Not just to Ireland. Not just because I’ve been busy with both daughters out of school. Not solely due to doing book reviews, readings, solicited posts, interviews and stories, and networking. Not simply down to reading. Voracious reading. No. Some spark in me was gone. Faded. Out.
Grief. Old, old griefs.
But now I’m back. A re-born Writer. I’ll save you the blood and guts and gore. I’m together once more. And I’m not going to fall down again, shattered. Not ever. At least not out of any self-doubt or the internal voices that have previously held me back and beaten me up, I won’t.
Have I said any of this before? Yes. Have I meant it then? Yes. Is it hard to stay confident and resilient in this world (of writing)? YES. But read my words: I will NEVER again doubt my place as a woman who writes. Never again worry I’m not good enough. NEVER.
At some point we all have to take a stand and declare ourselves to those around us and the world: I write. I live the writing life. I won’t have it any other way.
My rebel’s freed. All is in harmony. See me live, laugh, love and write.
Now I’ll put all that wasted energy into writing the best stories I can and into a return to championing and supporting the Arts and Literature and other Writers also as best as I can.
Okay, enough gunslinging and Zen and on to some links that might interest you or that you might not care one iota about:
On September 12th, I fly to Ireland to take part in the Cork International Short Story Festival. I’ll read from Cut Through the Bone on Friday, 16th along with Alison McLeod. The next morning, I will teach a beginning fiction workshop to ten participants. To get a sense of what so many of these ‘firsts’ mean to me you can read my post at the Festival’s blog here.
To coincide with this trip to Cork, I’ll blog daily to the Dark Sky site and my story collection Cut Through the Bone will go on sale throughout those five fabulous days of the Festival. More details to follow.
This past weekend I got to read at San Francisco’s beautiful downtown Catherine Clark Gallery with Ireland’s Kevin Barry and Julian Gough as part of Imagine Ireland’s Contemporary Irish Writers Series. Kevin and Julian don’t read. They perform. And they’re both unique voices and brilliant writers. My deep thanks to Kevin, Julian, Catherine Clark, and Ethan Nosowsky of Graywolf Press for making me feel so welcome and at-ease.
I look forward to receiving in the mail my contributor’s copy of The Chattahoochee Review. Along with stories from those AllStars mentioned below the issue will include stories from Roxane Gay and my latest literary crush, the amazing Caitlin Horrocks. The issue also includes my review of Roxane Gay’s debut story collection, Ayiti.