Here I am. Honestly. I haven’t been as slack as the date of my last post suggests. I’ve been doing lots of writery things. I have missed you though, so I thought I might drop in and say hello.
I had another piece, Candy Comes Back, published with Wufniks which makes me happy that one of my favourite stories and places to read got together. They also have this cool little section that asks Where Are You?
Both pieces are about dysfunctional relationships between women. One of them happens to be dead.
My ongoing love affair with Housefire is blossoming into something more wonderful and strange every day.
After another amazing prompt I wrote the piece THE PROCESS OF PRECIPITATING SNOW for them, then Riley Michael Parker interviewed me, which includes a lot of forcing me to write tiny stories as answers. If you’re into that sort of thing you can have a look here, TWO INTERVIEWS WITH YT SUMNER. Note the awesome Jessica Tremp striking again with my author’s pic.
If you read all the way to the end you see a little bomb dropped casually which explains why the You & Me project has been on a little hiatus. I’m writing a book. Especially for Housefire. It’s a little one, but so are most of my short stories. I don’t want to say too much because I’ve got to get back to finishing it now. And I’m completely elated and terrified about it.
Okay, that’s enough for now. I promise to be a better friend and stay in contact more. You can stalk me more efficiently on my Facebook Page. I’m there far too often for my own good.
By the way, if you clicked all the links in this post, you win a pony.
Seriously, it’s on its way to your house right now.
You probably know how much I love the literary journal Bananafish and I’m tickled twice as pink to have my short story ‘The Last Bird’ published with them. This piece was previously published with the awesome Melbourne literary journal fourW and I feel pretty lucky to have the story in a book with a spine and online for your eyes. Also, how good is their awesome new logo designed by my buddy, Michael Alesich.
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.
I recently resigned from my day job to give this whole writer dream a nice firm crack, so I thought this might be a good place to get serious about my bringing my scattered pieces of word nerdery into some kind of shape and cohesion.
It will probably end up looking more like a slinky, but that’s okay too.
This will be the place where I put up writery thoughts, writers and books that make me drool, a few prose and poetry pieces here and there, and general news about my works being published. That post will usually come with a detailed happy dance so those should be good ones.
I’m also introducing myself today as yt sumner. From now on all my submissions will be by this new mysterious woman. It has a certain snap don’t you think? Don’t get me wrong there’s nothing wrong with my first name, but enough with the whole Turkish flower explanations, already.
I think I might kick start this one off with the tale of my last published piece as Yasemin Sumner and my first attempt at a public reading.
The annual anthology of new writing fourW has been one I’ve always admired and so I was delighted that they chose to include my piece ‘the last bird’ in their 20th issue. When meeting the ridiculously kind and supportive editor, David Gilbey at the launch, I was asked if I would like to read. I think I blushed like he was asking me out. I’ve never been able to kill the frogs and butterflies and other creepy crawlies whenever this topic arises and so I mumbled something about being shy and scuttled up to the back of the theatre.
What I wasn’t aware of, was something called the ‘Wagga Ambush’. Once some fine readings had commenced there was apparently time in case anyone else had suddenly decided that they wanted to share. When David boomed in a friendly voice , Yasemin, how about you? My pride rushed up to wrestle my nerves. See, I’m not shy at all. Just terrified of public speaking. So I got up and did it.
I don’t think it was a reading that will go down in the history books, I’m pretty sure I mumbled and was far too quiet. But I did it. And I intend to keep on doing it.
The book, by the way is wonderful, I was immersed in every single piece of prose, particularly Kate Rotherham’s ‘HM’ which deservedly won the prose prize for this book, Helena Pastor’s ‘Rubbing’ and Daniel King’s ‘Your Pain is My Pain’.
They were stand out stories and there is some pretty amazing poetry in there too. As soon as I find a link where you can get yourself a copy, I recommend that you do. And not just because I’m in it. Okay, maybe partly because I’m in it. But mostly because it’s good.