The Dog Days of August (the month, not my niece)
Cool off with a dose of my newsletter!
Family, friends, and new subscribers (congrats on the wise decision), welcome back to my highly infrequent missive. If you want to hear my virtual voice more often, follow my books-and-writing Instagram (different from my family-and-travel-photos Instagram): @jillwittywriter. In addition to book recommendations and my latest publications, there is the occasional video sendup of a beloved poem (sound on for full effect).
Now, on to the good stuff!
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I’ve had two stories published recently that I’d like to
show off highlight. The first one came to me after learning about black lace weaver spiders, and it’s NOT AT ALL inspired by my own experience as a mother. (Is my all-caps ironic? Read the piece and decide for yourself!)
Read: Hardwired in Pithead Chapel
The second was (very!) loosely inspired by my mom and my maternal grandmother, both knitters. Baltimore Review chose to publish it in both written and audio formats, so if you’d like to hear me reading it, there’s a button at the bottom of the page that says “listen.” (It’s small and easy to overlook.)
Read or listen: The Unraveling in Baltimore Review
Finally, I’ve published a few nonfiction pieces over the past few months, including an interview with my favorite writing podcaster, Bianca Marais.
Read: Interview with Bianca Marais in Writers & Artists
As always, you can find all links to my published writing at my website.
Here are my favorite novels I’ve read in the past few months.
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller— Achilles is more lover than fighter in this book, which is ten years old, but which I only discovered after enjoying Circe. Miller is the rare wordsmith who can also spin a great yarn.
Notes On An Execution by Danya Kukafka— A novel told in multiple points of view by a serial killer with 24 hours left to live and his victims. The writing is incredible, but if you’re squeamish about violence, sit this one out.
I’d also like to recommend a just-published nonfiction book about the history of modern parenting, written by my friend Andrew Bomback. Andy and I taught in Greece together, shared work regularly in a writing group, and ran the Athens Marathon together (taking that word liberally, since he had already changed and eaten a meal by the time I crossed the finish line).
Long Days, Short Years by Andrew Bomback
Other Fun Links
Here are three things I’m recommending.
Watch: this short video about the six varieties of Dutch rabbit. Then forward it to anyone who needs a little chuckle.
Learn: how climate change means that Florida sea turtle hatchlings are all being born female. Sniff.
Listen: this TinyDesk concert by FKA Twigs. If you only have time for one track, fast-forward to the 7-minute mark to hear “Killer.” Kate Bush-like vocals.
I’ve been querying agents with some degree of success; several asked to read the full manuscript of novel #2. In other words, I could be either one step closer or no steps closer toward getting the book published. I’m also participating in an Agent Pitch event later this month, a New York-based writing conference in September and a Washington, D.C. writing conference in October. In the meantime, I’m continually revising this novel while brainstorming / outlining the next one. Keep all those fingers and toes crossed for me, and thanks to those of you who connected me to other writers you know. I really appreciate it.
Now, do tell me: what do you like or dislike about this newsletter? Anything more or different you’d like to hear about?I welcome your feedback!
As for you, dear reader: I appreciate YOU. Thanks, again, for reading, commenting, and sharing. Until next time, XOXO.
Items I considered including in this issue, but didn’t: a recipe for the best fried broccoli I’ve ever tasted, a writing tip that will make all of your writing (even emails, postcards, thank-you notes) better, a line or two about my summer travels, recent things my kids said that made me laugh.