An eventful year finally winds down as we all look forward to a fresh start in 2017. Congratulations to all the Women Who Submit members who have had work published in 2016 and to those who sent their work into the world in December.
From Tisha Marie Reichle‘s “An Argument Against Old Cheese” in Ghost Town:
“What did you do to your hair?” Mother exclaimed, sorry she’d sent Beth to the neighborhood salon alone. “What about your graduation pictures?”
Beth fingered the brightly colored stripes that corrupted her freshly-cropped, light-brown hair. “That’s why I did it! The green and orange match the Ducks!” She was ecstatic about leaving her isolated desert home for the lush consciousness of Oregon in August. Until then, she had other problems to worry about. She kissed her mother on the cheek and ran out the door.
From Diane Sherlock‘s “It Seems Like Any Other Night” in Drunk Monkeys:
The life-long feeling that everyone else is in on a secret except me is gone. I’m having dinner with my new-found cousin, Tamara, at Lucky’s Tavern on Hollywood Blvd. We sit at one of the black tables by a large red sculpted wall with cream lights overhead. Over juicy medium rare Kobe burgers with brie and bacon, plus sweet potato fries, I tell her what I finally put together at my therapist’s office a few hours earlier.
From Lauren Eggert-Crowe‘s “Keep Walking” at Angels Flight Literary West:
Admitting this makes me feel like I’ve failed all my feminist foremothers. I’ve had a lifetime of faltering. If I have a crush on you, come at me with your best bullshit and I will absorb it gracefully. Violate my boundaries, and I will retroactively redraw them, because I desperately want to believe the best in you. Haughty as I am, my superiority crumbles when validation is on the line.
Also from Lauren, “I Came Back Out of Boredom” at Ghost Proposal:
If someone wants me
out with them in the bright
possibilities I will yes.
When I’m not working
I drop ice cubes in my orchids and try not to
stare at the flat flicker of other people’s
From “When You Find the Book to Inspire You” by Leilani Squire at BooksCover2Cover:
Justice Sotomayor’s story is an inspiration for me, and I hope for other women. Her memoir is a testament to how determination, tenacity, and never letting go of the dream that we hold close can come true. In our society, girls and women are often told they can’t do “a man’s job”; they shouldn’t try to aspire to the Presidency of the United States; and they can’t have a family and a career at the same time. This memoir shines a light on what’s possible, and hidden inside her story is a map showing a way to accomplish one’s dream—even the most unlikely and impossible dream.
Also from Leilani, “Loving Day,” also at BooksCover2Cover:
I love the voice of Mat Johnson. It is the kind of voice I, as a writer, envy. How can he mix street language with elegant English? How can the humor pop out at me when I’m deeply involved in the inner turmoil and the multiple existential crises of Warren Duffy, the main character? How can a writer weave together such diverse themes as racial prejudice, parental demands, lost identity, economic suppression, and artistic impotence so successfully? As I read Warren Duffy’s journey, I had the sense I was reading about the life of the author cloaked inside this novel. I have only admiration for Mr. Johnson’s bravery to write such a compelling and universal story.
From “What Not to Wear (and Other Things No One Tells You When You’re a First Generation College Graduate)” by Soraya Membreno at Catapult:
I do not own any soft, pretty, white dresses. I probably never will. Every time I spot one, all I can think is, That could have been The Dress.
From Alana Saltz‘s “Why I Can’t Stop Picking My Skin” at Bustle:
I struggle with a condition called dermatillomania. It’s a body-focused repetitive behavior (or BFRB) that causes me to inadvertently pick at my skin, sometimes for hours at a time, often without any awareness that I’m doing it. My compulsion is focused on my face, but I also pick on my scalp, neck, and chest. Whenever I tell people about my picking, they almost always say the same thing: “Why don’t you just stop?”
From “Camp Rockey” by Jill Weiss Ippolito at The Yoga Diaries:
Camp Rockey is a Boy’s Correctional Facility located in San Dimas, up in the mountains across from a Girls’ Group Home we had taught at a couple months prior. I was told “it’s not that far” from Pasadena on a good day. Neil was a matter-of-fact Program Director who sought us out after hearing about UpRising Yoga, a program I started which brings yoga to juvenile hall and at-risk communities, where people cannot easily get to a class, let alone pay for one.
From “A Corrido for Macondo” by Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo at Lunch Ticket:
1. There was a table.
Around the table, there were women and men and people who entered rooms holding their hearts in their hands. Around the table, people sat and they brought with them stories or words that would make stories, parts of little poems, thorns, and parts of their hands that would tremble with the long limbs of sentences or syllables that would grow into lilts. It was a table where so many things began.
Congratulations to Desiree Zamorano whose essay, “Two Days Later,” was published in PEN USA’s Only Light Can Do That: 100 Post-Election Poems, Stories, & Essays.