I got the good news recently that my flash fiction piece "Living in the Future," which is part of my short story collection Atlas of Tiny American Desires, was accepted in the literary journal Arts & Letters and will be appearing in either the Fall 2016 or Spring 2017 issue. Nothing like a short story acceptance to keep my spirits up.
My short story "The 12-Step Program for Yuki Hiramoto," which is part of my second collection, Atlas of Tiny American Desires, was published this week in the Santa Monica Review. This literary journal has always been one of my faves in the whole country (and has been for many years now). I remember as a MFA student flipping through copies of the SMR in the creative writing office and thinking how someday I'd love to publish one of my short stories in it. Now, I can scratch that off my list of things to do. Baby steps, bro.
Yesterday, I got the good news that my short story "My 12-Step Program for Yuki Hiramoto," which is part of my debut collection Atlas of Tiny Desires, was accepted by the Santa Monica Review. Of course, this is fucking awesome, not only because I've been sending the SMR submissions since oh, 2005, when I started my MFA program, but also because it's one of the best journals out there. Certainly, one of the top west coast journals. And, while I know the publishing landscape has changed a shitload since then, I happen to know that my friend and mentor, Aimee Bender, found her agent (Henry Dunnow) after she'd published her own story in the Santa Monica Review, so there's always hope when you're getting your shit out there for the world to see.
So, keep going, for what it's worth. Also, good luck with your PhD program. I just started one here in Missouri and jesus christ is it a lot of work.
While I don't find this blurbish story review to be particularly profound, I'm very grateful for the press + also appreciate the author's admiration. Really, I'll take whatever coverage I can get when it comes to my own writing. As Tom has told me many times, the only thing we're trying to do as aspiring writers is publish our shit + find our audience. Boom.
Ruelle Electrique that reviews literary journals, books + video games, among other things (three things after my very own heart). Ruelle Electrique reviewed my short story "$67.00 for My Favorite Dictator," (retitled "A Full Cellar" by Howard Junker), which was published in the every-snazzy, always fantastic ZYZZYVA. "$67.00 for My Favorite Dictator" is another story included in my short story collection, Atlas of Tiny Desires. Again, if you don't have spidievision, feel free to read the follow close-up below. Or not:
The Rumpus to identify the blog or website of practically every writer of color on the face of the earth, which is no small undertaking, let me tell you that. While I know that I'm hapa, a lot of people I've met in my life don't give me that honor. I mean, I still have Asian friends who think they're the only Asian in the room. It just doesn't sink in for many people because I'm not legibly Japanese-American. So, in a small, tiny way, I found it both amazing + encouraging to see so many writers of color in this world (+ growing all the time!), + I also found it slightly empowering to get acknowledgment for who I am at such a great literary website like The Rumpus, not just for what I look like to the world. Here's my name, in between Jabarsi Asiam and Jacqueline Woodson:
You can understand, then, my giddiness for the check I got in the mail today for $180.00 for my short story, "The Blue Men inside My Head"! This piece is slated for publication in the Fall issue of the Antioch Review + one of the stories in my collection, Atlas of Tiny Desires. In the writing world, $180 is like a shitload of money! The most I'd received prior to today was fifty bucks from ZYZZYVA, the Kenyon Review + $45 from the Notre Dame Review, all of which I was very happy with. Also, I was supposed to receive £22 for Stand Magazine, but sadly, the check never came from Leeds, England + I decided to stop fighting that fight eventually. Anyway, I don't mean this entry in braggy kinda way, I'm just really fucking stoked that for the first time in my life, I received a check for triple digits for my writing. I see this as a tiny but major victory in my writing trajectory.
Now that I'm practically $200 richer, it's time to spend this shit. If you live in Chicago, I'll buy you tea sometime. Just text me.
My short story "30 Roofies" was recently (finally) published in the issue #70/71 Winter 2010/Spring 2011 issue of Quarterly West. If you want to read about forbidden, cross-cultural love, strong limeña women drugging clueless, rich tourists in Lima + falling in love with California surfer boys, then go out + get yourself a copy today of QW. My story is the one with acoustic Spanish guitar music playing in the background.
Anyway, I've proven this before, but like I said, I don't know how to fucking listen. Which is why I'm setting myself up for heartache again. It's how you put yourself out there, you enter contests + hope you come back with the biggest stuffed panda at the state carnival. Eventually someone does, why the fuck shouldn't it be you? Besides, I have to do this: This is how writers do: They put their asses on the line again and again for some whimsical, half-finished idea + you know, it's absolutely fucking worth it too, even with all of the drama, rejection + nausea. It's worth it. We have to write, we can't stop the dream, even when it's turned dark + beastly and demented and sore, it doesn't matter. We have to write + so we do. And when we've got something, eventually we decide it's time to find our audience, which is all publishing really is.
So I sent out some new full + partial manuscripts to a few great, indie presses in the East Coast + entered several contests too. I mean, if we're going to do this, then let's do it all the fucking way, no compromising, nothing half-assed, nothing guaranteed, the opposite of evasion, shyness + silence. Let's do this, the voice inside my head tells me.
Here are some recent book submissions:
1. The Ninjas of My Greater Self (James Jones First Novel Contest) 28 April 2011
2. A Travel Guide to the Broken World (Coffee House Press) 29 April 2011
3. A Travel Guide to the Broken World (Flannery O'Connor Award) 23 May 2011
4. BLANK excerpt (Beacon Press) 3 June 2011
5. A Travel Guide to the Broken World (FSG) 3 June 2011
6. A Travel Guide to the Broken World (Drue Heinz Literature Prize) 20 June 2011
7. A Travel Guide to the Broken World (Milkweed Editions) 5 July 2011
And of course I'm waiting to hear from Irene Goodman, the literary agent that solicited a whole manuscript of BLANK + the outline of Ninjas, I'm waiting to hear from Electric Literature for almost a year, waiting to hear from McSweeney's for 8 months, waiting to hear from the Paris Review, Black Warrior Review, Fence, waiting to hear from the Chicago Review for 13 months now (including 2 ignored emails I sent them), but I'm still going strong. I have absolutely nothing suggesting I'm going to win shit, nothing suggesting I'm gonna get a new piece published in a new journal anytime soon, but I'm good + I'm strong. Something is gonna work out, something is happening, if nothing else, momentum. If nothing else, some fucking momentum.