A Serious Poem and a Wacky Short Story Published—Read by the Author

I’m in this year’s issue of Current on page 21!

Hey friends, I’ve got some great news this month!

Nature Poem Published in Ecological Literary Magazine

My poem, “Rain on Dry Leaves,” was just published by Canary Lit Magazine. What’s really special about this event is that my poem appears right next to Gene Burson’s poem, “Geese.” Gene is my poetry mentor and guru, so it means a lot to be next to him in this issue:-)

You can listen to me read my poem here:

 

 

Flash Fictions About Aliens and Prom

Also this month, my ridiculous piece of flash fiction, “Prom,” was published in Current, which is the literary magazine that comes out once a year from my local newspaper, the Union.

You can listen to me reading this ridiculous story here:

 

 

NaNoWriMo 2019 is Coming!

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month!

And in other news, I have been preparing for NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month! As you may know, I am a municipal liaison for NaNoWriMo for the California:: Elsewhere region. I also organize live the events in my area, Nevada City!

I’ve been working hard with the other liaisons to organize the group, and prepare for the November extravaganza of writing a novel in one month.

This November, I will continue to edit my YA fantasy novel. Instead of counting words, I will be counting hours. So I’ll be trying to aim for 50 hours instead of 50,000 words. My goal: to edit at least 20 hours!

Of course, I’ll be working on my novel in October as well and hoping to finish chapter four. I’m also working on a poetry chapbook and a few short stories. So I’ll be sure to keep you posted about how things go!

How is your writing going? Do you plan on writing 50,000 words this November for NaNoWriMo? Let us know in the comments below!

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[Writing is Political] Stories that Will Rock the World

I came to the public events at the Squaw Valley Community of Writer’s Fiction Conference this July with the big question:

How can creative writing remain relevant in a world that is self-imploding?

I mean, my little human brain honestly can’t comprehend the amount of suffering crisis and destruction happening right now on the planet.

In light of the crisis that surrounds us, does storytelling really matter?

Answer: a resounding yes.

 

 

The Community of Writers at Squaw Valley: Creativity and Politics

At the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley Conference, many of the authors touched on the political. I was thankful to know that I was not the only one grappling this question, and I received a lot of confirmation, comfort, and the fire to keep on going. I want to share that with you now!

 

Joyce Carol Oates and the Jerusalem Prize

 

 

 

Joyce Carol Oates was one of the headliners for the conference, and she has just won the Jerusalem Prize. She spoke a lot about the commonweal, how we are all connected, and how our stories can help us bring morality, understanding, and solutions. As she said in her acceptance speech for the Jerusalem Prize,

 

“The Jerusalem prize crystallizes these obligations for me even as it celebrates the enduring art of literature. To speak for those who cannot speak for themselves; those who have been silenced, out of poverty, fear, intimidation; those who have lost their birthrights, and perhaps their lives, through no fault of their own.”

–Joyce Carol Oates, from the Jerusalem International Book Forum

 

Oates has been one of my favorite writers since I was a teenager, so it was especially powerful to hear her read and share her thoughts.

Amy Tan and Relevant Writing

Amy Tan also spoke about her work and the political climate. She shared that she had a fully fleshed out idea for a novel, but when the 2016 elections hit, she had to put it aside. It just didn’t feel right to her at that time. Instead, she decided to take another angle and write a different book that felt more politically relevant to her.

 

 

Tan’s writing hit home for me when she read at the Saturday night event. Her story was about a Chinese immigrant, how she felt other and unique, and I was struck how the personal can be so political from that reading.

I just started reading Tan’s new memoir. Spoiler alert: it’s fantastic.

Hector Tobar on “The Assassin Next Door”

I also became acquainted with a new author, Hector Tobar, professor of English and Latino studies at the University of California, Irvine. It was incredible to hear him read from “The Assassin Next Door” about how his life as an immigrant was intertwined with that of his neighbor James Earl Ray, Martin Luther King’s assassin:

 

My parents hovered over me, their only child, telling me stories about our heritage and their courtship in Guatemala City. I did not know that my father was having an affair with the woman he called on the phone in the afternoons, or that my mother would soon bring her new boyfriend home to meet me. I did not see that the brick and stucco apartment blocks around me were a magnet for American drifters, like those Jack Kerouac describes in “On the Road,” recently arrived in what he called “the loneliest and most brutal of American cities.” I had no idea that one of them, a hard man named James Earl Ray, lived on the other side of our back-yard fence.

–Hector Tobar, The New Yorker

 

Though the author never met the man, he makes compelling parallels between the life of poor immigrants and the life of an outcast, angry white man who ends up committing the unspeakable.

Hector closes by saying that he has sought to understand the white society he lives in as a means of survival. “Like many other Latino residents of this country,” Tobar writes, “I derive a sense of power from observing the lives of people who cannot see the full measure of my humanity.” His piece awed me, and I highly recommend reading it!

Poetry Can Transform the World

All of these ideas were swimming in my head while I had dinner with my friend and poetry mentor Eugene Burson. We talked about writing, the state of the world, and why poetry and the written word can be so powerful and transformative.

He demonstrated it by sharing a powerful poem with me, written by Robert Haas, from his book, Time & Materials:

 

Ezra Pound’s Proposition

Beauty is sexual, and sexuality
Is the fertility of the earth and the fertility
Of the earth is economics. Though he is no recommendation
For poets on the subject of finance,
I thought of him in the thick heat
Of the Bangkok night. Not more than fourteen, she saunters up to you
Outside the Shangri-la Hotel
And says, in plausible English,
“How about a party, big guy?”

Here is more or less how it works:
The World Bank arranges the credit and the dam
Floods three hundred villages, and the villagers find their way
To the city where their daughters melt into the teeming streets,
And the dam’s great turbines, beautifully tooled
in Lund or Dresden or Detroit, financed
By Lazard Frères in Paris or the Morgan Bank in New York,
Enabled by judicious gifts from Bechtel of San Francisco
Or Halliburton of Houston to the local political elite,
Spun by the force of rushing water,
Have become hives of shimmering silver
And, downriver, they throw that bluish throb of light
Across her cheekbones and her lovely skin.

—Robert Haas, from Time & Materials

 

The poem gave me shivers, and I began to have hope that writing is still increasingly relevant. Our stories, our words, have the power to rock the world! And I firmly believe that.

 

Having a great time at the squaw writers conference! Here's a little update about how the afternoon went. So inspiring to hear some of my favorite authors share their wisdom! #writerslife #writer #writersofinstagram #writerscommunity #write #squawvalleywriters #squawvalleywritersconference #joycecaroloates #amytan

 

Lighting a Fire Under My Fingers: Writing Check-In

In my work, I have set aside my romantic comedies in favor of a young adult fantasy novel that’s about healing family trauma. It just felt more relevant and more satisfying. I’m sure I’ll come back to the romantic comedy. But for right now, I want to work on something a little closer to my heart and something I think the world needs.

In my professional work, I’ve been writing PR pieces for community colleges, many of which feature underrepresented students. Many are immigrants, the first in their families to attend college, and veterans. It’s inspiring to use the craft of writing to tell stories of every-day heroes.

How do you use writing to rock the world?
Let us know in the comments below!

Art and Poetry Published: Tishman Review and Subterranean Blue Poetry

Crazy awesome picture by Monika Kozub on Unsplash. Someone dressed up as lady liberty with crazy glasses, I don't know, just because :)

Holy smokes, Batman! I have some excellent publishing news for you all.

Art in the Tishman Review

Writing is my jam, but I also have a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, and it’s nice to share my artwork in literary journals—especially ones as fantastic as The Tishman Review, which accepted two of my latest drawings on canvas— check it out in their latest issue. There are no anchored links on this one, so do a “cmd + f” and search for Rachel Teferet. Or read the whole thing. You won’t be disappointed.

A lot of my artwork deals with patterns from ancient art, faces within faces, and psychological themes. I’m honored to be included in this issue—it has some fantastic poetry and short stories as well. I was gifted with a printed copy, which is always lovely for a contributor.

Poetry in Subterranean Blue Poetry

I really dig Subterranean Blue Poetry. Their whole vibe is just so lovely. My poem, “Willow and Hawthorn,” is about a nature-based, surreal dream. Read the poem in their latest now!

More Good Writing (and a Book!) Coming Soon 🙂

I recently took a fantastic novel workshop with the incredible Rachel Howard, author of The Risk of Us, and so I’ve been busy working on my YA Fantasy book. However, I also have some poetry projects in the works, including a couple ideas for chapbooks, so please stay tuned! And thanks for your support on my literary and artistic ramblings 🙂

“Budding” Poem Published in Canary Lit Magazine

A close up of a deer with antlers. Photo by Silvio Kundt on Unsplash

Some poetry news folks: my poem “Budding” was recently published by Canary Literary Magazine in their spring issue!

Canary is “a literary journal of the environmental crisis.” Each poem is centered around ecological themes. There’s a good mix of poetry celebrating the earth as well as environmental activism. This issue is a particularly great read, with a lot of talented poets.

I’m honored to have been included in the issue. You can read my poem for free on Canary Lit Magazine’s website.

Three Poems Up at New Reader Magazine!

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

What a great way to start my Friday—the fifth issue of New Reader Magazine just came out with three of my poems:

  • “Sink” is about the Sisyphean nature of dishwashing.
  • “Mouth of Toes” is about a surreal dream where I had toes instead of teeth (it’s very Shel Silverstein-ish).
  • “So You Wrote a Poem” is a bit like my official declaration of why I write poetry.

As usual, the issue is gorgeous, with a beautiful layout and sumptuous images. And of course, the writing is excellent.

So this weekend, kick back in your easy chair and check out the latest issue of New Reader Magazine—my poems are on p. 130–131.

“Rain” Poem Published in Canary, a Literary Journal of the Environmental Crisis

A man reflected in a puddle on a rainy day. Photo by Randy Jacob on Unsplash

Hello dear friends, and a very happy holiday season and new year to you all. I’d love to share some exciting news with you: My poem “Rain” was published by Canary Literary Magazine in their winter issue!

This piece was accepted about a year ago, and it was so hard to wait but well worth it. The issue is lovely, and it’s exciting to be a part of it.

Alongside My Hero Poet Molly Fisk

Also, my poem appears next to my teacher and beloved poet Molly Fisk, which is truly an honor. I took Fisk’s Poetry Bootcamp many years ago, and it is one of the things that inspired me to write poetry regularly. So it is indeed a great honor to be published alongside one of my heroes.

Here’s me fangirling on Twitter:

The History of Mining and Environmental Impacts

My poem “Rain” is about the incessant rain Northern California endured a few years ago that created terrible, massive sinkholes, as well as a few mudslides. The sinkholes, in particular, had me thinking about the history of gold mining in my region, and how my town is built on a latticework of tunnels filled with toxins and bound to eventually collapse.

Read the poem at Canary Literary Magazine, and be sure to check out the whole winter issue. It’s fabulous!