Writing Re-Enlightenment

Are you a Morgan or an Aaron? I’ve got some The Walking Dead style ethical ?’s going on, so pull up a chair and let’s philosophize!

Posted in Uncategorized by Caralyn Davis on October 28, 2015

Is preserving our own beliefs better than reaching out to help others no matter what the personal cost? I contemplated this thorny issue watching “JSS,” the second episode in season six of the zombie apocalypse TV juggernaut The Walking Dead. The question centers on the actions of two good, kind men: Morgan and Aaron. In “JSS” (SPOILERS COMING), a group of very unpleasant men and women—with Ws carved into their foreheads to mark them as Wolves—partially ransack Alexandria, the town where Morgan and Aaron live, murdering many citizens in torturous ways that rival the worst “walker” (zombie) attacks.

Read the rest of my wee (and spoiler-filled if you haven’t seen the episode) essay here.

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A Damn Fine Female Body Part (Or Why You Really, Really Need to Stop Using C*nt as a Curse Word)

Posted in Uncategorized by Caralyn Davis on October 4, 2014

The female nether regions divide Americans into two distinct camps. On one side are the people who cannot bring themselves to say, hear, or read the word vagina no matter how legitimate the circumstances that prompt its use. Depending on whether they over-identify with daytime talk show hosts or public leaders, the anti-vagina crowd either reverts to baby talk (e.g., vajayjay) or condemns the dictionary-approved terminology as profanity and debauchery most vile. Sexual repression being the obvious diagnosis, I can do nothing but feel sorry for the stricken and wield the word with purpose and clarity whenever warranted.

What worries me and even pushes me to the point of active dislike is the growing multitude on the opposite end of the spectrum — the ones who are comfortable using the edgier c*nt as an everyday, casual obscenity. C*nt as insult has been around a long time and, within the hierarchy of derogatory expletives, is still one of the worst as far as I can tell from my middle-aged perspective. But it’s everywhere …

Read my complete essay, which includes a case study on positive objectification featuring the lovely Norman Reedus/Daryl Dixon and his fandom, here:

http://thedoctortjeckleburgreview.com/essay-a-damn-fine-female-body-part/

Be warned: C*nt is written out in full glory in the essay itself.

Rules of Engagement: A Step-by-Step Guide to My Very Own Home Invasion

Posted in writing by Caralyn Davis on October 3, 2014

I was making tea in the kitchen at the back of the house when I heard a boom followed by the tinkling sound of broken glass. A car accident on the street, that’s what I thought. I jogged forward a few steps into the dining room, stopping short under my thrift-store chandelier.

A gloved hand was coming through a pane of glass on my front door. The glove was knit with a thick, shiny white yarn and covered with brown leather patches on the fingers and palm. The hand was attached to an arm, nicely muscled and covered in a gray thermal T-shirt. The door was opening before the hand turned the lock. It had shattered in the frame to the left of the handle. …

Read the rest at: 

New 2011 Publishing Stats: Men vs. Women in Major Magazines

Posted in Uncategorized by Caralyn Davis on February 28, 2012

VIDA: Women in Literary Arts has posted its 2011 breakdown of men vs. women publishing in and being reviewed by major magazines. Review the bleak statistics here: http://www.vidaweb.org/the-count

Web wanderings: Some interesting links

Posted in Uncategorized by Caralyn Davis on January 30, 2012

If you don’t share my obsessive-compulsive tendency to troll the Internet looking for news and information about the wide world of literature and publishing, here are a few good links that you could have missed:

http://janefriedman.com/2012/01/28/start-here-how-to-get-your-book-published/ Great post by Jane Friedman laying out the basics of what writers need to consider on the road to book publication.

http://thephoenix.com/boston/news/133082-gender-bias-at-npr-and-what-it-reveals-about-the “Gender Bias at NPR — and What It Reveals About the World of Literary Fiction: All (Male) Things Considered” I learned about this sad, sobering article at Blog of a Bookslut, which offers great information and insights on the literary world.

http://thereviewreview.net/interviews/bridge-commercial-publishing An interview with the editors of Slice, who also happen to be book editors at Penguin and Hatchett. Particularly Hopeful Words: “We aim to act as a bridge for new writers to make their way into the commercial publishing world. Many of our subscribers are editors and agents and they routinely scout out new talent in Slice.” So might be a good place for many traditional writers try! This is my attempt to provide HOPE after the HELL of the essay by the former Tin House reader. (See previous post.)

http://www.erikadreifus.com/2012/01/friday-find-where-to-publish-flash-nonfiction-micro-essays/ “Friday Find: Where to Publish Flash Nonfiction & Micro-Essays” Might interest creative nonfiction writers as a way to dip your toe in the publishing waters, particularly if you’ve put all your eggs in a single “memoir” basket. As this new post at Talking Writing points out, memoirs are not an easy sell with agents, let alone publishers. FYI, I look at Erika Dreifus pretty religiously (note aforementioned obsessive-compulsive traits) — her website is worth checking out whether you write fiction or nonfiction.

In a last, totally unrelated note, last night my mother told me that her cat “hornswoggled” her. Love. That. Word. I believe it needs to see a resurgence in the under-70 crowd. Who’s with me?

As I tell my younger brother whenever we talk, Have a Good Life!

Literary Journal Publishing Resources / Links

Posted in Uncategorized by Caralyn Davis on November 12, 2011

I put this together for an online writing class. Hopefully it might help you too.

1. Duotrope’s Digest lets you search for journals according to various parameters: http://www.duotrope.com/

2. Poets & Writers allows you to do the same: http://www.pw.org/literary_magazines?perpage=*

3. NewPages Guide to Literary Magazines can be useful, and they have a Calls for Submissions page and literary magazine reviews as well as a blog that announces new journal launches: http://www.newpages.com/literary-magazines/

4. The Review Review has literary magazine reviews: http://thereviewreview.net/

5. The Review Review also has publishing tips such as:

6. Fiction Writer’s Review also has some journal reviews: http://fictionwritersreview.com/

7. Six Questions for… does interviews with journal editors. I think that’s where I first noticed Monkeybicycle, which ended up publishing one of my pieces this past summer: http://sixquestionsfor.blogspot.com/

8. Perpetual Folly does a Pushcart Prize-based ranking system of journals. They just came out with:

9. Bookfox came out with a ranking system based on Best American Short Stories last year: http://www.thejohnfox.com/bookfox/ranking-of-literary-journ.html

10. The Rankings has various ranking systems and lists of journals that are included in big-time anthologies: http://therankings.wordpress.com/

11. The Million Writers Award can help you find interesting online journals: http://storysouth.com/millionwriters.html