Friday, July 27, 2012

Summer Library Series: A Truant in the Stacks by Laura Ellen Scott


from Ohiohistorycentral.org
It's the last Friday of July and the fifth week 
of the Summer Library Series wherein authors 
share their experiences at the library when they 
were growing up.  

Please welcome this week's author, fiction writer 
Laura Ellen Scott, who skipped school in order 
to roam the Kent State Library in Kent, Ohio.




*

A TRUANT IN THE STACKS
by Laura Ellen Scott

. . . “Oh for Christ’s sake, 
she went to the God-damned library!”



When I was eleven, I noticed all the other girls were lined up to borrow nurse-themed romances from our school library. I’m not sure how Brimfield Elementary had amassed such a collection, but I did my best to join the literary conversation. I started to talk up a cool book about Squanto that I’d just read, and the other girls literally turned away from me. I think that was the moment when I realized I was in the right place, but maybe they weren’t.

Kent State University Library
Flash forward to my sophomore year in high school. I had already accrued the maximum number of unexcused absences (fifteen) when on the sixteenth morning I waved the school bus driver on and walked away. You’re not supposed to do that, especially not in front of a busload of other kids. My mother was called in for a heated conference with the principal that concluded with Mom yelling, “Oh for Christ’s sake, she went to the God-damned library!”

And that was true. Each of those days I bailed on school was spent at Kent State University’s twelve-floor library. I had no idea Mom knew.

The problem was the library. It was a four-mile walk from my house. To be honest, I don’t understand how anyone could go to school with a library like that one so close. My high school was full of mean, unimaginative people. The college library was full of books, and not just nurse romances, either. It also offered something really new: OCLC terminals. My first contact with computers. OCLC used to stand for Ohio College Library Center before it turned into Online Computer Library Center. This meant that not only could I play in the KSU library, I also had access to a network of libraries. And I felt a lot more at ease in a room of hairy-nosed scholars than I did with the kids from my hometown. (However, I can’t pretend I was doing hard-core research. Back then I was probably looking up tidbits about Kyoto, gorillas, and Laurence Olivier.)

Untitled  Rachel Kertz
Used with photographer's permission
My mother’s argument was probably misunderstood, and it was definitely unsuccessful. Suspended, I spent three days in a featureless room adjacent to the principal’s office with actual bad kids who taught me how to open locked doors with a laminated card. When the suspension was over, Mom and I worked out a way that I could graduate a year early and get to college that much sooner. Her tacit support of my truancy probably looked like careless parenting from the outside, but in reality it was a calculated risk.




*



Laura Ellen Scott
Laura Ellen Scott writes, lives, and teaches in Fairfax, Virginia and is the author of two books, her story collection Curio (Uncanny Valley Press, 2011) and her novel, a comic fantasy, Death Wishing (Ig publishing, 2011). Her stories can be found in a number of literary journals such as Barrelhouse, The Mississippi Review, Storyglossia and Staccato. She is presently working on her next novel, Willie July and the Mystery House. 

To find her books at your library, check out worldcat.org or ask your librarian. 









Check out next week's author, TJ Beitelman, 
who writes about a discarded library book 
that he didn't know was discarded.






Friday, July 20, 2012

Summer Library Series: The Library That Delivered by Dan Powell

Welcome back for the fourth installment of the Summer Library Series here at What She Might Think. This week's reflection is by fiction writer, Dan Powell, and his exploration of books via the library bus that drove into the village of Colwich, in Staffordshire, England.  Enjoy!
*
 
THE LIBRARY THAT DELIVERED
by Dan Powell


I imagined fleets of buses carrying books 
to-and-fro across the whole country, 
delivering books to every town, to every street. 
I thought every library arrived on wheels, 
with a heave of diesel fumes and hiss of brakes.


"A Lancet in Disguise"   Claire Pendrous,
Used with photographer's permission
The library appeared every couple of weeks. Between the end of lunchtime play when the teachers rang handbells to herd us back into class and 3pm when the doors of the school would re-open and we’d pour out onto the playground and spill out the gates, it would materialise in the playground of Colwich School like The Doctor’s Tardis. Like the Tardis it had the power to take its passengers to any place, to any time, and, again like the Tardis, the books, with whole worlds squeezed between their covers, were somehow bigger on the inside. I always knew when it was coming, yet I never saw it arrive.

For three hours, one day out of every sixty or so, the converted Dennis bus squatted in the corner of the playground where the walls of the Junior building met the railings, the word LIBRARY emblazoned along the side in jaunty green capitals bigger than my head and below that the promise of Books and Information. I was eight years old when I first stepped through the bus’s concertina doors and until the age of thirteen it would be the only library I knew. Inside floor to ceiling shelves filled the space, the clean smell of wood polish and new books fighting and failing to smother the musty aroma of the older titles.


The replacing of cards into covers and the returning of borrower’s tickets took time. No computers then, no bard-coded or magnetized library cards to speed the flow, just a index tray stuffed with the cards from inside the books and the borrowers’ tickets into which the cards were slid. Queuing to return my books, I’d look over the librarian's desk and imagine taking the huge steering wheel behind, driving away with what seemed, to my adolescent eyes, like all the books I might ever need.  But I didn’t need to steal the books, given enough time I could simply borrow each and every one. Each of the three child tickets allowed someone my age had the power to take me somewhere beyond the railings of my little school, somewhere beyond the boundaries of the village streets I roamed with friends. I borrowed adventure novels, true-life mysteries, science fiction, science fact, histories and guide books. The little bus, each visit, delivered on its promise. It gave me books and information and so much besides.


I do not remember the names of any of the driver librarians who checked out the books on the bus, who listened patiently to my enquiries, who ordered in the books I pestered for. If I could I would thank them for delivering so much of the world into my eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen year old hands. It was because of them that I learned what kinetic energy was well before it was required of me in school. It was because of them I discovered Treasure Island and joined The Secret Seven and survived The Day of the Triffids. When I had to return two warped and swollen books, damaged in a downpour that flooded my tent while at Cub camp, and I worried they would make me pay for the damage, or worse, revoke my membership, they merely smiled and checked the books back in.

For almost five years this little bus in a little playground of a sleepy Staffordshire village was what I thought all libraries were like. I imagined fleets of buses carrying books to-and-fro across the whole country, delivering books to every town, to every street. I thought every library arrived on wheels, with a heave of diesel fumes and hiss of brakes. Even now, as dazzling as they can be, with their acres of shelving and seemingly limitless stock, I find bricks and mortar libraries somehow lacking. However impressive they might be, for my eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen year old self, they do not deliver. In both senses of the word.

Colwich was too small a village for a branch library in the mid-1980s and it still is today. The library van continues to attend to the reading needs of the community, stopping every three weeks outside the primary school, delivering Books and Information to the community. I haven't been back since my family moved out of the area in the late eighties. My return to the library van is long overdue.

*


Dan Powell is a fiction writer who lives, writes, and raises a family in Germany. His stories have appeared in a number of anthologies as well as literary journals such as Spilling Ink Review, Staccato, and Metzen. Most recently, his story "Half-Mown Lawn," was published in the 2012 edition of The Best British Stories (Salt Publishing), and was also the winner of the 2010 Yeovil Prize. To stay updated with Powell's work, check out his Facebook page or website.












Please join What She Might Think next Friday for 
"A Truant in the Library" by Laura Ellen Scott.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Summer Library Series: A Kind of Beacon by Jack Kaulfus

Welcome to this week's installment of the Summer Library Series in which professional authors reflect on their childhood experience with their local library.  Today's author is Jack Kaulfus, who hails from Texas and had a library card at the Seguin-Guadalupe County Library.



*

A KIND OF BEACON
by Jack Kaulfus

Guadalupe County Library in the early ‘90s 
was not a hot destination for young folks, 
but it smelled good inside, and the air 
conditioning was icy.

I fell in love with The Library Man over the summer between my sophomore and junior year in high school. He was tall and lean and sensitive, and he had some longish hair and a choker under his button- down shirt. He was a new librarian, probably in his early 20s, and he was married. He wasn’t from my small town. 


Seguin-Guadalupe County Public Library
I was always doing this in high school – becoming infatuated with older, disinterested feminine men who might want to talk to me about books or music. It was good practice for later, when I’d become more appropriately obsessed with older, disinterested butch women who might want to talk to me about books or music.


I had only the vaguest idea about what I wanted from the The Library Man. My friends believed I was in love with him, and I didn’t discourage them. It was much safer to cop to an impossible crush than to come out as queer. It didn’t seem a simple case of puppy love to me, however. I knew he was married. I knew I didn’t want to sleep with him. But I also knew I wanted to be in the library with him every Monday, Thursday, and Friday afternoon when he was working.

The year before had been particularly frustrating, and in the spring I’d decided to quit basketball (after many long years of promising athletic training and early promotion to the varsity team) to join the school paper instead. I had also clawed my way into some honors and AP classes for the next year, but it took work to convince the counselor that I could handle being in classes with kids who didn’t throw chairs. I wasn’t sure if I was going to succeed, as I’d been consistently dumb-tracked since third grade when I got myself kicked off the gifted and talented program’s shortbus, but I knew I needed to try.

Guadalupe County Library in the early ‘90s was not a hot destination for young folks, but it smelled good inside, and the air conditioning was icy. I’d bike there in the heat of the afternoon to sit at a table and gaze at The Library Man over stacks of books I wanted to understand but couldn’t.

"Find Love at the Library"    Marya Figueroa,
Used with photographer's permission
Our relationship was all business. We rarely exchanged more than a few sentences over the counter as I checked out books. He might ask: “Writing a paper?” Or say: “Gotta love Hegel.” To which I’d respond in a weak affirmative. The truth was, I had no idea what I was doing, but I didn’t know how to tell him that. I’d burned through the books in the children’s and young adult section at least twice, and I felt ready for the next big thing. In one stack, I might have Hume, Plato, Feynman, and Hawking. Three days later, I might want to take Browning, Carlyle, Euclid, and Kafka home. At night I’d struggle through a few pages of each dusty tome and then give up.

I know now that I wanted him to help me shed my years of depressing small-town athletic obsession and usher me into a world governed by reason and elegant sentence structure rather than point-spread. At the time, however, I’d watch his lovely dark hair and slender hands as he labeled shelf-talkers and joked with his cohorts behind the check-out counter. I’d puzzle over whether I wanted to kiss him or buy him a coffee somewhere the cups didn’t have a HOT BEVERAGE warning label.

I drifted in a sea of possibility all summer, hoping I’d come to light on a shelf with something that made sense. The books themselves could be deceitful. The only book on homosexuality in the place was a parenting book for unfortunate dads in the fifties who happened to have effeminate sons. There were cartoons depicting ways to shame your fairy boy into hating himself and lists of “tough love” redirection techniques. There were two books on modern art, and neither of them offered color plates. A book on Apartheid was consistently mishelved in “African American History.”

I don’t know if The Library Man was really all that. He had, after all, taken a job in a town long dead from sheer lack of curiosity. If I’d been able to formulate the question I needed him to answer, he might have laughed at me or led me to a shelf of Encyclopedias or something. He was a kind of beacon, though, that reassured me of the possibility of connections I could only dream of understanding. Just his presence was a comfort. I wish I could thank him now, but I don’t even remember his name.

*

Jack Kaulfus lives, writes, and teaches in Austin, Texas. Their story "Troglodytes" was selected as one of the top 100 stories published in 2006 (StorySouth). Their most recent story, "The End of Objects," was honored by A Cappella Zoo with the Apo Specimen award. They are currently shopping around a book of stories entitled, The Answer Is Please








             Please return next Friday for Dan Powell's reflections on 
the mobile library in Colwich in Staffordshire, England.




Friday, July 6, 2012

Summer Library Series: Buildings and the Love of Books by Matthew C. Brennan

All summer at What She Might Think, poets and fiction writers are sharing their childhood experiences at the library.  Today's reflection is the second in the series, and comes from poet Matthew Brennan who first checked out books at the Rock Hill public library.




*

BUILDINGS AND THE LOVE OF BOOKS

by Matthew C. Brennan

. . .it was the literary equivalent 
of a fast-food drive-up—
you’d find your books 
quickly, then bolt.  


I was five when my family moved to Rock Hill, Missouri, a municipality that shared the zip code of the larger, more plush St. Louis suburb, Webster Groves.  Rock Hill, a fifth or sixth the size of Webster, had no pool, no parks, no ball fields other than those that doubled as schoolyards, so we had to cross the border to go swimming or have a picnic.  But Rock Hill did have its own library, and my mother took us there regularly.  

Matthew Brennan and
his Mother, Suzanne, 1955
My memory fogs in trying to call up the original building, but I still clearly see the newer construction put up when I was about eight.  Like most new public buildings in the Sixties, it lacked style and warmth.  In fact, it shared its quarters with the police, I think, the stacks occupying the second floor, Rock Hill’s finest the ground floor.  The fa├žade was functional, an orange-ish, speckled cement and Tang-colored brick.  Inside, little light fell from the few narrow windows.  

It wasn’t a place that made you want to loiter; it was the literary equivalent of a fast-food drive-up—you’d find your books quickly, then bolt.  At this time I fell in love with baseball and baseball led to the children’s sports books by Matthew Christopher.  Slide, Danny, Slide and other classics fed my promiscuous lust for baseball in any form.  What I didn’t realize then is that these books also made me love reading itself. 
              
Later, we spent more time at the Webster Groves library, which like its parks and pools, were accessible to Rock Hillians.  It may have been a Carnegie library, for its exterior boasted a set of columns on its front portico and colonial red brick that would now make me think of Jefferson; the interior, with high ceilings and ornate windows, instilled in readers a lofty imagination.

 Copenhagen Harbor by Suzanne Brennan

But today when I think of books and childhood it’s the small Rock Hill library that springs to mind, though what most endears it to me now is that, in those summers of rushing in and out of the cramped lobby, it displayed on its scarce wall space some of my mother’s oil paintings, paintings now lost to history, like the library itself, which some time ago gave way to a single square room in a strip mall—but not before it humbly and almost forgettably fostered my love of reading books and the libraries that house them.



*

Matthew C. Brennan lives, teaches, and writes in Terre Haute, Indiana. He is the author of three scholarly books regarding the Romantic tradition and its literature, and he is the author of four books of poetry, The Music of Exile (Cloverdale Books, 1994),  The Sea-Crossing of Saint Brendan (Birch Brook Press, 2008), The House with the Mansard Roof (Backwaters Press, 2009), and The Light of Common Day (Finishing Line Press, 2011). His newest work is Dana Gioia: A Critical Introduction (Story Line Press, 2012).



To find out if your local library has books by Matthew C. Brennan, click here or visit Worldcat.org.


*

Please join What She Might Think next Friday for fiction writer, Jack Kaulfus. Also check out the first installment of the library series, by humorist, Owen Egerton.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Summer Library Series: In a Town With No Bookstores by Owen Egerton


Children reading, New York Public Library

It's that time of year, where, at most local libraries in the United States, librarians are climbing up ladders as rickety as the federal budgets that keep the air-conditioning going and the doors open. And above the circulation desk, they hang the motto of this summer's reading program: I Want You to Read As Hard As You Can. Then, they fold up the ladders, straighten their shoulders and the free bookmarks, and wait for the onslaught of children.  


This summer, What She Might Think will be running a special reading series of original short essays about libraries and childhood, written by authors from the United States and abroad.

And so, kicking off the Summer Library Series, is humorist Owen Egerton, who grew up exploring the library in Friendswood, Texas.  Enjoy!


*


In a Town With No Bookstores

by Owen Egerton

. . . I'd sneak a copy of some 
bloody horror or erotic thriller 
into a nook of the children's area 
and wish to God I could read!


Friendswood Public Library
Friendswood had one library. Of course, this excludes the pillow-padded, lunch-hour harbor school library which locked its door for the hottest months. In the summer you had one choice: the small, early-70's-style, green-carpeted, pale-walled, nearly air-conditioned public library. My sister and I would tag along with my mother once or twice a month. In a town with no bookstores, in a time with no internet, it was her one outlet for new writings. I found the place mysterious and overwhelming. So many books! And unlike our child-proof school libraries, the public library had adult books with dark, forbidding--and by forbidding, inviting--covers. Flowers in the Attic, Coma, Carrie. These dark books my mother or the elderly librarian (I'm sure she was nearly forty!) would snatch from my palms as if they were hot tubes of black-tar heroin.

But sometimes I'd sneak a copy of some bloody horror or erotic thriller into a nook of the children's area and wish to God I could read! I'd imagine the stories, whisper plot lines to match the covers and wonder at the weight of the pages.


As years went by, I recall other hours spent with my bicycle parked outside browsing science books and old copies of National Geographic. In those days you could check out newspapers from around the country, too. Like the post office, this place seemed to be in conversation with parts of the world I only knew from maps. This one, clumsy building was the town's nerve link to Africa, Australia, Europe. But no one seemed to care. One thing I clearly remember. The library was never crowded.

For a middle-school project, I used the library like an eager post-grad degree candidate, passionately researching how to build a kite, making weak copies from the buzzing Xerox machine and feeling incredibly scholarly. That one project was a heady experience. I had walked in not knowing something and walked out with enough new knowledge to teach my 6th grade science class a hands-on-lesson on kites.

I don't recall any guides in the library, can't picture a helpful face recommending the perfect book or new subject. I'm sure they were there, but I mainly recall the massive amount of options--shelf after shelf after shelf of hardback, mysterious texts.

I went to library less as a teenage. Looking back, I'm surprised I didn't spend more hours there. At the time, I believed books were serious, quiet things. I believed the customary hush was not so others could read undisturbed, but so the books might sit undisturbed--like ancient, dead gods. I still believe books are serious--but they are also lusty little demons willing to yank, cut, kiss and steal. As a young man, I had yet to balance my reverence with irreverence, yet to learn that the contents of book can sing and scream.

We now live a block from a public library in Austin, Texas. Just a month ago, newly seven-years old, my daughter applied and received her first library card. I let her check out whatever books she wanted for the family. We left with a children's book on space travel, another on dinosaurs and also a collection of Thoreau's letters and Bukowski's poems. Brilliant.

*

Owen Egerton lives and writes in Austin, TX and Los Angeles, CA.  He is a performer, screenwriter, and the author of three books of fiction, Marshall Hollenzer is Driving (Writer's Club Press, 2001), How Best to Avoid Dying (Dalton, 2007) and The Book of Harold, the Illegitimate Son of God (Soft Skull Press, 2012).

Egerton is currently on his book-tour for The Book of Harold. Check out his schedule on owenegerton.com.  


To find out if your local library has books by Owen Egerton, visit Worldcat.org









Next week's library author: 


Monday, June 25, 2012

NOW AVAILABLE: The Midwife in Glint Literary Journal, 2012

"Get Back Better On",
Photograph by Eleanor Leonne Bennett,
Cover art for Glint Literary Journal 2012
"Along the block of mostly abandoned storefronts, the barber turns the sign to Sorry we're CLOSED Please come back tomorrow, and moves the red plastic arrow to 7 AM. No customers came in today, yesterday, or the day before. But no matter, you keep the same hours every day, said her father when, after her mother's hysterectomy, he began officially training her for her inheritance."

"The Midwife", by Erin Pringle-Toungate, just came out in the newest issue of Glint Literary Journal.  It will be in her book Midwest in Memoriam.  The story follows Susan, a woman who has inherited the family barber shop as well as the "delivery" end of the business.

The managing editor of Glint, professor and writer Brenda Mann Hammack, wrote a very welcoming and in-depth introduction to the work in this issue.  Regarding "The Midwife", she writes, 
At least three works of short fiction (Noah Milligan’s “Amid the Flood of Mortal Ills,” Alexandra Pajak’s “Election Day,” and Erin Toungate’s “The Midwife”) concern themselves with feasible futures that challenge faith. 
[. . .] Language has undergone a similar sea change in Toungate’s narrative as a young girl is inducted into the family business of “midwifery.” In each of these speculative texts, the authors imagine that the world as we know it has vanished, though not entirely.
Other artists in this issue are Eleanor Leonne Bennett, Ivan de Monbrison, Christine Dano Johnson, B.D. Fischer, Noah Milligan, Alexandra Pajak, Abdel Shakur, and David Vardeman.  




Glint Literary Journal comes out of Fayetteville State University in North Carolina.  



Saturday, June 23, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom: Made of Summer

Moonrise Kingdom, a film by Wes Anderson, opened at Cannes and then sneaked around select theatres for several weeks before it moved into a mainstream release.  It arrived in Spokane last night, and we caught the 4:45 showing.

The film follows the romance between a girl and boy that culminates in the summer of 1965 when they run away--he from the scout camp on the other end of the island from where she lives: in Summer's End, and she from her three brothers and parents who live in a house of separate rooms and lives.  The camp leader, played by Edward Norton, and the boy's fellow scouts are in hot pursuit, as well as the girl's parents (played by Bill Murray and Tilda Swinton), and the local police officer (Bruce Willis).

The film is beautiful and perfect, from the cinematography (as though a series of painted photographs circa 1960s) to the acting to the script.  Throughout the film, Anderson creates small details that, altogether, maintain and create the verisimilitude of childhood: for example, in the flashback that explains how the boy and girl met, the boy leaves the church-play about Noah's Ark midway through to go wandering about the church, and along his way walking past the children who are lined up outside, two-by-two, and waiting for their turn to enter the stage. As the boy passes he idly tweaks the nose of one of the elephants and a few moments later he's walking through a basement and as he passes a water fountain, he turns it on--not for a drink but just because.  Then, in parting a rack of costumes, he comes face to face with the girl who is sitting at the make-up counter, with other girls dressed as birds.  What kind of bird are you? he asks.

It is perhaps the culmination of all of these small, purposeful details within moments that make Moonrise Kingdom excellent, for there is no single moment that makes the movie, perhaps because there are so many to choose from--such as the girl bringing a suitcase of books that she later reads aloud from (reminiscent of Wendy from Peter Pan), and a kitten in a fishing basket for her runaway gear, to the boy taking the time and care to make a log of all the objects she brought, to the woman from social services (the boy is an orphan) referring to herself as Social Services.

Real thought has gone into this movie, and it is clear that Wes Anderson and his co-writer, Roman Coppola, believe that children are real human beings whose lives, tragedies, and loves are to be taken seriously.  That is, the film sees little difference between the seriousness children regard life with and the seriousness adults regard life with.  The adults are, as in most subversive children's literature, rather bumbling and behave with less reason than the children.  The movie is playful throughout, and the experience of watching it is often like being given a delightful thing carefully wrought by grinning children.  It's a pleasure.

Moonrise Kingdom is a smart, beautiful film--full of ache and summer, and a desire for freedom from a world that keeps sending hurricanes and lightning.  

Friday, June 15, 2012

James Jones Literary Society: Lincoln Trail Writing Award

James Jones was born in Robinson, Illinois and led a writer's colony in Marshall, IL for a short time. He's well known for his works such as From Here to Eternity and The Thin Red Line

But until I learned about this contest, I had no idea that Jones was from near where I grew up. I bring news of the short story contest that the James Jones Literary Society holds because my sister was a writer in Crawford County, and I'm a writer, and we both grew up in Clark County. So, surely there must be more up and coming writers who need a bit of funding and encouragement.  There must be some pens scribbling among the cornfields.

Therefore, I find it very important to pass the word on regarding the Lincoln Trail Writing contest which is now accepting submissions for short stories! To submit, you must live in Crawford or Clark County, Illinois, be at least 18 years or older, or be a current student or alumni of Lincoln Trail College.


James Jones.  For more information about
Jones, the society, or to look through archival
pictures and documents regarding Jones,
please visit the society's website
Award: $500
Deadline: July 30, 2012
Length: At least 1,500 words typed

Format: Double-spaced, name only on cover sheet, not on story itself (copy-and-paste the cover sheet below into your own word document)


Submit in person to the LTC Marketing Office, or mail to 

D. Hevron/Lincoln Trail Writing Award
Lincoln Trail College
Public Information and Marketing 
11220 State Highway 1
Robinson, IL 62454


Questions about the contest? See this article that recently ran in the local Illinois newspaper. All the information on this page is gleaned from the newspaper article or the James Jones Literary Society website. 

_______________________________________________________________________

James Jones Creative Writing Award

Short Story Cover Sheet


Name___________________________________________________________________________
Address_________________________________________________________________________
(City) _______________________________________________ (State)_____(Zip)_____________
email______________________________  Phone________________________________________
Status (check one):
                                                                                                            Current high school senior earning LTC credits ___________ 
           
                                                                                                            H.S. senior graduating in 2012 and attending LTC in fall ______________

    (If the above option checked, give the name of high school currently attending)______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                  Current LTC student __________

                                                                                                            LTC graduate (give year___________)  

                  18 or older living in Crawford or Clark Co. _________
Title of story____________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

Word length ____________  Number of pages______________




* For Official Use Only

        Date Submitted                                      

        Person Receiving Story                                                            __________________

        Code #                            

**Reminder: Due date- July 30, 2012

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

There Might Be Zombies Next Door

Film still from the film Fido
So, we're moving into a new house at the end of this month.  Today we went to the house to go over some paperwork, do a conditions move-in check, and so on.  While we were in the front yard, two children bicycled up.  They slowed and then came to a stop in front of the house.  Our landlord had just pulled the FOR RENT sign from the lawn and was crossing back over the sidewalk when the boy on the bicycle stopped him.
       With a concerned face, the boy said that he'd heard from the other neighbor kids that zombies lived in the house.  He needed to know if, in fact, this was true, and if it were true, if the zombies were still presently occupying the residence, and if so, how many zombies--ballpark figure--were there.
       Yes, our landlord said.  But only two zombies.  Then he pointed at us as we stood by the front door.
       We waved, smiling.
       The boy looked over his shoulder at the girl on the bicycle behind him.  Then he looked back at us and the landlord who left the boy to dwell upon the news.
       The boy's mouth remained open and he ever so slowly began bicycling away as the girl, seemingly unconcerned or not fully yet understanding the implications of living near zombies, followed behind.

This Halloween, we will have no trouble whatsoever coming up with our costumes.  And maybe some day this summer, we'll just do a little gardening and routine yard-work dressed as zombies, too.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Miscellany: While You Were Reading

Photograph of a book opened on a bed
"Sick in Bed" by Pete, 
used under CC license
While celebrating National Short Story Month here at What She Might Think, a few major events occurred in between the stories. In case you missed them:



In other news . . . 
Cover of Mother and Child by Carole Maso, image of clay woman with fanciful dress
Mother & Child
by Carole Maso
(2012)
  • She realized that Carole Maso has a new novel; it's named Mother and Child; it will be released June 26, 2012 by Counterpoint Press.  She was lucky enough to introduce Carole Maso at a 2007 reading at the Katherine Anne Porter house in Kyle, Texas.  Please see the Texas State University online literary journal, Front Porch, to watch the Maso reading online
fault tree by
kathryn l. pringle (2012)