Head down a path of creativity

18 somethings colfax trainsThere are mere hours left to head down a path of activating your creativity! The fourth edition of The 18 Somethings Project will run July 1-18. This writing adventure is 18 days of writing 10 minutes a day, sharing/receiving ONLY positive feedback with a stranger, and jump-starting (or re-starting!) your creative life. Lots of magic has emerged from the previous 3 editions, like folks finishing novels and starting writing groups.

Sign up before 11:11pm PST tonight (June 22) by filling out a short Google form and sending in your donation. Questions? 18somethings [at] gmail [dot] com.

Image: Train tracks in Colfax, CA.

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Winter Reading

Some things I’ve been reading and obsessing over since mid-December that maybe you want to check out. (* indicates my dear friend Janet either recommended or lent me the book…I call it the Janet-Frishberg-curriculum-for-becoming-a-better-writer-and-human.)

Object of Beauty, Steve Martin (made me see the “art world” differently)
Bound, Antonya Nelson (after I read this mind-blowing piece on revision she wrote, I had to read her fiction)
Bluets, Maggie Nelson* (from Wave Books, so good it makes me want to write little prose pieces that I can compile into a slim obsessive volume)
Truth and Beauty*, Ann Patchett (about her friendship with Lucy Grealy)
Autobiography of a Face, Lucy Grealy (Lucy’s memoir)
My Heart is an Idiot, Davy (hysterically funny essays)
Female Trouble: Stories, Antonya Nelson (compelling and character-driven)
Women, Chloe Caldwell* (a similar size to Bluets and a similar wonderfully transparent, up-front voice)

In progress:

Bad Feminist*, Roxane Gay (I’ve been recommending this to everyone I know)
Rome, Dorothea Lasky (her new books of poems with a polar bear on the cover!)
Monogamy Songs, Gregory Sherl (heartbreakingly sad; I’ve been reading it as I wait for the bike shuttle in downtown San Francisco to head back to the East Bay, and there’s something about the smell of the Bay and the dimming evening light that goes perfectly with these poems)
Lucky Us, Amy Bloom (Amy is one of my favorite fiction writers–I’ve re-read her other books multiple times, and am so glad she has something new out)

We’re making another zine: FAULTS.

Recently, three other San Francisco-based ladies-who-get-shit-done and I launched Habits of the Mouth, a zine of prose, poetry, and art from over 15 contributors. We’ve recovered from the debauchery and delights of our last release party and reading, named ourselves Index/Fist, and we’re now accepting submissions of more prose, poetry, and art for the next zine.

The theme? FAULTS. The release? August 2013.
We’d love for you to submit (yes, you). Submission guidelines and FAQS are below. Due to space constraints, we won’t be able to accept all of the work we receive. Feel free to pass this on to any faulty-minded friends or lovers. All contributors will receive one free copy of the zine.
 
SUBMISSION GUIDELINES 
Send a .doc or .docx version of your work and a short bio (35 words or less) to indexfist@gmail.com by July 1. Submissions should:

  • Be an inventive or classic variation on the theme “faults.” Wikipedia’s got some great ideas here.
  • Prose must be 750 words or less.
  • Poetry must be 45 lines or less.
  • Images (.jpg please) must be 300dpi. Due to difficultly reprinting, we currently do not accept photography.
  • Submissions will be read blind, so pleasedo not include your name in your attachment.
Simultaneous submissions are just fine, but please, no previously published work. We’ll let you know if we’ve accepted your work by August 1.

Questions? indexfist@gmail.com 

FAQs
Hey, what’s a zine? Zines are self-published works with a limited distribution. They can be cut & paste photocopy jobs, bound journals, or a simple computer print-out stapled together. All of our zines are hand-stitched volumes made with extreme care. They are not for profit and are distributed within San Francisco and, upon request, across the US via mail.
How is this different from a literary journal? We’re bypassing traditional publishing norms and venues by printing, binding, and distributing a small collection of gorgeous books by hand. Our zines celebrate content and presentation. We make limited print runs. Read: you cannot get this on the Internet.
What kind of work are you looking for? Concise and compelling prose, poetry, and images that bend our idea of what FAULTS means. We appreciate works of all genres with distinct points of views, as well as images that can be easily reprinted.
Can I still submit if I don’t live in San Francisco? Damn straight you can. 
Why are you calling yourselves Index/Fist? Are you some sort of S&M group? Ha! Because it’s a bangin’ typographical symbol that desperately needs to get some more play in the printed world.  ☞ ☞ ☞

I don’t want to submit but I want to get a copy of the zine and come to the release party. How can I do that? 
By emailing indexfist@gmail.com those exact words.

Books I’m Obsessed With, Currently.

The title is pretty self-explanatory. I’m on a pretty big nonfiction kick these days, so take that into account.

  • Susannah Cahalan’s Brain on Fireeven if you have no interest in how the brain works, epilepsy, autoimmune diseases, or The New York Post, you should still read this book. It’s a fascinating account of an early-twenties Post reporter losing her mind for a month, and how she gets it back.
  • Tash Aw’s Map of the Invisible World, a novel about the journey of a woman and two boys in 1960s-Indonesia. Gripping from the first few pages, and I’m not even finished yet, but already recommending it.
  • Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, a classic about the 1959 murders of an innocent family in Kansas, and the investigation, pursuit, capture, and trial of the murderers.

And still in the middle of: Thich Nhat’s Hanh’s Fidelity and Dan Pink’s new book To Sell is Human. More on these soon!