Redesigned website + Published, again!

Site Logo by Amber McGee

If you’re reading this, then you’ve undoubtedly noticed already that the website has under gone a few changes, to put it lightly.

I’ve finally solidified what I want to get out of this site. From this point forward, it will operate more as a portfolio of sorts. This means that I’ll still upload writing (including book reviews), but it won’t be as often, as I want to put only the work I’m most proud of out here.

I’m still debating whether I want to go through recording audio of my writing with this new format, but if that does happen I’ll make a post about it to let y’all know.

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Originally written: March 20th, 2019

Sun in an empty room
Sun in an empty room by trench_mouth

The last piece of work from Winter term. This is the longest piece I’ve posted yet (2,750 words) but it’s also one of the ones I’m proudest of. For this assignment we tried to emulate the style and feel of a Joy Williams story.

This piece involves some of the same characters as A Moonlit Secret, but you do not need to read that one, or know the larger project they come from in order to read this story.

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A Moonlit Secret

Originally written: February 6th, 2019

paintbrush by Janet Ramsden

The backstory for this piece is that my class had just read Talented Mr. Ripley, and our teacher wanted us to play with two things: using free indirect discourse, and writing something where one character knows a secret the other does not.

The characters in this are from one of my larger projects, but you don’t need to know any backstory to follow along.

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A Test Before Hannon

Originally written: January 27th, 2019

I’ve gone to church, but I am not religious. Yet religion was with me when, 

as a familiar sermon filled my ears—clapped, in time with my steps 

I turned a corner on my way to first day at night and met the 

deer’s eyes. The priest’s voice died down, his warning 

true. Its presence stood on the stairs somewhere 

and I knew my worth, so I took my leave. 

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Book Review: As a River

Note: This book is an ARC given to me by Jaded Ibis Press at AWP19. It will be formally released in September 2019.

As a River by Sion Dayson is a story about family, finding yourself, and learning to forgive. The novel takes inspiration from its title and flows fluidly from past to present and from character to character. Tying it all together is the main character Greer Michaels, who has returned to his hometown of Bannen, Georgia after 16 years away to care for his mother, recently diagnosed with cancer. In his time away Greer has traveled the world, leaving behind not only the small, poverty-stricken town, but a dark secret, and unfinished business. Back at home once more, Greer must decide whether he’ll face the forces that made him run in the first place, or simply play the role of the dutiful son up until the end.

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Be Honest With Me

Originally written: January 12th, 2019

Take aback, zigzag your calibration until the epitaph appears. 
Baby bruises with jobs gritty and horned, 
while a vagabond suffocates—again. 
Say, Kris Jenner, 
is this Lo-Fi? 

Aesthetic loveless and parting; a benediction for the Dada empire. 
Desire defiler unpoison us, 
so the turkey vulture may poach no mouthfuls of olives. 
Say, George Washington, 
Christian backhander, 
is midheaven unfulfilling? Fuck. 

An overrent reality shutdown—sold to none but the urinal. 
I saw that floater, heard the goldfish kick itself. 
You spot Chuck, Lily, Marx, and me, facing the waiting wolf. 
Say, turgid Republican, 
is astrophysical theory gripping? 

Sunny rain content makes moist bagels: meth, for the moth, 
Coke, for the hawk, Pepsi, for the doll. 
None pay, alone in rocky spots. 
Say, One Direction, 
is it unhealthy, pink panty ratings? 

Quenchless naps inc. operationalize Laotian murder spells. 
The lion represents taxes (illegally) online, 
paid in ratings and Döner and Katsu prong. 
Say, Pierre, is the fountain of dimness 
found in a prison page? 

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I’m Published!

The 2019 volume of Main Squeeze, Southern Oregon University’s anthology of student work, was released this week. It’s a wonderful showing of the creativity on campus. Oh, and I’m in it too.

Humble brag aside, I’m really thankful for the opportunity to be included in this project. Technically, this is my first time getting published anywhere (at least in a physical sense).

I won’t post the whole thing obviously, but let’s just say also that my poem stands out from the rest in an interesting way.

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AWP: A Wildly Portland Weekend

Oregon Convention Center by Amber McGee

This past week I got to experience my first Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) conference. It’s funny—before winter term, I had never heard of this event. Yet after my professors described it as “Comic Con for writers” I decided that I better go. Technically I’ve only been a Creative Writing major for one term, so compared to my classmates and everyone else at the conference I felt like a baby. Being 20 and unable to go to any readings or off-site events at bars helped with that too, but luckily it all worked out in the end. There’s so much I could talk about, but I’ll try to cover the panels I went to and any other big highlights.

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Book Review: Juliet Takes a Breath

We’ve all heard of life-changing books. Books that, upon finishing them, give you a new lens with which to see the world. Colors become brighter, everyone seems nicer, every problem you ever thought you had is solved, and all kinds of other sweet clichés. Personally, I don’t think Juliet Takes a Breath is one of those books.

At least, not yet.

Unlike books that provide us with epiphanies, Juliet provides readers with only clues on where to find them. You’ll be left with questions that may lead you to a future revelation, but don’t expect one to be nicely packaged for you by the end. It might be different from what we’ve come to expect out of books, but honestly? I think that’s its best feature.

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Update & Plans

Hi everyone, first of all I just wanted to say: thank you so much for all the feedback! This blog is already doing much better than I initially thought it would, and that means so much to me.

Unfortunately I’m making this post to say content will slightly slow down in the upcoming weeks due to finals and Spring Break travelling. If any of y’all are going to AWP in Portland, I’ll see ya there!

Right now my plan is to finish up a book review and post that, as well as post some work I did this most recent term. Hopefully I’ll find time in the upcoming term to produce some more up-to-date work and keep the content releases somewhat steady.

That’s all for now. Thank you again for the continued support!<3