a perfect day for bananafish
I love words.
You might have noticed me having a fine time giving all my attention to them lately and this summer of love has just been made ever sweeter with the publication of my short story ‘Pretty Lady’ in the exceptional literary journal Bananafish.
A few weeks ago I rode big red down to the PO Box, hoping another one of my treasures had arrived (more on that later, I’ve been buying more art than is usual for a broke arse, unemployed, ‘creative type’) and yes there was a box to collect and yes it was a treasure.
But it was from Amazon.com and I hadn’t ordered anything. There was no way this mystery was going to wait until I got home. I ripped the box open in the car park with my helmet still on and held two books by an author who I didn’t know, but was about to fall hard for.
Such an unassuming name for such raw, tragic, absurd, gritty beauty. I like the line best by Madison Smartt Bell saying ‘he makes us feel much more than we are told’.
He is a new hero of mine, giving me the same tingles I had when I first read Raymond Carver. When I first thought, Shit, you’re allowed to write like this?
Inside the order form was a little note from a friend I do not see as often as I like, saying he’d read Brown’s short stories and thought of me and that Dylan had ‘read every word the man had written’.
I didn’t know what I’d done to receive such a thoughtful surprise gift but my grin has not faded one bit (Thank you Balke – love you to pieces for the gift of this introduction) and all I want to do at the moment it write something half as good as that.
I then received an email accepting my work for an online journal I also had a giant crush on. It’s a fairly new publication but it’s damn fine stuff. I was even moved to contact one of the American writers Anne Wagener about her sublime story ‘This Piece of Me’ to tell her how much I loved it. Now we nerd word back and forth occasionally.
If you like talent with lashings of imagination then you should check her story out.
I was lucky enough to have it accepted by one of the finest editors I’ve come across. Daniel McDermott not only accepted it, but he offered suggestions and changes that were done so respectfully and skilfully I was bowled away. It’s no wonder the journal is so good when it’s helmed by an editor like this.
This journal incidentally led me to finally read the exquisite short story by J.D. Salinger ‘A Perfect Day for Bananafish’ and that felt like another gift.
‘Pretty Lady’ is being featured on their home page this week (before it settles into new home with the hot neighbours in the archives) and I think I’m going to grin the whole way through it.