Creative Writing, Nonfiction, Random

I prefer to get fat on honey

How cool is this? A visual artist created this collage etagami featuring a quotation from “Letters After Achilles,” my essay in Prairie Gold.


Here’s a post about it on the artist’s website.


Excerpts from “Letters After Achilles”

Winged: New Writing on Bees was kind enough to reprint some excerpts from my Prairie Gold nonfiction piece, “Letters After Achilles,” on their blog.

Winged: New Writing on Bees


May 2, 2013

Dear Bees,

I feel I must apologize. I’m new to this apian life, and I regret not thinking of you first when Achilles came to Iowa. The cold air settled on my exposed back this morning, and I awoke from the chill. Snow shrouded the world outside my window, colonizing the tree branches like arctic lichen. Today, the snow didn’t fall simply down. It fell east and west, north and south. It blew up, buoyed by the wind.

Yesterday they warned us this storm was coming. They, who attempt to prophesy these kinds of events. They, who termed this record-breaking storm Achilles. I wonder how deeply they who selected the name understood its history. I wonder if they knew the word’s etymological origin—akhos laos, “the grief of the people.” I wonder if the name made them think of Homer or Brad Pitt. And I wonder if…

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Editing, Web Roves

Web Rove on “Love Affairs, Tiny Windows, and Hand Grenades”

“A short story is a love affair; a novel is a marriage.” —Lorrie Moore

“Short stories are tiny windows into other worlds and other minds and other dreams. They are journeys you can make to the far side of the universe and still be back in time for dinner.” —Neil Gaiman

“Short fiction seems more targeted—hand grenades of ideas, if you will. When they work, they hit, they explode, and you never forget them.” —Paolo Bacigalupi

May is National Short Story Month, a time to embrace love affairs, peer through tiny windows, and catch hand grenades of ideas. I’ve selected a few stories to get your literary celebration started. From a longer short story broken up into subtitled sections, to a flash fiction piece of just a single paragraph without a stitch of dialogue, to a story written entirely through dialogue, these three stories illustrate some of the wonderfully various forms short fiction can take.

Check out my picks in the complete web rove, “Love Affairs, Tiny Windows, and Hand Grenades,” at Flight Patterns, the Flyway blog.

Editing, Web Roves

Web Rove on “A Flighty Future”

Inspired by the visual art of Sarah Hatton, I roved the web looking for great writing about bees. But once I stumbled upon Adam Johnson’s “Nirvana,” I had to expand my focus to include domestic drones as well. (The connection? Hager’s short story “Droning.” Tenuous, maybe, but punny enough.)

Check out the links and what I had to say about the pieces in my latest web rove, “A Flighty Future: Bees and Domestic Drones,” at Flight Patterns, the Flyway blog.