EXCERPT from STILL ALIVE, a novel: Currently available at MALARKEY BOOKS

It is with extreme delight (and a touch of trepidation) that I share with you today’s hot, fresh off the press, excerpt of STILL ALIVE. STILL ALIVE (formerly STARBOI) was long listed by PANK for their Big Book contest in 2020, but it has not yet found a publisher. Not only that, but another excerpt has been accepted for publication with Cosmonauts Avenue for their relaunch.

This book is horny, and sad, and relentless, and it is the first novel I’ve written that I really, truly, am proud of. I believe, deep down, that it will find the right home someday.

Plot synopsis for the whole damn book: STILL ALIVE is an anti-coming of age story told through the fast-paced remembrances of the manic, bisexual V, as she enters a multiple-decade romantic tug-of-war with the charming and withholding LEX. Weighted by the emotional fallout from her parents’ dysfunctional marriage, mother’s addictions, and brother’s temporary escape into eastern religiosity (he’s nicknamed RICHARD GERE), V leaves the Portland, Oregon of her childhood for new roots in New York City, only to find herself further disillusioned. Her gay best friend LEROY has found happiness elsewhere and the city isn’t what it once was. After following her now wife, Lex, to Los Angeles, their relationship survives two affairs, but V ultimately realizes Lex is a person, not an answer, and chooses independence after all. STILL ALIVE is a fervent, 21st century feminist narrative with a surprisingly hopeful end. 

This section comes early in the novel, when V, the narrator (whom Leroy jokingly calls “Sophia”), runs into Lex at a club and falls slowly back into the situationship between them that neither can escape.

Read it and blush.

xo,

LJ

New Short Story: AFTER THE GAME at Words & Sports Quarterly

Cover, Words & Sports Quarterly, Vol. 1, No. 3: Slobberknockers & Buttonhooks

I don’t always write about football, but when I do, I also write about the marching band.

Here’s a new little love story hot off the presses.

I posted it on social media last week – but forgot to update my site! Those who know me from way back when might recognize some details from my own life. Back in 1998, I was the smallest sousaphone player at Lassiter High School when we won the Bands of America National Championships. This story isn’t about that, but it is about young love, and growing up, and how sometimes what we are isn’t what we always will be.

Hope you like it.

LJ

New Short Story: TRIANGLES ARE NOT CIRCLES in the Winter 2021 issue of Exacting Clam

My new short story, TRIANGLES ARE NOT CIRCLES, is out now from Exacting Clam. I was flabbergasted when I received this issue and saw the names on the back — incredible to be in the company of so many writers whose work I have savored and been inspired by over the years.

The first draft of this story came out of me almost six years ago, but, like many of the stories I write, it took me a long time to both hone it into the shape I wanted and build up the confidence I needed to send it out into the world.

Stew time in the creative process is undervalued and under reported. It’s a part of the genesis of a thing, and the development of it. Too often I become critical of myself for not being able to get something done in a rush, when the fact is (a lesson I learn over and over, even in regards to simple household tasks), there is a beauty in letting our efforts accumulate, in trusting that being still with an idea, or project, is also part of the doing, and that any creative endeavor we pursue to its end will have a value of its own (whether it is ever witnessed by someone else or not).

Thank you for being one of my witnesses. You can buy this issue and read the whole story (along with some other fabulous essays and poetry and stories) here.

xo,

LJ