Short Story: The More You Know

Filed under: Fiction,Joy's Work — Administrator at 1:43 pm on Tuesday, September 22, 2020

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I have a short story in Raritan. It’s called The More You Know, and it’s about a ghost who’s also a valley girl. Excerpt:

Being a ghost is so bogus. Like, what is a ghost even able to do, you know? So I can flicker a light bulb. So what? So can, like, a loose wire. Most of the time when I do that, people think, “Whoa, something is wrong with the lamp.” Mega lame. Like, the major thing I can do cor-porally is the same as some wires.

Read it here!

Short Story: Breaking In

Filed under: Fiction,Joy's Work — Administrator at 8:11 am on Thursday, August 6, 2020

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I have a short story in the Winter/Spring 2020 issue of Alaska Quarterly Review. It’s called Breaking In. Excerpt:

The ghost horses run at night. They’ve reverted to roaming the earth in troops, their gallop a rumble preceding trains and domestication. I heard them in the charred hills behind us, a cacophony fading to something primal, like ancient drum circles. It has been happening off and on throughout winter. They appear on barren, frosty evenings where in years past it would have rained.

Short Story: The Pigeon Carrier

Filed under: Fiction,Joy's Work — Administrator at 8:02 am on Thursday, August 6, 2020

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I have a short story at the Atticus Review. It’s called The Pigeon Carrier. Excerpt:

The man wore a holey tee-shirt and a trucker hat over greasy hair. In one hand, he was talking on a cell phone the size of a child’s shoe. In the other, he was carrying a pigeon.

Short Story: Hand To Mouth

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 7:21 am on Friday, January 24, 2020

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I have a creepy little story up at Flash Fiction Magazine. Someone once told me this story permanently changed how they saw gloves. Read Hand To Mouth.

Article: Lost Beneath Lake Berryessa

Filed under: Joy's Work,Nonfiction — Administrator at 4:23 pm on Sunday, January 12, 2020

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Check out my Alta article about the town of Monticello in Napa, which was turned into a lake and reservoir in the 1950s. Dorothea Lange documented the human and environmental toll that went into creating Lake Berryessa. Excerpt:

Goat Island in Lake Berryessa pokes up from the water like the crown of a hat. Beyond it, the hills are unusually triangular, coming to soft peaks instead of rolling mounds. Standing on the shore, I tried to imagine the island as it had been 62 years ago: not an island at all but the top of a hill. The lake is man-made, the result of a dam built across Putah Creek. The 1.6 million acre-feet of water cover a fertile valley and a town named Monticello.

The idea that there’s a town under a lake in Napa County, an hour-and-a-half drive from my house, was intriguing. Add to that the fact that Dorothea Lange, whose photographs humanized the Great Depression, shot a series on the flooding of the valley and the town, and I knew I had to see Lake Berryessa.

Read the rest here.

Hello 2020!

Filed under: Joy's Work,Personal — Administrator at 2:30 pm on Thursday, January 2, 2020

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Hello 2020! For the first day of the new year, I took a falconry lesson on a cliff in La Jolla, California. A lanner falcon swooped through the air and landed on my arm while the ocean crashed below and paragliders took off overhead. Not a bad way to start the year.

2019 was a strange, dramatic year, but a lot of great things happened. I sold my first novel, Right Back Where We Started From, which is coming out in 2021. I published a lot, including pieces in Longreads, Alta, and Poetry Foundation. I contributed to an article on the Kincade Fire that was on the front page of The Washington Post. I was awarded a Discovered Awards for Emerging Literary Artists and a residency with Hypatia-in-the-Woods. My essay on George Sterling was a notable in The Best American Essays 2019 and my short story Drought was included in 2019 Best Small Fictions. On top of that, I traveled all around the United States, including New York, California, Michigan, Utah, South Dakota, Nebraska, Indiana, Illinois, and Hawaii. Whew!

It’s nice to finish off the decade strong. Here’s to an even more exciting and prosperous 2020.

NOVEL COMING IN 2021

Filed under: Joy's Work,RIGHT BACK WHERE WE STARTED FROM — Administrator at 4:28 pm on Tuesday, November 26, 2019

I can FINALLY announce that my first novel, Right Back Where We Started From, is forthcoming from Blackstone Publishing in 2021. Ahhhhhhh!

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2019 Discovered Awards for Emerging Literary and Visual Artists

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 2:12 pm on Friday, November 22, 2019

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I’m beyond honored to announce that I’m a recipient of the 2019 Discovered Awards for Emerging Literary and Visual Artists, produced by Creative Sonoma and funded by grants from Community Foundation Sonoma County and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Along with nine other writers and artists, my work will be featured in an exhibit at the Museum of Sonoma County, which is opening tonight, November 22, and runs through February 22. An excerpt of my current novel will be featured as part of the exhibit. (Read more about it here.) If you’re in town, I hope you’ll check it out.

Essay: The Houses My Father Built

Filed under: Joy's Work,Nonfiction — Administrator at 9:23 am on Friday, November 15, 2019

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For Curbed, I wrote about my childhood for the first time.

My earliest sense memories are of construction: the smell of freshly sawed wood, the sound of hammering. I remember being in an airy, half-built room, picking up bent nails and putting them in a bucket. A photograph shows me, a toddler in pigtails, by the cement foundation of our house. My dad is beside me, in a white T-shirt and jeans. He looks young and healthy—there’s no outward sign that he’s disabled. It wasn’t the first house he would build for his family, nor the last. My childhood is shaped by a pattern of my father building us a home, selling it, and building another.

Read the rest here.

Notable Essay In The Best American Essays 2019

Filed under: Joy's Work,Nonfiction — Administrator at 12:13 pm on Monday, November 11, 2019

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I was delighted to discover that my essay, Bohemian Tragedy: The rise, fall, and afterlife of George Sterling’s California arts colony was a Notable in The Best American Essays 2019.

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The essay originally appeared in the Poetry Foundation. You can read it here.

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