Girls Who Read

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When I was in middle school, I worked in the school library.  Having moved from the city to the suburbs, it was a whole different experience. I didn’t even want to go to school in the city – I can’t even say what the city school’s library looked like or even if they had one. But once we moved to the suburbs, school didn’t seem so horrible. The students, faculty, and librarians were actually NICE!

During our free period in the city school, we were corralled en masse  to the giant corridor that also served as our lunch area. It was loud, crazy, there were fights, and yelling, and that was just the teachers! 🙂  We needed to secure a pass to go to the restroom, which was only on the other side of the hall.

At the suburban school, we had choices of where to go or what to do. Sometimes I studied in the library where I met the students who worked there and suggested that I join them.  Everyone was nice, so why not?  It became one of the first good experiences I had in Academia.

Later – this experience inspired “The Girl I Loved in Middle School.”

Fiction is not a single experience spun into someone else’s story – it’s the product of inspiration. And inspiration is like a seed. It’s a little pod planted serendipitously. A little kernel is sown, and depending on what else is shoved into that space with experience, and compassion, and almost anything can stem from it. This story is not a real experience, it was inspired by something that sprouted during that time.

You can read “The Girl I Loved in Middle School” at Number Eleven Magazine or it’s included in the book of short stories, Here In The Silence.

 

Giggles Galore

“Harvey Levin Can’t Die” is available in print, on the web, and even in podcast format!

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So – what would life be like without reality television?  “Harvey Levin Can’t Die” is a fictional and humorous look at one fantastical outcome.

Imagine this:

I woke up on a Thursday morning and there were no more Kardasians on TV. The news didn’t mention Lindsey, Brittany, or any housewives from anywhere. It was as if they’d never existed, and I wondered, momentarily, as I swept through the channels with careless ease, if I’d awakened in an alternate universe…..

Many thanks to the lovely editors at Pilcrow and Dagger for continuing to publish my poetry and short stories and for now podcasting them as well!

The Art in…..

The art and photography in Here In The Silence is just beautiful and we have SunBow Productions to thank for that. From the nontraditional cover to the interior choices, they are all quite interesting and lovely.

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This picture leads the short story “The Spaces Between.” A story about a couple, who ends up in a terrible back street motel in a beautiful coastal city, their relationship barely hanging on.

“It was some time past midnight in the darkness of that backstreet motel that she felt an arm slip around her. Panic did not set in, although she thought maybe it should have being where she was…..”

I love the idea of putting photographs and art with stories and poetry. I love when I find this in books and blogs and I was happy to be able to find them and have them add images to every story in the book.

We had the most trouble with “The Spaces Between.” How do you give a visual to a deteriorating relationship? The title itself refers to the emptiness between the couple, the silences in their relationship, blankness. This image is a fantastic representation of the story – the idea of “vacancy”is brought out in this cut up, almost incomplete, colorless image. I think it might be my favorite image in the book!

Here in the Silence –

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Another ten days to two weeks and – Here in the Silence – my book of short stories will be available.

AND – there will be a chance to win free copies!

Check back for details!

 

 

When I killed my neighbor’s dog….

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Maybe I was having a dream, maybe I heard a noise in the driveway, maybe I heard any of the assorted dogs in the neighborhood barking, whatever it was that woke me up at 3 a.m. on a weekday morning, that line was zinging in my head.

As I lay there, trying to get back to sleep, I wondered where else that line might go. So, I let it lead me, take me wherever it might go.

I thought maybe I’d make a mental note, write it the next day, maybe take physical notes on the notebook next to my bed and finish it after work.

Then, by 4 a.m., with the story unwinding itself to me, I got out of bed. I took my notebook into the dining room, turned on the light and wrote.

By 5:30, I’d finished the majority of the first draft and started to get ready for work.

“Of Strays and Exes” was a departure for me – it’s snarky, ironic, almost funny.

So, don’t judge me too harshly, ladies and gentlemen, apart from the first line, the story is actually about the connection and disconnection we do throughout our lives in relationships and with the people (and critters) around us.

The story is available in New Beginnings by Pilcrow and Dagger.

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Free book?

 

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Ladies and gentlemen,

My book of short stories should be out in another month – I’ll have two advance copies to give away.

There will be a very easy one question contest, and then a drawing (done by a third party) from all of the correct answers.

The official announcement and contest will begin in the next few weeks – keep checking back or sign up to receive updates!

Thanks,

Noreen

Of Strays and Exes… And better yet – Friends. Congrats to Jo Rousseau!

I’ve been asked to read my as-of-yet unpublished fictional story “Of Strays and Exes” at Jo Rousseau‘s publication party.

Jo Rousseau is celebrating the publication of her first book of short stories, titled Inside Stories.

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She’s published short stories and won Charter House Press’ essay contest last year with her touching memoir “Becoming Rousseau”, which is available in Banking the Bacon.

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Check out her website!

Congrats to a lovely woman and a good friend; She deserves all the success life (and publication) have to offer.   Much Love!