My response to this correspondence from (Niklas) Eraser Heed:
My response to this correspondence from (Niklas) Eraser Heed:
Click on the links below to read artsy letters from Suzy Anderson to Whitney Reinhard…
15 March 2013
The short story I sent you also needs work. I’m still searching for my narrative style. What a great idea to focus on writing one scene @ a time for your story.
At AWP I found a copy of NANO Fiction for you. I also need to read more flash fiction. There was also Nouvella @ AWP & they publish novellas. I’ve read a handful of novellas, but now I’m actually considering to try it myself. One of the panels I attended was on e-books for children, & one of the panelists participates in 12×12, where the goal is to write 12 picture books in a year, one a month. I’m going to check it out. It would be cool to tell stories about music & retell episodes of Don Quixote for kids. At AWP I had the thought to approach the page only w/ the story in mind. The length, & ultimately the form, will come out during the writing. So then I don’t worry about the length. For flash fiction I’m going to use small sheets of paper like this so I can fill the page & that’s my flash. Because flash is shorter, it needs tight9er0 language & some kind of structure or element to tie it together. Most of the flash in NANO Fiction is one paragraph, but it is certainly not limited to one paragraph.
I’ve certainly become less judgmental of my appearance b/c I’ve edited the videos & looked @ me. Even listening to the voicemails I’ve left on my parents’ phone, I wasn’t convinced that’s what I sound like. Though when I’m excited about something, my voice conveys it. Sometimes I worry I don’t speak w/ enough infection & use monotone. I think it would be interesting to learn what others think about me, but I’m not sure if at the end of the day I’d truly want to know.
Honestly, I would love to sleep 8-9 hours every night, write in the mornings after I made my breakfast, eat a light lunch, & read in the afternoon & start making dinner. Then eat & watch a movie or take a walk or play a game. Of course have time for day trips & days @ a time for extended travel. That would be my ideal schedule. & to work in my garden if I have one. & in the afternoons I can work on other arts like painting, drawing, charcoal, & crochet & knitting. So I can be creative & adventurous every day!
What kind of Irish materials are you looking for, for your sister’s trip? There’s got to be stickers for Ireland. Sounds like your sister gets to do all kinds of cool things! Snowboarding & skiing is on my bucket list. Especially since I want to go to Finland someday & ski there, & of course ski on the Alps @ least once.
I’ve been eating more fish recently too. It’s a shame that only 2% is checked. I’ve been trying to eat fish once a week, w/ vegetarian & chicken meals the rest of the week. My sister knows someone who had arsenic poisoning from taking too many vitamin supplements, b/c even if they’re made in the US, the materials are not checked. Scary, huh? The doctor said he only gives his family Flintstones vitamins & Advil b/c they are checked. I’m relieved I’ve been taking Flintstone vitamins since I was a kid.
I’m glad you’re eating healthier & on your way to reaching your goals! I need to make exercising a better habit, like aerobic walks & yoga. I get the weights @ work.
I do write my dreams down in my journal. That is, if I can remember them or piece some of the images together. Mine have been fragments of old dreams & images I’ve never seen before, so it’s been fun to ask if I’ve seen it before or if it’s completely new. I like the puzzle & mystery of it. If I write down part of it & then go to work, sometimes I’ll remember more details throughout the day.
I haven’t read “Atlas Shrugged,” but I would like to read Ayn Rand someday. That is a great combo! I’ve been reading Sherman Alexie’s short stories & poems, but I’m going to start on George Saunders’ collections next. I finished a book I borrowed from Emy, & it was so nice to live in a fantasy world for a while b/c it has been so long since I’ve read a fantasy novel that wasn’t Harry Potter. I’ve also been reading Prairie Margins issues. There was a Limerick contest in 1979 & Isaac Asimov submitted an original limerick. He didn’t win, but it was included. Nate, one of the staff members this year & the webmaster next year, is trying to make e-books of them. I’ve been helping him w/ my Kindle, & I was wondering if you would check them out on your Nook, please. It’s funny how even w/o reading previous issues of PM that we’ve published similar content.
Golly, I’ve been reading a lot lately, which is great b/c when I was a kid I devoured books regularly. I don’t remember the two books I finished, but I’ve written it down somewhere. I finally read The Hunger Games Trilogy & was impressed w/ the pacing & world building. I saw the film 1st, which I rarely do, but the movie sucked me in enough to start reading. I finished the 3 books in 4 days, & actually read the 2nd & 3rd on the Kindle—the 1st books I’ve read completely on it. & I’ve owned the Kindle for over a year now! I’ve also been doing research for Charlotte, like Missouri & interpreting her dreams & how to recover from rape. I started reading Les Miserables, but I haven’t gotten very far. It’s the kind of book where I need to stop & ponder. I am also anxious for Matt Bell’s novel. I wasn’t able to attend his partial reading of it in Boston, but I did find a proof copy & got to read the 1st page. I made myself put it down b/c I know I would’ve stood there & finished it if I read any further. He’s working on his second novel. The beauty of reading a book is discovering more like it! I got a lot of books @ AWP, mostly lit mags & poetry collections, but on the 3rd day I purposely stopped & looked thru short story collections & novels to augment my fiction reading.
AWP in Boston was fun! Are you planning on going to Seattle next year? I would like to go w/ you & Aretha. It’s a great experience & there’s so much to do. This year I decided to live at the bookfair & not really focus on sessions like I did last year. But I did go to sessions about children’s e-books, teaching book arts, how to use video & audio, & how to learn to not hate your writing. Turns out I was on the right track for video & audio! & the e-books talked about interactive & enhanced e-books, which sparked some ideas I didn’t really have a form for. The book arts made me eager to dive into bookbinding, so Mary & I are going to Ann Arbor tomorrow to buy some supplies & get started. I’m so glad she took a summer course on it so I have a mentor. & I think it’s going to be an AWP tradition to attend a Richard Bausch panel. He told great jokes last year & he did again this year, featuring limericks. I got free stuff @ the bookfair & got subscriptions to Kenyon Review, One Story, & AGNI. It was so cool to tell Kenyon Review that they were the 1st lit mag I ever saw—b/c I was taking Spanish lit in High School that teamed up w/ Kenyon. We took a trip there & it was lying on the coffee table & I read one of the stories. But one of the best parts of the bookfair was meeting previous contributors of PM & having conversations w/ ppl at their tables & booths. One guy took book covers related to Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” & made a quilt! The mustaches at PM were a hit, & several tables had fortune cookies. Here are mine:
Wading knee-deep in muck, searching for a pen.
Every bridge gives the traveler two destinations, though one is always retreat.
You will finally find time to write but choose to watch TV.
& driving there was an adventure b/c it snowed/rain/snowed on repeat there & on the way back there was a detour around Cleveland. It took 6 hours to cross NY, but the scenery of the hills & mountains was so pretty. When we got to Boston, it took an hour to find our hotel b/c we landed across Charles River in Cambridge instead of Boston. So glad we were able to get help @ a hotel. & the 1st night we got lost & one of the natives gave us directions & walked w/ us. Around Harvard there were several bookstores but I didn’t get to stop in. getting lost always frustrates me b/c I get lost easily, but @ least it’s been practice for reading a map & getting unlost. One of the best parts was discovering that the convention center was connected to the mall’s food court so we didn’t have to go outside to eat! It was a fantastic mall.
My goal is to finish typing my novel before we have lunch on Sunday, so wish me luck! I can’t wait to see you!
P.S. I started reading the bio by Dittman. Definitely had an interesting life, Jack Kerouac, that’s for sure.
P.P.S. Cheeseboy was my favorite place to eat in Boston—gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches & tomato soup on the go. I still feel like a part of me is in Boston. I can only imagine going to Europe & being dragged screaming & kicking when it’s time to return to the States. Although I don’t want to lug 10 pounds of books around the city in the snow anytime soon. 😀
A Letter from Suzy Anderson to Whitney Reinhard…
20 September 2012
I’ve been ill lately, hence the reason it took so long to write. I’ve been to the doctor and the chiropractor (first time ever!) but I still don’t feel a 100%.
I will have to read “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” then, esp. since I love the epistolary form. Have you ever read “Dear Everybody” by Michael Kimball?
I recently finished a novel (“A True History of the Captivation, Transport to Strange Lands, and Deliverance of Hannah Guttentag”) by Josh Russell as part of my Dzanc internship. It was a quick read and an amazing journey through Hannah Guttentag’s life as a scholar, wife, and mother. Plus I think there is a great benefit to short chapters: the story feels like it is moving fast because the page numbers go by so quickly. Plus it’s an entertaining read. Laughed so much.
Actually I sealed your letter before I realized I forgot to tell you about the Dzanc internship, so that’s why I wrote it as a P.S. on the envelope. My reading assignments have been mostly submissions, and Josh Russell’s novel. I’m also proofreading e-books.
No, I haven’t read “Foe” by J.M. Coetzee. I think I would’ve fought Othello too, if I was Desdemona. Whenever I think about Romeo and Juliet, I would (if I was Juliet) write a letter to my parents saying I married Romeo and left after Nurse said to marry Paris.
Hobby Lobby is definitely one of those places I try to go to for something specific so I leave the store with the item in tow (and hopefully not much else!)
A duct tape festival sounds like great fun! I will have to start practicing.
My mini-vacation will be part birthday celebration part novel research. Since I’ve only driven through Missouri as part of the California trip, I want to explore Charlotte’s hometown of Columbia more thoroughly, particularly art museums and parks. Plus, she drove from Cincinnati, Ohio, to San Diego, California, so I’ll be able to see what it was like for her to drive so far. And then I can visit my family in Cincy and go to the Ohio Renaissance Festival. I love going and went a lot as a kid. It’s been two years since I’ve gone. If you go, definitely check out the Mudde Show. They retell Beowulf and Dante’s Inferno. And they splash mud. It’s pretty awesome and you should check it out when you get a chance.
I also want to go to England! Perhaps we can both save up and go together. The pictures on Facebook look for from your marathons. Congrats on keeping it up! Kudos to you.
I still think of Larissa’s class when I see honey. What a great class! I still remember the day she brought in the skeleton.
It’s a shame The Stately Raven closed. What bookstores should we visit?
A letter from Suzy Anderson to Whitney Reinhard–
2 February 2012
I’ve never been to the Bookshelf II. I will have to check it out since I love going to different bookstores to see what they have.
I feel the same way–“I love it there [BG]. I just think I need a taste of ‘the real world.'” I hope I can survive this semester too! Really sorry it took so long for me to write back.
Perfectionism has been running through my mind for a while. What does it mean to pursue perfection? Why do I try so hard to be perfect? Is it possible to no longer be a perfectionist? Are perfectionists made or created? Several of my short stories deal with perfectionism in some way, so it might make a collection some day.
“You can tell a lot by peoples’ hands” is so true! I know after injuring my right hand freshman year I am more careful with my hands. I know I’ll be devastated without them–probably wouldn’t be able to turn book pages, crochet, knit, type, play piano, or write by hand otherwise.
I hope you had a great visit with your sister. It’s nice to see people you haven’t seen in a while. Before the semester started I visited my sister, aunts, uncles, cousins, brother, and nephews in Cincinnati. I hadn’t seen them in so long! And I gave my grandmother the afghan I’ve been working on for years. It was the right shade of blue.
I’m glad one of your favorite things to do is read! I have so many books on my to-read list and it keeps growing! Hopefully more books will come to join the others on the list. At least I’ll never be out of reading material! 🙂
I have three older half siblings and two younger siblings. Even though we come from the same gene pool, we are all very different people. I’m the only one who is studying “art” (because writing is an art) but all of them have creative pursuits like music and poetry or handicrafts. I think God does have a sense of humor for a lot of the situations and lives we have. Life should be entertaining or we’ll just trudge along waiting for it to end.
NaNo pushes me as a writer too. I’m glad I participated last year even though I wasn’t sure I could do NaNo and school and work and everything else. I’m glad I reached 50 thousand words. It is always such an accomplishment.
That’s great that your characters surprised you! One of my favorite parts of the writing process is making discoveries along the way.
I didn’t realize Paul would be so important in the novel and that his cousin Tiffany would be such a trouble maker and crucial to the plot.
Charlotte has surprised me from day one. She still hasn’t revealed all of her secrets, but then again we all keep secrets. The biggest surprise from Charlotte though would be that she no longer starts the fire, which pretty much cuts Dan out of the story and the mental hospital. I need to go back and make revisions.
I don’t have a single list of books I would recommend to others, but I should make a complete list. Here’s mine, also in no particular order. Some are plays.
1. Room-Emma Donoghue
2. Lolita-Vladimir Nabokov
3. In the Lake of the Woods-Tim O’Brien
4. On Writing-Stephen King
5. Persuasion-Jane Austen
6. Glass Castle-Jeannette Wall
7. Shade’s Children-Garth Nix
8. The Tao of Pooh-Benjamin Hoff
9. Sir Stalwart-Dave Duncan
10. Harry Potter series-J.K. Rowling
11. Fall of a Kingdom-Hilari Bell
12. Lord of the Rings-J.R.R. Tolkien
13. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close-Jonathan Safran Foer
14. Persepolis-Marjane Satrapi
15. Much Ado About Nothing-Shakespeare
16. The Dark Glory War-Michael A. Stackpole
17. Kindred-Octavia Butler
18. Winesburg, Ohio-Sherwood Anderson
19. Cane-Jean Toomer
There’ll be more in the postscript. Some of my favorite films:
Alex & Emma
Beauty and the Beast
A Knight’s Tale
Good choices on your holiday films! My family listens to the Nutcracker Suite and Christmas carols. We try to have a meal together for the holiday and give gifts.
I think I’ll have the same reaction at my thesis reading. Oh Faulkner. 🙂
My holiday was good and I hope yours was too! I’ll let you know when my thesis reading is. My thesis is starting to come together, poetry and fiction-wise.
It was fantastic to be greeted by two letters! I hope your back gets better. Injuries are never much fun.
Did you read and write while you were under house arrest? There are benefits to being a recluse. I like being around people too much to be a total recluse. Wouldn’t mind living in a log cabin and having a garden, though.
I also saw the Egyptian Exhibit! They had several details on scribes, which fascinated me, and the recording of what people would tell the gods as a negative confession was so intriguing I wrote about it. I love doing ekphrasis (art in response to art) whenever I go to museums. I went back to the art museum not too long ago and garnered more material.
I collect Shakespeare’s collected works. My Dad gave me a 2-volume set when I was a kid, I got his complete works (poetry included) for Christmas one year, and this past year I got my grandfather’s copy of the plays with his annotations. I read Macbeth in high school and also loved it–especially since lyrics are taken from it for one of the songs in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban film score.
I’m glad you enjoyed “The Young Man with the Carnation.” I also worry about superficiality in my writing. I much prefer writing from the truth and emotions.
Matt’s book is on my list to read. I also was happy when he read at Prout.
Good luck with your short story! I hope to hear more about it.
My semester is going well, busy as usual. I’m taking fewer classes, which helps. It’s hard to think about what’s going to happen after graduation, but I’ve decided to not worry about it and take each day one at a time. I’m spending more time writing and gathering material, so the habit of writing every day is still going well. I’m trying to add the habit of reading at least one short story a day, but it’s a work in progress.
What are your goals for this year?
21. As I Lay Dying-William Faulkner
22. The Write Type-Karen E. Peterson
23. Brave New World-Aldous Huxley
24. A Wrinkle in Time-Madeleine L’Engle
25. If I Stay-Gayle Forman
26. Echo-Kate Morgenroth
27. Sold-Patricia McCormick
28. Catalyst-Laurie Halse Anderson
29. Dealing with Dragons-Patricia C. Wrede
30. A Void-Georges Perec
31. Dear Everybody-Michael Kimball
32. Pride and Prejudice-Jane Austen
33. Great Gatsby-F. Scott Fitzgerald
34. Kafka was the Rage-Anatole Broyard
35. Le Morte D-Arthur-Sir Thomas Malory
36. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn-Mark Twain
37. The Canterbury Tales-Geoffrey Chaucer
38. Birds of America-Lorrie Moore
39. Dracula-Bram Stoker
40. Bear and his Daughter-Robert Stone
41. Nine Stories-J.D. Salinger
42. Carmilla-Sheridan le Fanu
43. The Vampyre-John Polidori
I sent this rabbit paper doll to Guido Vermeulen, in honor of his ever faithful Rabbit Nero. Guido took several photos of the doll in his garden. The photos can be seen here:
Click on the link to read Whitney’s letter to Suzy: From_Whitney_4-1-13
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