Chuck Wachtel Gives Me Some Props for The Amnesia of Junebugs

Yo, I'm so happy. i want these words framed and put above my bed. this is what chuck wachtel, the associate professor of fiction at NYU who judged this year's sparks prize entry wrote about my submission:

Selecting this submissions as the first prize winner was easy. i was quickly engaged in the fast-paced cinematic prose, the humor, the vigorous motion of the plot. the narrator tells the story in a scatter-shot through controlled voice that at times brought junot diaz's stories to mind, at times, the earlier novels of lois-ann yamanaka. there is a surprising emotional accuracy, thus a genuine pathos: the work of this young author is already possessed of a genuine fictional beauty.

Every time i'm sad, discouraged, uninspired, self-destructive, professionally lost, creatively mercurial or just feeling like shit, i'm gonna re-read that quote and remember that for one moment, someone saw my writing exactly as i was trying to write it: cinematically, beautifully, with bursts of controlled intensity reminiscent of junot diaz. for one single second, i felt like a shorty that just met a man who understood her perfectly. if it's possible to be in love with the critical remarks of a stranger, then surely i am. in a continous flash flood of rejections, jeers and insults, it's good to have these little islands to gather strength from.