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Essay, “Range of Desire,” published in Nerve

I’m delighted to report that Nerve just published my essay, “Range of Desire. (No, that’s not me in the hot pants. I haven’t had a bottom like that in several decades.)

Nerve has an excellent pedigree and has published essays by people I would like to be. (I’d really like to be Steve Almond. Not only that, how wonderful that someone with his name wrote a book about candy!)

I will say that before I began looking at it for “fit” for this essay I was not likely to read Nerve, if only because I’m a little shy that way (though it’s very smart and readable). I am also not looking forward to the discussion that will inevitably take place when someone reviews my writing c.v.:

Them: So, what is “Range of Desire” about?

Me: Mumble… ah, mumble mumble. Um, guns and um, sex. Mumble. Yes, ah, er, lesbian sex. Mumble mumble mumble…

Anyway, I had another rejection today (the 9th for the essay in question) so this is a great example of one door closing and another (mumble mumble) opening.

Anyway, a good day.

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  1. jessamyn wrote:

    It never once occurred to me that the free range in FRL could be the gun range. That was a very intriguing and exactly-perfect-for-nerve article that I enjoyed a whole bunch. Nice going!

    Tuesday, September 11, 2007 at 9:37 pm | Permalink
  2. that never occurred to me either, Jessamyn, though now that you mention it… ;)

    Tuesday, September 11, 2007 at 9:39 pm | Permalink
  3. eric wrote:

    I swear, I was on my way to another episode of Joe Swanberg’s serial video when I happened upon the article and knew it had to be yours. This after seeing Jodie Foster on the *Daily Show* covering some similar themes and evoking my “rattled breath”. You had nothing to say about the Wiggles however.

    Wednesday, September 12, 2007 at 1:31 am | Permalink
  4. Jennifer wrote:

    I very much enjoyed the essay! It made me think about guns and sex in a whole new light.

    Wednesday, September 12, 2007 at 10:10 am | Permalink
  5. Emily Lloyd wrote:

    Nicely done, and (even in this day and age) brave. A great publication.

    Wednesday, September 12, 2007 at 12:24 pm | Permalink
  6. Cathy Doyle wrote:

    And you just got called on the Reason Magazine blog, Hit and Run

    Hope this is just the first of many publications!

    Wednesday, September 12, 2007 at 2:38 pm | Permalink
  7. Judy wrote:

    Oh, Karen, that was very good indeed. I was mesmerized.

    Wednesday, September 12, 2007 at 2:54 pm | Permalink
  8. I liked it. It’s been a very long tease since you posted the excerpt, but it was worth the wait. Nerve is a good fit for it and they even put your name in the URL!

    To have your first rounds be with an M16, that would be interesting. A bit different from my old .22 bolt action. In the essay, it sounds like y’all fired full auto the first day. That would certainly get you hooked for life.

    I ran a rifle range one summer at scout camp, repeating The Safety Instructions until I could barely stand it in 106 degree West Texas heat. The job is really boring if you do it well and stay lucky. Lonely, too. The range is always a long walk from camp.

    Wednesday, September 12, 2007 at 4:40 pm | Permalink
  9. Hi, K.G., congrats on the publication! That’s really cool. Very evocative essay. Would love you to come visit my own roughly library-related blog. Well, books, libraries, and an awful lot of whining about various and sundry, if I want to be honest about it. Anyway, I’ll be visiting often now that I’ve put a handy dandy link to your site on my own blog. Do you have any snacks? I’m feeling a bit peckish.


    Thursday, September 13, 2007 at 9:20 am | Permalink
  10. On the range being a long way from camp: so it always was in the Air Force… with student shooters, that is a very good idea. ;-) One year in qualifications I was one bullet short of the marksman ribbon, and when people asked how I did it I said “the guy next to me helped signficantly.” He scared me half to death!

    I have a few more gun stories from the Air Force — considering I only wore a gun in exercises, and practiced once a year, more than my fair share.

    Yes, an M16 on auto is a joy. Two years ago to research this essay I took a refresher class at a gun range (got my first NRA badge :> ) and the instructor had us shoot a dozen different handguns. Funny how each caliber has its own personality!

    Thursday, September 13, 2007 at 9:25 am | Permalink
  11. ellie wrote:

    Congratulations. I look forward to taking some time to read the essay carefully, but at quick glance it looks like a great piece!

    Friday, September 14, 2007 at 10:06 am | Permalink
  12. RfP wrote:

    “I’d really like to be Steve Almond.”

    When I read his short stories, I want to be Steve Almond. When I read his interviews, I want to do Steve Almond. If I were Steve Almond, I’d find myself irresistible.

    Saturday, September 15, 2007 at 5:42 pm | Permalink
  13. Caliber … when you heard Sheryl Crow sing “got my 45 on” ,did you wonder why she was taking a semi-auto handgun to the beach? I did.

    Saturday, September 15, 2007 at 11:10 pm | Permalink
  14. Maybe she lives in Atlantic City?

    Sunday, September 16, 2007 at 5:46 pm | Permalink
  15. ruminator wrote:

    That was a nice piece. (That sounds bland, but I mean it!) It’s good work that kept me going and the guns-and-sex juxtaposition really works! I would have never thought of that.

    Yesterday was one of my range days. I went alone and captured one of the bays (three-sided shooting areas) at the local outdoor range. I brought my carbine and one of my Glocks. I spent about half my time working with my Glock and the other half with my carbine. The carbine is a new acquisition and I had no idea they are such neat rifles. Thanks for reminding me of that too, even if the memory wasn’t that far away. :)

    I think I’ve stumbled on your site once or twice before, but bounced. I’m really glad I stopped by and stuck for a few minutes this time!

    I also liked the writing at 5mph piece. I feel like that too, now that I left my academic position for the private sector.

    Thanks for sharing your work.

    Monday, September 17, 2007 at 3:19 am | Permalink
  16. Geri wrote:

    Hey Karen…excellent read! Very evocative – your words stay with me after the reading was done! Congratulations!

    I’ve always thought I would love guns if I even got my hands on one – just the mechanics and the feel and the smell. I’ve shot my father’s hunting rifles a couple of times…but I think I would be hooked if I tried anything else.

    Tuesday, September 18, 2007 at 7:13 pm | Permalink
  17. Geri, shooting a handgun is therapeutic. Happiness IS a warm gun…

    Wednesday, September 19, 2007 at 5:42 am | Permalink
  18. ruminator wrote:

    I’m new to the AR platform. I purchased a carbine a couple of months ago. My Older Son, Daughter-in-Law, and I took it to the range the first time and we probably fired a couple of hundred rounds through it. I was really surprised how warm the forestock became!

    I’ve warmed the barrels of my Glocks several times, but they don’t get nearly as warm as a rifle.

    I really like my carbine! I had no idea AR’s were so much fun to shoot. Now I’m hooked. :)

    Saturday, September 22, 2007 at 10:49 pm | Permalink
  19. I wish there were more ranges in this area. We don’t even have an indoor range within reasonable driving distance, as far as I know. Funny that I had ranges all around me in NorCal, and come to the South and they aren’t as easy to get to!

    Sunday, September 23, 2007 at 6:44 am | Permalink
  20. Abeer wrote:

    I found your essay in Nerve through USF’s Signal (I’m an alum – and had a Nerve essay published last year, though not nearly as sexy as yours). RoD was quite so lovely. Pitch perfect in its colluding of themes and provocative beautiful language. Esp. about the guns. Nice work. I have you RSS-ed.

    Monday, September 24, 2007 at 3:27 pm | Permalink
  21. Hey Abeer, I’ve subbed to your blog too and will look up your essay. Love your long essayish posts… evocative and interesting.

    Monday, September 24, 2007 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

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