Evening Street Review Publication: A 30-Year Lesson in Perseverance

Spring in the White Mountains of New Hampshire

I am pleased to report that I have a short story, “A Little Madness in the Spring,”  published in the Autumn, 2017 edition of Evening Street Review. I am particularly proud that a story of mine aligns with Evening Street Press’s mission statement:

Evening Street Press is centered on Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s 1848 revision of the Declaration of Independence: “that all men — and women — are created equal,” with equal rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” It focuses on the realities of experience, personal and historical, from the most gritty to the most dreamlike, including awareness of the personal and social forces that block or develop the possibilities of a new culture.1

Note: The Evening Street Press website has not yet been updated with information about the Autumn, 2017 edition of Evening Street Review. I will update today’s blog post when that information is posted.

“A Little Madness in the Spring” is one of several stories I’ve written set in Berlin, New Hampshire in the 1980s, where I lived for a year with my parents while I went through a divorce. My dad was a regular at the Woolworth’s lunch counter, and he got me  a job as a counter girl.

Naturally, I encountered quirky locals I could use in my fiction. Case in point: the two main characters in “A Little Madness in the Spring,” Antoine and his Uncle John. Now, here’s where the perseverance comes in. I wrote the first version of that story in graduate school–and I received my master’s in 1985.

The story was not as well-received in workshop as I’d hoped, the professor deeming its local color clichéd and its quirky characters cartoonish. So I rewrote it. Several times, in fact. Then I began sending it out, and after getting a big enough pile of rejection slips, I rewrote it again.

This time, when the rejection e-mails came rolling in, I didn’t rewrite the story. I continued to send it out. “A Little Madness in the Spring” had reached its full potential, and I believed in it. Fifteen years later, when the editor of Evening Street Review agreed, I was thrilled and gratified. Even so, as the publication date approached, she asked for a change to the ending. My response? To persevere. I spent over an hour reworking the last sentence, and I think the story is better for it.

I’m sharing the history of “A Little Madness in the Spring” as an object lesson in the importance in not giving up on a story after a few rejections. At the same time, however, if someone were to ask me, Well, how will I know when my story is finished? I’m not sure I could give an adequate answer. I have been writing so long that the answer continues to change. As of right now, I know that a story is finished when I feel a certain spark of recognition in my chest that says, I like this; this is good.

Not very helpful, I know, particularly considering the fact that sparks of recognition have been known to be wrong. Here is a good resource I found with actionable suggestions for determining when a story is truly finished:


1“Home.” Evening Street Press. Accessed December 24, 2017. http://www.eveningstreetpress.com/.

Adelaide Literary Magazine Publication!

My short story, “The Story of Henry: Chapter and Verse,” has been published in the July issue of Adelaide Literary Magazine.

I wrote the story a number of years ago, and after countless rejections, it finally found the right editor. (I sent it to Adelaide Literary Magazine from a call for submissions that seemed a good match for it. Subscribing to e-mailed calls for submissions has definitely paid off!)

“The Story of Henry” was inspired by an event that affected my father very deeply and, in turn, me. The typewriter above is the one that appears in the story. (I made mention of it in a prior post about the need some people have, myself included, to hold tight to our “Things.”)

 

Publications List

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“Norman Archambeau Meets His New Neighbor,” Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, October 2016.

“A Modern Woman Visits Her Brother’s Wife,” Shifts: An Anthology of Women’s Growth and Change, MuseWrite Press, 2014.

“Oak Bluffs: 1963,” BLISS: A Poetry Anthology, Muse Press, 2013.

“Convalescent,” Entelechy International, Number 7, 2012.

“Just Breathe,” Hospital Drive, Winter/Spring 2012.

“Living in the Ben Franklin Block,” Serving House Journal, Issue 3, Spring 2011.

“Leaving Rolf,” When Last on the Mountain: The View from Writers Over Fifty, Holy Cow! Press, 2010.

“1950: New Neighbors,” Peregrine, XXIII, 2005.

“Existence, Faith, Volition,” whimperbang, Issue 7, 2005.

“My Father’s Side of the Family,” Familiar, The People’s Press, Baltimore, Maryland, 2005.

“Cousin Charlotte’s Story,” Ad Hoc Monadnock Online, November 2004.

“Hers Alone,” Ballyhoo Stories, 2004.

“To The Phillips Motel in Sheldon,” Slow Trains, Spring 2004.

“Notes On Ronny Anderson,” eye~rhyme, No. 5, 2003.

“Sea Glass,” Mystic River Review, 2003.

“1917,” Blueline: A literary magazine dedicated to the spirit of the Adirondacks, 2001.

“Northeast Kingdom,” The Larcom Review, Spring/Summer 2001.

“Pier 12,” Natural Bridge, Number 5, Spring 2001.

“Wake,” The Brownstone Review, No. 10, 2000.

“Birth of the ‘Man-Friday’ Catamaran,” Rio Grande Review, Volume XV, No. 11, 1996.

“Some Are Called,” Ad Hoc Monadnock: A Literary Anthology, Monadnock Writer’s Group, 1995.

“Cape Elizabeth: 1962,” The Writing on the Wall, Volume 2, No. 2, 1994.

“Wailing,” Soundings East, Volume 12, No. 1, 1989.

“You Can’t Shut Your Eyes Against the Light,” The Long Story, No.  7, 1989.