i am counting down to paris like a child, at the same time being aware that i have about eight more arrondissements to map out (read: not enough time) and a schedule to accordingly revise. that, and i know that once it happens it will be quick, a flurry of walking and touring and pictures and questions asked and forgotten and remembered on the plane with much inner kicking.
and then it will be time to seriously Revise, not this re-reading/pondering/fiddling i’ve been doing.
in other news, i finally placed an older story called “Clotho.” it has been on my hard drive since my last spin through academia. “Clotho” is—well, was—one of a handful of what i’ve come to think of as bridesmaid stories: always liked, always getting the personal rejection/honorable mention/semi-nearly-almost-finalist accolades, but never actually being accepted. it feels good to finally find a home for my girl, one that is taking her with open arms and real enthusiasm. i’ve always felt she was one of the stronger bridesmaids. she definitely deserves it.
re-reading it now is more affecting than i expected—i’ve been sending it out off and on, just reformatting and sending, but never re-reading . . . i wrote it in two stages, the first as a draft for a class and then later, after finishing school, in one big revise that opened it up properly. i had just discovered Max Richter and the entire thing was written, both times, to Memoryhouse set on repeat and shuffle and repeat/shuffle . . . that it came out so well proves yet again how useful music is for me to maintain a voice over long periods of absence—i was nervous when i first went back after so many months, but once i clicked play i was right back in the room again and it was all. so. clear.
i had also just read, prior to the first draft, Paul West’s The Universe, and Other Fictions, the first in a semester-long epic of West’s work, and was struck by one story in particular: “Occupied by a Through Passenger.”
The winds aloft, he murmurs, and she repeats the phrase, knowing a magic formula when she hears one.
it is an anguished, dreamy piece about a man visiting his aging mother that rang so true, then and now. i had just lost one grandmother and my parents were caring for the other; they had also moved close to an aging great-aunt and uncle. all that, and the West: they are all in “Clotho.”
“Clotho” will be in Orbital Hearts, an anthology forthcoming from Escape Collective. out on Valentine’s Day.