again” can be read here in Issue 17 of Superstition Review.
Congratulations to past contributor Lynn Mundell, who’s story “Again” has earned its way onto the Wigleaf “Top 50 Very Short Fiction” longlist for 2017. “Again” was published in Issue 17 of Superstition Review. Click here to read Lynn’s story. Click here to check out the Wigleaf’s prestigious list of great short fiction.
Today we are pleased to feature author Abby Horowitz as our Authors Talk series contributor. In her podcast, Abby discusses the development of her piece, “I Want Her to Burn Me Forever,” published in Issue 18. She explains how it began as a very different (and much longer) story before she decided to shift the focus from the bride to her partner. With this shift in focus, she began to explore the question, “What does it mean to enter into this long-term relationship with someone who is complicated?”
Abby also discusses the value of writing shorter short stories, as well as the importance of detaching yourself from your piece in order to “get messy and play around and throw things away and cut…and just have fun.”