This is so embarrassing! You weren’t supposed to find me here. 😉
That’s not strictly true, of course. I put a lot of work into this page. It’s kind of like those people whose “no makeup” makeup look involves three layers of concealer, tactical camouflage levels of contouring, and a pair of real mink false eyelashes. I’ve skipped the mink, but it’s still my dearest wish that you read and like this page.
Why? Easy: this whole website exists to convince you that a) I is real good at this writin’ thing, and b) I might know something about it that is of value to you. Any writer can use her list of books or a roundup of her past work in literary magazines to show you this – and I have. But what this page intends to show you is my bad (or at the very least, fairly unpublishable) writing – my worst line breaks, my coldest takes, my misplaced seething rage.
Because to properly convince you that I’m a Good Writer(TM), I need to prove to you that I know what Less Than Good writing looks like. Because I’ve lived it, continue to live it, and will always live it. Every writer stinks sometimes.
Part I: The Early Years (AKA Stuff I Wrote In High School)
Aaah, 2008. I had just discovered veganism, kissing girls, editing a zine, and poetry. I was especially obsessed with formal poetry – the more convoluted the shape (like sestinas!), the more I was into it.
From that period came “Number Ones“, and “The One About the Fish“. I would have done anything to force a rhyme.
Part II: High Concept Nonsense
“Daybreak”, my experimental verse drama about werewolves in conversion therapy, has been rejected. A. Lot. It was originally part of the draft manuscript of my book Your Therapist Says It’s Magical Thinking, but a rejecting editor said the book read like it was written by multiple people. The play never really found a home, so it’s here.
I wrote a short story, “Garbage People”, about cults, solving climate change, and a father-son duo who drive a spaceship to a black hole in order to obliterate other people’s digital junk. It’s a perennial reject, probably because it’s weird.
Part III: I Don’t Have a Future in Humour Writing
I’ve shopped around a few humour pieces over the years, but two stand out as Most Rejected: “The #1 Frat House for Attaining Enlightenment” and “Fake Pasta-Wise, I Have Failed as a Mother“. The first one has me writing about cults again. Cults are a special interest of mine. You will probably encounter this odd obsession again if you have any significant dealings with me. The second is a riff on my then-two-year-old niece’s extensive fake food collection; apparently, no one else cares.
What poorly written (or well-written, but unpublishable) skeletons lurk in your closet? I hope you have fun learning from yours – and thank you, very deeply, for taking the time to delve into mine.