Quiet Girl in a Noisy World: An Introvert’s Story

Last night I read an advance copy of QUIET GIRL IN A NOISY WORLD: AN INTROVERT’S STORY, a new book of cartoons by Debbie Tung.

If you like Allie Brosh’s HYPERBOLE AND A HALF comics, you might like this book, too. Its autobiographical cartoons feature a young woman (the author) as she navigates milestones of adulthood. She describes herself as an introvert and a person with anxiety. Parties are exhausting. She’s coming to terms with who she is.

The book has some lovely illustrations–line drawings and watercolor. The narrator’s stressed-out face was in a more cartoon-y style, while the single panel, full-page illustrations felt most polished (and were my favorites). Screencapping one of them would make a reassuring wallpaper.

Most of all, the book felt gentle. As I read, I thought of one of my younger cousins, a girl who’s struggled with mental health. I might give her this book. It would feel like sending a hug and a “you’re okay.”

Room Four (new flash fiction)

AT LAST, ALICE returns. She bares her bright scars to the class, in a group notice like a wedding invitation or a graduation announcement. She says, “I had to tell my roommates…”

—from “Room Four,” flash fiction about strangers, kindness, and survival, published this month at Five on the Fifth.

Read the rest…

Fingernails (new poem)

my psychotherapy teacher taught me to counsel
with his fingernails…

a deliberate inattention,

staring at my nails as if they were
the most interesting thing in the world;

giving space for a woman with wounds
to unwrap them, carefully,
without accidentally being touched…

Read the rest…

New poem: The Sound of Metal (on bullying)

Degenerates: Voices for Peace just released an anthology on bullying. Two of my poems are included.

The Sound of Metal

love your brothers and sisters, momma said
carry us like a song in your heart

in high school, i whispered gossip to mean girls
and, on alternate Tuesdays, tried to not to drown

in labels
and expectations

and a labyrinth of dented lockers
that made hollow sounds

when bodies and metal collided
for the thousandth occasion

at the same high school
at the same time

my brother was molested

we didn’t learn what happened ’til years later
after he stopped coming home…

Read the rest…

The editor of Degenerates, a fellow named Weasel, also reprinted Paper Cheerleaders.

Emailing him “Dear Weasel…” was possibly my favorite part of the publishing process. (My friends all have boring names.) However, Weasel made the whole endeavor delightful. He send proofs to authors–early–and released the issue on time.

Weasel Press is open to submissions.

New poem: The Blue Whale (on perfectionism)

Happy morning! I’ve a new poem, The Blue Whale, about perfectionism. (A howler monkey also makes an appearance.)

The Blue Whale

my creative spirit
is a blue whale, I think

she swims in deep waters
but we breathe the same air

and, like other blue whales,
she has the loudest, strongest voice on earth…

Read the rest…

Thank you to Dear Damsels, a young women’s writing collective, for publishing the poem in a special issue on “nourishing ourselves.”

Thank you, WordPress friends and wanderers, for reading. 🙂

New poem: Siren

Today I have a new poem out—about a boy surviving trauma.

“Siren” is out in issue 5 of Awakened Voices.


Loud red,
fire-engine red
alarm on his arm

Emergency dispatch, please send one of each:
a cop, an ambulance, and a fire-truck.

We might need everyone…

Read the rest…

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