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Essay, “Falling In,” to appear in Kore Press anthology, “Powder”

An anthology from Kore Press

An anthology from Kore Press

On November 11, Veterans Day, Kore Press will release Powder, an anthology that “brings us poetry and personal essays from 19 women who have served in all branches of the United States military.” I am one of those 19 women, and this anthology will feature my essay “Falling In.”

(I spent 8 years in the Air Force, not six, but never mind.)

The list of people who have helped me with this essay scrolls out the door and down the street. It appeared in early drafts in workshops in the MFA program at the University of San Francisco; had buckets of TLC from Lisa Catherine Harper, my thesis adviser; then was lovingly pulled limb from limb by both my local writing buddy Lisa and the local writing critique group I run (“What does THAT mean? What does THIS mean? The beginning feels muddled”).

(When it comes to structure in essays, my mantra is now WWLD — What Would Lisa Do?)

Last December I spent an entire day unfuddling the muddle in this essay, and then sulked that I didn’t like the revision as much as the earlier version… then picked up “Falling In” again a month later and realized how much better it had become. Baby just needed new shoes.

I have several more military essays ready or near-ready to send out. I have one that feels just right for O, but I can’t figure out how to submit it to them. If you have contacts, yes, I’m groveling. It’s an essay about a Thanksgiving meal I prepared in my room at the officers’ barracks at Osan Airbase in 1990.

“Thanksgiving 1990” might easily go into various journals — it’s about food, family, friendship, the military, and sweet potatoes — but sometimes I get this feeling, “this belongs THERE,” and I’m not satisfied until they agree or disagree with me. I never hold a grudge if I’m wrong (well… almost never…). Karl Soehnlein once said that every good piece of nonfiction will eventually find its home, and it’s my job to help it get there — which means both making it good, and finding its right home.

On other publishing news, I see that 12 libraries now have WorldCat holdings for The Best Creative Nonfiction Volume 2, which means I only have to travel 387 miles and cross three state lines to check out a copy. I know adding a book to a library costs more than its cover price, but you can buy it from Amazon for under $10… and it’s such an easy book to book-talk. A great book to read bit by bit. A busy-life book.

I’d really like to see more libraries holding The Best Creative Nonfiction Volume 2. It’s 300-plus pages of really great writing (including my essay, “Range of Desire”) and has 4.5 stars from the highly discerning readers at LibraryThing. I have a pile of postcards for this book so if you send your snail-mail to kgs at freerangelibrarian dot com I will send you a postcard begging you to buy it. In Librarian Haiku, no less!

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