As uncomfortable as it makes me, I have to admit that the election of our 45th president kicked my ass sideways.
I’ve lost some time on the blog to swirling anxiety, anger, and exhaustion brought about by insomnia—a condition that was itself further complicated by scream-o-licious nightmares when I could sleep. I never realized politics could feel so personally threatening, until, of course, the values on which we underwrite our lives were suddenly invalidated by a hijacked election and replaced with an ugly changling that handcuffed small children and raided hospitals to look for illegal human beings.
Once, I published a piece about the need for art during the darkest of times (and published it again at Sparrow & Raven in response to the election). My personal credo went into that piece, offering my view that art is a reclamation of energy from the negative fodder we too often find ourselves wading through.
Lately, while I’ve contemplated the probability that our still wet Ignorant Elect will usher in the nuclear end of us all, I have had difficulty making good on my own convictions.
But I remain in a state of conviction: Art is the beacon, the revolution, the necessary element in all other composites. We must be Robin Hood and steal the dark to create light.
Here, in order to shed some of that light, I celebrate the small achievements of many months allowed to slip by, both during my blog hiatus & during this season of our national flirtation with authoritarianism.
Most enjoyably, my long, long story, “The Big Tent of Sky”, appeared in Issue 8 of Tahoma Literary Review. My favorite part of this experience, aside from working with the lovely editors (Joe Ponepinto at the helm) and earning a very healthy paycheck, was the experience of submitting a recording for their TLRSoundCloud page. While I couldn’t record the whole piece, I made it through parts 1-6 of 15. Like I said, it is a long story.
Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of recording a sound file for my flash piece, “Southwestern Baptism”, when it appeared in the fabulous Adroit Journal. That was fun, too, but I did what most of us do: muddled through with my phone’s mic app, tinny little thing that it is.
For the longer piece in TLR, I was fortunate enough to be able to use a real mic and an Apple computer loaned out by a generous person who understands such things. The difference in the experience—and the quality of the sound—cannot be overstated.
On the no-sound side but also recently-ish, The Carolina Quarterly picked up a story of mine called “Rot-eye”.
There are other bits of Meto-news, which I have managed to dutifully record on my Published Works page, despite my Red Dawn Blues.
I will continue to post now that the membrane of Nope is broken. It should be an interesting year in this fracked up world, especially as everything is backlit by art—my real job, even when I don’t say much about it out loud.
And be sure to head over to Sparrow&Raven to catch our free Friday Flight prompts, as well as to sign up for our Stehekin Ranch retreat coming up in June. We only have a few spots left, so grab a pal you’d like to share a cabin with and let’s do it. There is more art to come at Meto-pen, I promise.