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Monday, November 10, 2008
When the Bee Stings, Nonfiction Writers (of Course) Must Write It
My new friends at a new online journal, Ozone Park, have kindly asked me to be part of their launch today, so I'll be reading at Queens College this evening, along with others whose work is showcased in the inaugural Fall issue.
Ozone Park Journal is a project of the newish MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation at Queens College, part of the City University of New York system. The launch party, open to the public, takes place from six to eight at the Godwin-Ternbach Museum.
For reasons I still do not quite understand, I enjoy reading in public. (The thought of it beforehand, however, is nauseating.) Maybe, when I finally get up there, it reminds me of when my cousins and I wrote silly plays and performed them for our tired parents at the end of long family barbecues, or the time I narrated a school play (after much prodding from Sister Judith Ann). Had I only known then how comfortable I would one day become in the role of narrator…
Or maybe what I like about a reading – specifically one for which you are asked (told) to trim your piece to fit into way-too-short-a-time-segment, is that the preparation and editing forces you to find the heart of a story, making it a gift to the audience, like offering a lovingly crafted sample: Here – if you like this, there's more. (Okay, it's not anything like the samples at the Godiva counter, which I like much better, but still.)
If you can't come for the sample, find the whole, much longer version of my nonfiction narrative, When the Bee Stings, here.
It's about sisters and being Italian-American in 1960s suburban New Jersey, and generations and lifelong bonds and...what is that line from an old Andrews Sisters song..."God help the sister who comes between me and my mister." No, I'm not that old, I just like old movies.