12 Winters Blog

Quiddity fall release gala, and Men of Winter proofs

Posted in October 2010 by Ted Morrissey on October 24, 2010

This past Thursday I attended the fall issue release gala for Quiddity international literary journal and public-radio program at historic Brinkerhoff Home on the campus of Benedictine University at Springfield. As usual, it was an enjoyable and stimulating evening (even though the guest of honor, issue 3.2, was a no-show as its cover was still drying at the printer’s — a not uncommon occurrence at release parties). Most of the usual cast of characters were present: Joanna Beth Tweedy (founding editor and host of the radio program), David Logan (prose editor), Judi O’Brien Anderson (poetry editor), Michael Gammon (layout and web design), Pamm Callebrusco (associate editor), and Marianne Stremsterfer (art editor), plus loyal interns John McCarthy and Stacie Lynn Taylor.

Best of all, there were readings by David Bertaina, poet and translator of Semitic languages; and by Tracy Zeman, “nature poet of the sublime.” As if that weren’t enough, Croatian artist Magda Osterhuber was present to discuss her paintings that were being exhibited in Becker Library Gallery, a short walk from (historic and haunted) Brinkerhoff Home.  Throw in some food and wine and acoustic-guitar folk music, and you’ve got a pretty splendid way to spend a Thursday evening.  Work by Bertaina, Zeman and Osterhuber are included in Quiddity 3.2.  Here is 3.2’s table of contents, which also allows you to hear some of the work included in the issue — a feature that most literary journals don’t offer. The Quiddity radio programs are archived here.

On the Men of Winter front, the publisher sent me the page proofs, which I returned yesterday with corrections — so a release date begins to loom larger and larger, though it isn’t set in stone just yet.  I mentioned in a previous post that the first chapter of my novella Weeping with an Ancient God was published in The Final Page. A new edition of The Final Page has since been posted, and it seems the journal doesn’t archive their older issues — in other words, the excerpt, “Melvill in the Marquesas,” was available online for a few weeks, but, alas, is no more. A couple of editors of other journals expressed an interest in it after it had already been taken by The Final Page, so I may see if someone is interested in “reprinting” the excerpt; or I may just archive it here at 12 Winters Blog. I was really hoping it’d be floating around on the web for a few months, in anticipation of the novella’s publication.

In my novel in progress, the Authoress, I surpassed the 300-manuscript-page mark, and I’m very much enjoying the writing process. I had come to a chapter (the nineteenth) whose function I understood, but the narrative particulars of which were fuzzy, to put it mildly. But I’ve worked through some of those issues and now have a definite bead on the chapter, which is a much better feeling than the murky one I had just a few days ago. I liked another idea, but the narrative timeline just wouldn’t support the development I had in mind — which worked to my benefit as the new trajectory is superior in just about every way. For me, writing a novel is a bit like filling up a hallway closet with stuff, and everything I need to complete the project is in there — sometimes it’s just a matter of sorting through its accumulated contents to find the items I need.

I’m still reading — and enjoying! — Adam Braver‘s Crows over the Wheatfield (though I cheat every now and then, and read some Gogol).

tedmorrissey.com

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