Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gender and Spirituality

I posted the final essay in my nonfiction section... it is, oddly enough, the one I wrote the longest ago (all the way back in 2002) and concerns the interplay between faith and gender in my life. Check it out via the link above. With that section of my blog wrapped up, I will move on to writing more about the process of creating my first novel, finding an agent for it, and then getting it published. So look for those posts to start soon! As always... comments are welcome!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Learning Italian...

I've added another essay -- this one published back in late 2008 -- from my Harvard years.  Involving my wonderful Italian teacher, Gloria, who figures into some of my favorite stories from freshman year, the essay looks at trying to measure up to the standard expectations of masculinity.  It was originally published in Flashquake, republished in HBOMB (thanks to a former student of mine from when I taught in Naples, Florida), and I have made a copy available here on the site.  Check it out via the nonfiction link above... and let me know what you think!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Contra Dancing

Continuing with my project of posting and writing comments on my previously published nonfiction, I added a new essay.  This one, "Circle Square," first appeared in 13th Warrior Review in 2008.  It reflects on a contra dance group that I participated in during college (and a little reflection on junior high school as well) and how that all comments on gender.  Check it out via the tab above...I hope you enjoy it. And if anyone knows of a good contra dance happening in my area, let me know!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Trans in Wyoming

I've added another piece to my nonfiction archive... this one's about a summer I spent in Wyoming (or at least the start of that summer).  It was, though the essay doesn't reveal this facet, a truly wonderful three months that I stayed out there.  Again, the essay concerns being transgender and especially wrestling with being closeted, being safe, and also being true to self.  Hope you enjoy... and, in the spirit of previous posts, I dug up this photo of me (later in the summer) in Wyoming.  Note: that is snow behind me, even though the picture was taken late June/early July.  Check out the essay (published originally in Conte in 2008) via the tab above.  Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Elvis...In the Nonfiction Section

I've posted another essay published a while back (2008) and added some musing about transgender identity. To pique your interest, I dredged up some photos to share. First, here I am in the role I write about... Conrad Birdie!

That's me on the right -- I'm eleven.  You can read the essay by following the "Nonfiction" tab above.

And, just because I found it and thought it made good contrast, here I am on the same stage (the one not playing the upright bass, in case you're in doubt), about three years later.  Now, in which photo am I in drag?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

New Nonfiction Section

For the time being at least, I've wrapped up my posting in the research area of this site.  (I feel pretty confident I'll go back there for one last set of reflections... but not yet!).  So, on to the next stage.  I've started a new page about my nonfiction publications.  Most of these essays have to do with transgender identity, and I thought I would blog a bit about either the content of the essay or the process of composition or related aspects of gender identity.

I just posted the first entry -- it is on one of my very first published pieces: "Back of the Band," which appeared in Word Riot.  Check it out!  I've included a link to the piece as well as an alternate version and my musings on the subject of tubas and transgender.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Story Published in New Ohio Review
Just received my hard copy of New Ohio Review #12, which contains my short story, "The Hittite," along with many other wonderful pieces.
Check out their website and order yourself a copy... New Ohio Review

"The Hittite" tells the biblical story of David and Bathsheba, but I set it during the Afghan war.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Final Entry in "Researching Revolutionary"

(for now)

I just added some last thoughts on the research process... waxing more philosophical than practical, I admit, and reflecting a bit on the genre of historical fiction in general.  These topics were on my mind because I recently received some wonderful notes from a historian who had read through the manuscript.  So... once I'm through this stage, perhaps I'll post some more on this part of the process.  It has been enlightening!

Check out Section 6 under the "Researching Revolutionary" tab above.  As always, leave comments and tell me what you think!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Loose Sally Blog Contribution

Another Loose Sally (a blog component of Hunger Mountain, Vermont College of Fine Arts' Literary Journal) is running a fun series called "Write, Sally, Write!" in which responses to common questions and situations writers face are considered.  I contributed my two cents to the initial posting.  No surprise, I suppose, that I am billed as the "practical" advice.  But check out the more humorous ones!  It makes me miss my VCFA classmates!
Write Sally Write Entry

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Another Road Trip

I've just entered another section in my "Researching Revolutionary" section (see tab above)... this one on a road trip to Middleborough and Sharon Massachusetts, where Deborah lived before and after the war, respectively. There are photos of some notable sites, so enjoy! Next week I'll post the final installment in this section... but if you have any areas of research that you'd like me to expand on, please leave a comment and let me know.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Road Trip...

Continuing on with my entries on researching Revolutionary, I just added a section on a road trip I took up to spots in New York:  West Point, New Windsor, Newburgh, and other places where Deborah Sampson was stationed or fought.  There are lots of pictures as well as explanations for how these sites influenced my writing and revision.  Check it out via the tab above.  And... for those who aren't sure it's worth the tab click, here's a sample photo to entice you:  a shot of me at New Windsor, standing next to a reconstruction of one the cabins.  Now imagine you're a woman, disguised as a man, living in one of these (along with a dozen other soldiers) for an entire winter in 1782!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Using Other Novels

I just posted a new section in the "Researching Revolutionary" area (tab above).  This week it is about the importance of reading broadly in your genre&time period and how that was part of my writing/research process.  Next week is on to some research road trips!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Perhaps you've checked out the tab above that concerns "what I'm reading now"?  Here's a picture of Magic reading Ethan Frome with me.  She's a huge Wharton fan, and she especially appreciates the presence of a cat in this novel (she's currently working on a critical piece examining feline normativity and American realism).
Also, I'm putting together a reading list on the topic of dystopian and utopian literature (just finished reading Herland) -- any suggestions?  High school age appropriate... need not feature cats (though that's always a plus).
Earlier, I posted some pictures of where I like to write... and it is true: I prefer to write standing up and I also like to write (to paraphrase Virginia Woolf) in a room of my own.  But I couldn't resist adding in this shot of one of our cats, Magic, "assisting" in the writing process.  (She's especially helpful with revision.)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

More on Researching Historical Fiction

For those looking to read more about how I researched (and started to write) my novel, Revolutionary, see the section I just added (or part one of it, anyway): here .

As always, I'd welcome comments.  Others out there who have written/researched for historical fiction?  Any experts (or interested amateurs) on the Revolutionary War?  What has your process been like?  What areas are most interesting or most frustrating to research?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I hope you enjoy the third entry into "Researching Revolutionary" that I just posted.  Check it out here . This time I wrote about when I declared the initial phase of research done, and also how this source gave me (unexpected)insight into Deborah Samson's character.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I just added a post to the "Researching Revolutionary" section concerning how I began my research with a great secondary source that provided an anchor point for both Deborah's life and her historical context. Check it out via the tab above!
Recent Road Trip...
So, in preparing to write about the research process, I went off on a road trip to Middleborough and Sharon Massachusetts, where Deborah lived before and after the term she served in the army.  (I'd been there prior to writing the novel, but hadn't taken pictures.)  Though I won't be writing this "blog entry" in the research section for another couple weeks (I have a schedule!  And an outline!), I couldn't resist sharing these pictures.  Consider them a teaser...
 This building is an outhouse dating from the 1700s... it was on the site of Sproat's Tavern, where Deborah worked before entering the service.  Kudos to the Middleborough Historical Society for preserving it.  I had to resist the temptation to put a sign in front:  Deborah Samson sat here!
 Here I am at my ancestor's street in Sharon Massachusetts. There are actually several Deborah Sampson streets around.
And this is Deborah's statue outside the Sharon Public Library.  She's wearing a dress, but has her regimental uniform jacket over her shoulder, a powder horn in one hand and her tricorn and musket in the other.  Can you see the family resemblance?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Check out my first post in the "Researching Revolutionary" section. In it, I discuss how I first became acquainted with Deborah Samson's story. Check it out by clicking the tab above or the link here.

Friday, August 3, 2012

I've wrapped up a section of posting... check out the "About Me/About Revolutionary" link above or just click here.  You'll find a synopsis of the novel, a brief author biography, and a little bit about where/how I write.  Photos included!

Now, on to blogging about the process of researching and how I used that fact to create historical fiction.  Expect an update within a week.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

"This I Believe Archive"

If you missed the live version today, you can listen to my "This I Believe" segment by following this link:

Identity Archived

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tomorrow 8/1... on Rhode Island National Public Radio... you can tune in to hear me read my essay on "This I Believe."  It should air twice in the morning and once in the evening.  I'll post the link once it has been archived.  For those not in the Rhode Island area, you can stream the station live:  http://www.ripr.org/

Monday, July 30, 2012

Take Two!
Over the coming weeks, I plan to revitalize the site...
I've added new tabs and will begin blogging about my first novel, Revolutionary, which will be coming out with Simon and Schuster.
I'll be writing about
      How I researched the novel (which is a work of historical fiction)
      The process of finding an agent (and then what happens next...)
      My writing and reading life these days

I just updated my list of fiction published on line, so check them out!