Literary check-in (excerpts and books)

Now that my writing class is over and I'm registered for Iowa (Yes! I did it!), I cleaned out the writing folder that was overtaking my small desk. Throughout the semester, we had to read several short pieces of published fiction to discuss each class. I thought many of them were useful, but I decided to keep my favorites and recycle the rest. Someone out there might find them inspiring:
  • the first paragraph of An Almost Perfect Moment by Binnie Kirshenbaum
  • the ending of "How I Met My Husband" by Alice Munro
  • the first paragraph of "How to Become a Writer" by Lorrie Moore
  • the short story, Sluts by Hollis Seamon (I literally can't get this story out of my head. Stunning.)
I'm back working on the piece I read last week. It will be published in its short story form sometime in late June, but I'm now getting it ready for a novel workshop in Iowa. I had such an interesting response from friends who came to the reading that I feel even more compelled to tell the whole story... no doubt the work will be difficult (it was hard enough getting it to short story land!), but it's a good project and, maybe most importantly, I'm not sick of it yet.

This feels like a big literary period for me and I think I'll look back and wonder what I was reading (or attempting to read) while I was writing this story. For my own future curiosity, here's a list of books that are currently on my nightstand with bookmarks in them:

The Culture Code by Clotaire Rapaille
Washington Square by Henry James
Don't Cry by Mary Gaitskill
1776 by David McCullough
Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
... and, still unfinished, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

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