Odds and Ends (or Hacked Up Potato Pieces)

Posted on 06 September 2011

I stumbled on This Is Not Your City, a short story collection by Caitlin Horrocks, a few weeks ago while browsing the library’s new fiction shelves. A very enjoyable read — I particularly loved the stories  “It Looks Like This” and “Zolaria.” And at first I didn’t even pick up on the fact that Horrocks also wrote “Life Among the Terranauts,” which I  loved when I read it in One Story (but is not included in the collection). HTMLGIANT did a great interview with Horrocks, which you can find here. When asked if her writing is ever autobiographical, she says, “Yes, but the true stuff is almost always some hacked up potato pieces in a much larger stew.” I like that.

It’s been a busy time for Cleveland-area writers: Susan Grimm’s Roughed Up By the Sun’s Mothering Tongue and Tricia Springstubb’s Mo Wren, Lost and Found
were released in recent weeks. The Plain Dealer calls Springstubb’s middle-grade sequel to What Happened on Fox Street “cozy as a well-worn sweat shirt, as warm as a laundromat on a winter afternoon and as comforting as a favorite book one picks up again and again.”

The Fiction Writers Review recently interviewed Flyway editors. (Flyway published my short-short story “Wedding Season.”) Managing Editor Brenna Dixon said, “Flyway is meant to give voice to place while broadening the idea of what constitutes a place or environment. In our eyes, the body is as much a place as an office cubicle or the Everglades or an abandoned building in the middle of a city. Flyway is a place for all the nooks and crannies to speak up and be heard.”

I leave you with photos of many, many identical twins. Those photos are from last year’s Twins Days Festival, which takes place every year in Twinsburg, Ohio. (Margaret LaFleur‘s story “Twinsburg” encouraged me to make the short drive to Twinsburg this year to finally check out the festival. Thanks, Margaret!) At the festival, Peter tried to take a new author photo of me. It turns out, unfortunately, that not even a stop at the festival’s beer garden and proximity to many, many twins is enough to coax a good photo out of me. Oh well.

How do you photograph?

9 responses to Odds and Ends (or Hacked Up Potato Pieces)

  • margosita says:

    YAY! I love those photos (for obvious reasons)!

    And I definitely want to read Caitlin Horrocks book. Glad you mentioned it so I can move it to the top of my “to find and read” pile…

    • :) Thanks again for the reminder about Twins Days. It rained off and on the day P. and I went to the festival, so it probably wasn’t as well attended as it could have been by the time we got there, but it was still fun. Greasy carnival food, people watching, beer garden, band organ…good times.

  • Lyra says:

    You know the disclaimer on side mirrors on cars? Something about Objects May Be Nearer Than They Appear?

    Pictures remind me of that. There is a huge disconnect between how I feel in my life and how I look in my life. Then I see a photo and come up with a million reasons why it’s so odd, like I’m tired, or I must have been dehydrated, or my chin is turned at a weird angle. Odd how I never seem to get right to the point of, huh, that must be what I look like now.

    • I always tense up for photos. I’m a disaster. So even if I can get past my blank/gritted teeth poses, I still don’t feel I photograph well. This must be why we like to hide behind plain old written text, right?

  • lisahgolden says:

    What a wonderful melange of topics, Laura. Yum.

    And the obnoxious truth is that I prefer to be the one wielding the camera. Some of the best photos of me I’ve taken myself. Lord, I sound like such a tool.

    A friend did a post on how to get good profile pix and it’s true. Shoulders down, chin up a little and out, face turned ever so slightly. One looks like a total goon during the process but the photos actually turn out really well.

  • Downith says:

    I love that description of Springstubb’s book!

  • Averil Dean says:

    I hate photographs of myself. Loathe them. I took some recently with my iPhone, and I figure they’ll do for another ten years or so, after which time some heavy Photoshopping will become necessary.

  • Tricia says:

    Thank you for the shout-out, dear Laura. It’s true our writing group rocks (now if only we could figure out how to get together) As for me I have ONE good photo and I use it endlessly.

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