New Short Story: The Deserving at Malarkey Books

Over the years, I’ve written stories and books that were like homework: practice at technique, voice, dialogue, plot, all the usual. And some of those stories have been published. Others never will be. I don’t particularly like them. They are just something that came out of me while practicing something else.

And then there are stories I’ve written that I love. The ones that seem unlikely to survive this world, like they might not have a chance to ever be read, but at least I’m proud of them. I know what I did.

The Deserving is such a story.

That this story was published, by Malarkey Books no less, means more to me than any other fancy accolades or credentialing I’ve been lucky to gather.

Big love and special thanks to Alan Good.

xo,

LJ

MOSKVA published in a special ZINE issue of Hobart: out now!

Once again the sun is shining in Los Angeles and it is 70 degrees in February. I’m reading and writing and reviewing and drinking coffee in our breakfast nook and thinking about past Februarys and future Februarys and wondering what will be. Tye bought a humidifier and it is running so the air is kinda cloudy, the way new fog settles over streams in the mountains back east, and the dog and cats are sleeping on the couch and in a chair and on the bed, and as usual, the quiet is broken up by the constant hum of our air conditioner.

February is different in Los Angeles.

Years ago, I went to Moscow in February, and last month Hobart published a story I wrote about that winter city. The story is fiction, even if the true impressions I had of Russia are real. Fiction is like that sometimes — built out of real places, populated with experiences and people you invent. After talking to folks, I realized some readers think my realist fiction is thinly veiled non-fiction. This surprised me and then I wondered if they thought that of Denis Johnson’s fiction or Jim Harrison’s novellas or any other writers who write or wrote realist fiction more often than fabulist or speculative or whatnot, but anyway, this story is fiction, I’m telling you, it IS.

And if you didn’t read it already, you have another chance, and this time you can read it in this really cool downloadable PDF zine that Hobart and Joshua Hebburn have made out of all the work published in January, including my story. The zine is full of new art and pics and excellent writing and YOU, yes, YOU should check it out:

Hobart Web Features: January Fiction Deluxe!

Besides, what else would you be doing today? Watching football?

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

xo,

LJ

Publication Announcement: MOSKVA, A Short Story

One of the strangest parts of writing stories and poems and essays (and even and especially novels) is that they enter the world long after you finish them.

MOSKVA, published by Hobart Pulp today, had a shorter finished-to-published timeline than most (two months!). Then again, it only took me seventeen years to figure out how to write it…

Joshua Hebburn, the guest editor who selected this piece, will be releasing MOSKVA along with a selection of other great work in a digital e-zine in the coming months. I’ll give you a heads up when that happens too!

As always, if you feel like sharing MOSKVA on Reddit or boosting it elsewhere, you will have my forever thanks. And YES, let’s be friends on Twitter (it’s so much better than facebook these days).

Sending much love, xo —

LJ

HUSBANDRY Now Available to Read Online (for FREE)

After what “seems like an eon and a half of pre-production lead up,”* my short story HUSBANDRY is finally available for the general public to read on the Los Angeles Review website without a price of admission:

Click to Read!

Thank you for your love and support. (If you feel like sharing HUSBANDRY on Reddit or boosting it elsewhere, you will have my forever thanks.)

Sending love and a hug and a wish to tell stories on a porch together again, someday,

LJ

*according to my beloved.

HUSBANDRY available to read in Issue 23 of the Los Angeles Review from Red Hen Press

Two years ago we were rounding out our first year in Los Angeles when I won the short fiction contest at the Los Angeles Review. The news felt like a blessing on an already good year — we came West in the hope that California would be a good home for the next chapter of our lives and 2018 seemed to say: you did good.

But that was two years ago. Right now we’re in the middle of a pandemic and LA County looks like it’s in a race with Florida for the number of new COVID cases per day. We spend most of our time at home with our pets. Even though it is true that every day of our lives holds the promise of something unexpected, that truth feels more raw and real right now.

So it is with relief and hope and an attempt to invite you into my co-joy that I share the news that my short story, HUSBANDRY, is finally available to read in the late-released Issue 23 of the Los Angeles Review.

HUSBANDRY is about a bull who wakes up as a woman—and what it means to be lonely, and other, and still find your person in this world. It’s about gender and sexuality and pastoral life and what time does to who we are.

I’m honored to be featured alongside a number of amazing writers and artists and I hope you’ll consider buying a copy and giving it a read. These independent presses survive on razor thin margins and every little bit counts towards keeping them alive. If you like interesting writing that isn’t your typical cookie-cutter beach read, especially, check them out. More about Red Hen Press can be found here.

Love to all and Happy Friday!!

xo, LJ