Once a story has been published, you know it’s good. That’s not to say a story that hasn’t been published isn’t good, but at least you’re over the hump of believing in it all by yourself and having someone else believe in it as well. The nice news is: You can keep riding that wave.
Yesterday, I got a note that I was accepted to participate in an authors’ roundtable as part of the Literary Festival that Kaplan University (where I teach English composition) is organizing in February. I had submitted my essay “A Room of His Own” to showcase my work because I felt that might work best for this audience, and because this essay is now included in a book, which is what Kaplan University was also looking for. This is the third time “A Room of His Own” is coming around – it was first published in flashquake in 2004, then last year made it into the anthology Cup of Comfort for Couples.
Monday I heard that my piece “The SS Plate” was accepted to be published in an anthology of alumni work that Queens University of Charlotte is putting together in celebration of the MFA program’s tenth anniversary. When I answered that call for submissions, I chose to send this excerpt from my essay “Betty Crocker in Bavaria” that was published in Natural Bridge last year. Why? When I participated in a panel discussion on working with postmemory at the Washington DC JCC in October, the moderator had remembered that particular section of all the work I had sent her – so I knew it resonated. And based on her reaction, I also read that piece that evening in DC, and several audience members came up to me later to talk to me about it. You can find an e-version of “The SS Plate” as part of the original essay “Betty Crocker in Bavaria” on the Writing page of this blog. I’m hoping more readers will ask me about it when it comes around again.