Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Year in Words

At this time of year, the proliferation of end of the year lists can be a bit overwhelming, but I want to offer up one of my own if for no other reason than that it helps me to see what I did in 2016. Invariably, I accomplish less than I hope to in a given work week, especially now when so much of my time is consumed by teaching rather than writing, and yet somehow I end up stringing words together, creating essays, reviews, sermons. And there's more to be done next year.

"Write as if you were dying," Annie Dillard says, "At the same time, assume you write for an audience consisting solely of terminal patients. That is, after all, the case. What would you begin writing if you knew you would die soon? What could you say to a dying person that would not enrage by its triviality?" Here at the end of 2016 her words are the closest I can come to describing why I press on. "At its best," she continues, "the sensation of writing is that of any unmerited grace."

Here, in no particular order, my year in words:

"Contentious Women of the Old Testament," originally published in Leader magazine, cross published here.

"Pencil Skirts and Power Ties," in Rhubarb magazine. Consider buying a copy here.

Two posts for Words & Spirit, here and here.



An op-ed for Religion News Service about my pastor's credentials being revoked, as detailed in the article above.


A review of 99 Stories of God by Joy Williams for the Englewood Review of Books.

Hunger, an essay about women and soccer, for The Other Journal.

A series of six columns for the Mennonite World Review: here, here, here, here, here, and here.

A ten-week series of snarky feminist commentary on The Bachelor last winter, on Patreon, because over analyzing bad TV is my preferred form of self-care.

Oh, also: I finished my book. Forthcoming from Cascade books in 2017. Time for some champagne...or a really long nap. Cheers!
 

2 comments:

  1. I was curious about your Williams review (I assume the review can only be read in hard copy?). I couldn't bring myself to care about her style in 99 Stories. I don't seem to have the patience or headspace for certain genres at this time. What was your take?

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    1. Right, the review is only available in print. The form was not my favorite, but as I read I did start to get into it as sort of "snapshots" of particular moments. I liked the absurdity of the stories, how they didn't always make sense but sometimes in a good way, and reading it as someone who thinks a lot about the incarnation there was something fitting in the absurdity of God attending, say, a hotdog eating contest, or standing in line at Walgreens. That said, I tend to go for more traditional narrative forms, so it was a departure from what I'd usually read.

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