What to read during Pride Month 2021: revisiting the work of Ryka Aoki (and looking forward to a forthcoming sf novel!)

My last quarter of teaching at UC Riverside, almost 10 years ago now, I elected to focus my Women's Lit class on issues related to trans-gender identities and to writing by trans and non-binary authors. It was during that time, that I discovered a hybrid collection of poetry and essays by the writer Ryka Aoki. … Continue reading What to read during Pride Month 2021: revisiting the work of Ryka Aoki (and looking forward to a forthcoming sf novel!)

Books to read during Pride Month 2021/revisiting Christopher Records’ CARE STORIES

I read Christopher Records' collection a year ago, and I was blown away by his delicate, thoughtful linked short stories. The focus of the collection is on people interacting in Southern California's Inland Empire in a slightly speculative future world. Here the young and old, queer and straight, cis gendered and nonbinary end up moving -- mostly -- … Continue reading Books to read during Pride Month 2021/revisiting Christopher Records’ CARE STORIES

Where did April go?…. More reading, some thinking, some writing

Dear friends -- Another month in that academic year that feels like a decade known as 2020-2021 lumbers on. How is it possible for time to fly AND crawl? No idea. But that's how it feels. Too fast and too slow. Proust's proofing of the first volume ... courtesy of Wikipedia I am now onto … Continue reading Where did April go?…. More reading, some thinking, some writing

where did March go? answer: reading…

Dear friends of the unreal -- I've been busily re-reading the writing of my wonderful MFA thesis director, Kathleen Alcalá. I was fortunate enough to get a review article about her published by TIKKUN Magazine and you can read that review article here: :https://www.tikkun.org/solitude-intersectionality-eco-judaism-and-community-in-the-writing-of-kathleen-alcala/ What I don't say in the article is how influenced my … Continue reading where did March go? answer: reading…

My novelette RESCUE PLAN comes out February 10th!

I have a new book coming out this week! RESCUE PLAN features a teenage cancer survivor who is struggling to sort out his sexual identity. He also sees spirits. RESCUE PLAN takes place in Narrow Interior, the strange New England town of my debut novel THE PUPPET TURNERS. Here are some advance reviews from two … Continue reading My novelette RESCUE PLAN comes out February 10th!

Happy December! Here’s a tiny bit of speculative nonfiction about my mom

Friends -- hope you are doing ok during this weird winter of 2020. December is the birthday month of my mother, the late Barbé Hammer, and it is fitting that a piece I wrote about her and my brilliant mother in law Charlotte Behrendt has gone live over at the 10th Anniversary issue of THE … Continue reading Happy December! Here’s a tiny bit of speculative nonfiction about my mom

my gratitude problem

Friends -- Looking towards the USA celebration of Thanksgiving tomorrow, there has been a gradual build-up in gratitude practices on social media and elsewhere. In my Jewish spirituality learning group – called a chavruta – we’ve been talking about it too. In that group I admitted something embarrassing: this gratitude stuff grates on me. It … Continue reading my gratitude problem

October 26th 2020 — Choose

Dear Friends of the Unreal -- I have put off writing my blog entry for October because I haven't known what to write. I have kept on hoping that some piece of fiction, some work of cinema or television, or even some experience would be something I could share to distract us from the events … Continue reading October 26th 2020 — Choose

An excerpt from my story at THE BRIDGE, Volume 2

Friends -- Sometimes, a story that you struggle with becomes the story that soars between countries, becoming part of an international conversation, bridging readers and writers from far away communities. That's what happened with my story "Nothing Like Chongqing." Inspired by my actual trip to China, this magical realist tale was one that I labored … Continue reading An excerpt from my story at THE BRIDGE, Volume 2