Surprise in the blinking, in-bound box: an acceptance from Tin House, a magazine I've loved and always wanted to be published in since I saw the first issue, years ago, in the Kenyon College bookstore. It was glossy and hard and real and I wanted to be in it.
It took six years.
I'm been submitting to the Atlantic Monthly since I was twelve.
Everyone grows up dreaming something different. I dreamed this.
Today, snow makes everything quiet. I watch The Day After Tomorrow. I've seen it before. It has problems, but, like all movies, it's beautiful, in its way, the colors, the film. Someone made it with their hands, with computers that were made by hands, someone's hands.
The hardest thing about writing is that you can't see anything. They're just words, not colors, not nine-feet high, not plush, not fast, not chocolate.
I remember working on plays as a high school student. I wanted something, something for my play that I had written. I saw it in my head. I explained it to the set designer, a man with red hair and a beard, I remember. I had an idea. Something about cutting away the tops of the sets, so you could see the inside of the room, and a little bit of the outside too: the roof, the rafters, the shingles, the overhang.
Alison,he said. You can't do that.
He went to lunch. The side door was open, the one that led over the fire escape, looked out onto the parking lot, the police station, the steel factory. I picked up the glue gun and the Styrofoam flats and the knife.
All right, he said. I guess you did that.