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My essay, “Falling In,” a Pushcart nominee

Powder: Writing by Women in the Ranks

Powder: Writing by Women in the Ranks

Several weeks ago Kore Press notified me that they had nominated my essay, “Falling In,” for a Pushcart prize (“Best of the Small Presses”). This essay is in Powder: Writing by Women in the Ranks, which, might I add, is a mighty fine read all around and makes a lovely gift for the soldier or veteran in your life, or anyone else who enjoys a good book.

I got a little weird about this news. Was it o.k. to share it? Brazen? Jinxish?  I finally wrote a writer who I was pretty confident had not been a Pushcart contender this year, who reassured me it was fine to share the news.

So mark 2008 as the year I had an essay published in a “Best of” anthology and had another essay nominated for a Pushcart. I will write this in longhand on an index card and tape it to my monitor, to comfort myself every time I get another rejection (and I need a lot more of those, because if I’m not getting rejections it means I’m not submitting) or when I feel low about my writing.

Leon County, if you’re reading this, I’d be happy to donate a copy of each book if it will go into your collection.  It feels bad to see both of “my” books unavailable for hundreds of miles from where I live (at least according to WorldCat) — 1000 miles, in the case of Powder. Talk about getting a dose of my own medicine!

But while I’m whining… a big warm THANK YOU to every library that added these books to your collections. It feels good to think that I could go into your library and see “my” book on a shelf… or even better, find that it was checked out. (I might just pass out if that happened.)  THANK YOU for adding small-press books in a tough economic year. THANK YOU for buying those books when you could have bought other, more popular titles. THANK YOU for the spine labels, and the bar codes, and the cataloging, and the shelf space. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! YOU ROCK!

For librarians interested in such, I’d be happy to offer my own librarian-writer insights on how to market creative nonfiction to patrons. Leon County is notable for having nearly every “Best American Essay” anthology, back to 1987, if memory serves — these alone make terrific lagniappe-style reading (I made it a goal to read all of them at least once, and succeeded) and would even work for book groups. These books now slumber peacefully in the 800s… each one explosively good reading. As someone said to me yesterday, don’t hide that light under a bushel!

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