About Me

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Hello! I'm a writer from central New York who has bipolar disorder. Among other topics, I write about mental illness and writing. I have short stories published in Lynx Eye, Lost Coast Review, The Outrider Review, Sliver of Stone Magazine, The Mondegreen, The Linnet's Wings, Cobalt Review, Breath & Shadow, The Round Up, Postscripts to Darkness, Masque & Spectacle, and several other journals. I have essays about mental illness in The Ram Boutique and Amygdala Literary Magazine, and an essay in Parts Unbound: Narratives of Mental Illness & Health, a book that was published by Lime Hawk Literary Arts Collective. In December of 2016, The Mondegreen nominated my story "Santa Lucia" for a Pushcart Prize. I've written a novel entitled Purple Loosestrife and a novel entitled Hoping It Might Be So, both of which I am submitting to agents and publishers. I'm working on a novel called Dark and Bright as well as a book called Violets Are Blue: Essays About My Bipolar Life. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Buffalo and an M.A. in English from SUNY College at Brockport. I hope you enjoy your visit to my blog!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Nukes

I have an intense interest in science in general, physics more specifically, and subatomic physics even more so. That said, I'm interested in nuclear weapons because of the science behind them. Don't get me wrong: I don't like nukes and I wish they were never invented. The world would be a better place without them. But since they already exist, I feel I can have this interest in their science.

I'm currently writing a short story called "The Adirondack Room"--a surreal, absurdist little tale. The interesting thing about this tale is that it began with a challenge that my critique partner, Michael Canavan, and I gave each other. I wrote about this challenge a number of entries ago. We were to write coming-of-age stories. Mine morphed into something very different, and I believe you have to let stories do this--you have to follow them where they want to go, and often it's in an entirely different direction than what you set out for. Anyhow, this story involves nukes in parts of it, and I wrote one passage I particularly enjoyed writing. Here it is at this point in time:


They’re still testing nukes in Nevada, and no one in the general public knows about it but me. I see them when I close my eyes: the mushroom cloud fiery red and orange, rising up, billowing out; the grey stem, the circle of ash and smoke around it; the shocking formation of a crater in the desert; lizards, birds, insects, and snakes gone—no remains; scrub bushes and tumbleweeds blown into the center of the whirlpool of toxic air; the rush, the wind, the silent radiation moving out at a speed I can’t fathom; the fallout forming quickly, ready to snow down as it rides through the atmosphere—an evil thing, an innocent thing, and finally, truthfully, an indifferent thing.

2 comments:

  1. Interesting, but there may be one thing about "nukes" that hits a little close to home. In 1945 we dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, foreclosing the need to invade. A young Marine was preparing on Maui, sure that he would die violently on one of the Japanese home islands. He didn't have to try, and I was born. When I went to DC and saw the Enola Gay I wept openly at the sight of the airplane that saved my father's life, and helped give me a chance at my own. This is a complicated existence, and there are no easy answers, just horrible, complicated questions. Nice post.

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  2. Jim, Alan thinks the same thing about his Grandpa Dave and how his own existence hinges on the atomic bombs dropped on Japan. Had these events not happened, what would have happened to the Greer line? And yet it was a terrible thing that happened. But by losing lives, other lives were saved. You're right... there are no easy answers, just complicated questions. But Alan definitely feels the way you do and is very aware of what his Grandpa Dave was preparing for and what he was spared from. Thanks so much for your insightful comment!

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