Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: Under the Influence

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

This week the Debs are to discuss the books & authors that most influenced us. And this is especially difficult, since I love to read, and I am fond of both fiction and non-fiction, poetry and prose, forms both hybrid and pure journalism. So many authors, so many books. So little time. But I will try to thank them and tell you why. With regard to my forthcoming debut novel,…

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Ivelisse Rodriguez on Latinx literature & writing new models of love + GIVEAWAY of LOVE WAR STORIES

Please welcome Ivelisse Rodriguez to the Ball this week! Ivelisse’s debut short story collection, Love War Stories, came out this July to much acclaim, and was named one of the most anticipated books of 2018 by Cosmopolitan, The Root, and Bitch Media. Bustle called it an “exceptional debut” and as soon as I read the description of the book (and saw it was published by Feminist Press, one of my favorite small presses!),…

Saturday, October 13, 2018
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On Drafting

Thursday, October 11, 2018

I get easily excited about ideas. If you sit me in front of a computer long enough, I will inevitably start writing. Drafting is the fun part. Drafting should be the stream of consciousness part, the unfiltered part, the part that is done out of joy. In drafting, there is no judgment, only indulgence. One is able to describe a house or a room or even a bowl of soup…

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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: Ode to the First Draft

I really want to write a rant to all the devastations of the day: the Kavanaugh vote in the Senate, the FBI’s incomplete investigation, the senator from Maine’s weak speech justifying her vote against women, the Senate’s dismissal and nullification of Dr. Ford’s courage. But I have to write for the Debs, it’s that time of the week where the Debs must cull their thoughts for the topic at hand….

Tuesday, October 9, 2018
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Three Steps to Make Failure Suck Less

Thursday, October 4, 2018

The first time I ever felt crushed by rejection was in high school. I was somehow nominated for a months-long mentorship with an established poet, and as part of the decision process, I was invited to Scholastic HQ in downtown Manhattan to meet the other poets in the running. When I was called to read my poem in front of the group, I flailed my hands in passion, the plastic…

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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: Chronicles of an X-American (part 1)

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

  Chronicles of an X-American (part 1) The best training is to read and write, no matter what — Grace Paley I’ve always been a poet, and it’s always some tributary of poetry that I return to when I have my teeth, metaphorically, kicked in. I started writing poems, mostly nature poems, when I turned nine. I was fast with my first drafts and slow to revise. Only my fifth-grade…

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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: A Circuitous Route

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

A Circuitous Route:   The reflection of the world is blues, that’s where that part of the music is at  – Jimi Hendrix I have no way to express how stunned I am, sitting here today, holding my newly hatched ARCs. It is surreal to see this book in galley form, it is surreal to see my family hold my debut novel in their hands. By all accounts I should…

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Interview with Lori Rader-Day and Under a Dark Sky Giveaway

Saturday, September 15, 2018

    CONGRATULATIONS to author Lori Rader-Day, whose book, The Day I Died,  is the 2018 winner of the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Original! I’m so pleased to welcome Rader-Day back to the Debutante Ball. For those of you who’ve been following us for a while, she really needs no introduction. Rader-Day was a deb back in 2014, and we have since hosted her a few times, celebrating every…

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The Book Within A Book

Friday, September 14, 2018

      I’m not sure how old I was the first time I tried to read Anne of Green Gables, but I must have been too young. I was vain as a reader, always showing off by trying to read far above my age level, reading classics with a view to bragging about having read them. I didn’t get very far with that first attempt. Anne has a long…

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Carlos Santana Got Me To Write A Novel, Basically

Thursday, September 13, 2018

I remember listening to Santana’s “Maria, Maria”, and wondering what the hell kind of Latina I was for not being more like HER. In college in Southern California, I even used to think: she’s not far from me now. She’s out there, falling in love in East LA, and here I am, earning a college degree and making passes at men outside my family’s income bracket.  That gap between me and…

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