The Top 10 entries in our Second Chance for Rejected Writing of All Genres contest reflect the playful yet earnest voice we admire at New Wave and The Art, whether they are poems, short stories or essays. In order to avoid genres competing for rank and to keep the focus on the craft, we picked two winners in each of five rankings. In this issue we have published the Fifth Place winners, and each week we will publish two more until we close the showcase with the First Place submissions. Hint for our next scene-building contest: It will focus on a very specific genre — memoirs in the style that the two judges (Amanda Miller and Sebastian Briglia) have published. Keep checking in for the official guidelines and dates. The list of Second Chance Contest winners and their rank follows the Fifth Place submissions we have published below:
A Summary of Online Dating
a poem by Tara Le Reynolds
curly brown hair
who jump into bed
or other interpretations
“not too thin”
“is it in”?
IM : wanna meet up again?
freefall head first
into a new abyss
giving in to something
I don’t understand
they spend four
hours in my bed
six weeks in my head
no new messages
Tara Le Reynolds is a young writer who lives in Seattle, Washington. She grew up in trailer parks and foster care, but tries to be better than her circumstances–– although those very experiences are what often inspire her to write. Tara has recently been accepted to Seattle University for fall 2015, where she plans to complete her BA. She is interested in reading, screenwriting, photography, and poetry.
an essay by
I haven’t always lived in Wyoming and sometimes I thought I never would. My mother is from Greybull and we always visited in the summer. As I grew up this place became my tie to the earth, my grounding place because as I grew we moved around the country. Always big cities, always fat away from the open spaces that I learned to love and long for. I scurried along in life like a mouse trying to blend in, never quite making a perfect fit with the shadows or people around me.
Besides moving, there were family troubles and troubles within myself that every child-adult faces as they enter into their new roles. Then there was the cost of being different and outside the popular boys and girls. For a long time I yearned for acceptance by my peers. I daydreamed about Wyoming, about a place where I felt like an eagle soaring above my troubles and reducing them to a size I could manage.
In the back of my head, during all my troubles, I had this vision of a home and family in the country, in Wyoming. For brief times I would tentatively touch my paradise of the mmd as summer came and we vacationed here for a few weeks. My memories are filled with the days I spent here. The place that stands in my mind for all those memories is Shell Canyon and the town of Shell.
The hot sun would be pouring down sunshine and heat, just like the rainstorm which would follow it. Heat waves shimmered above the highway and I would always have to see if our car went through water or if it was just a mirage on the road. As the gateway to the canyon got closer, larger plants started to appear. Instead of just sage, grass appeared and a few small trees. Then we would round the curve and go down the hill into the town of Shell. There, water glistened through the vigorous cottonwoods it nourished. The essence of the trees floated up and the smell shouted out “Cottonwoods live here. ” To most people the smell of pine brings up the mountains but the fragrance of cottonwoods is what I think of.
As we would slow down driving through Shell, I would see Shell Lodge. Sometimes we’d stop for something cold to drink. I remember getting Pepsi in the old glass bottles. In the mountain air and the old bottles, I remember Pepsi tasting like the finest drink I would ever have. Somehow it became more than just a Pepsi.
After leaving the town we would then drive over Shell creek and by the green farms before the canyon. The creek kept company with us and followed the highway along as we grew closer to the canyon. A few horses might graze or roll around in the fields. The red hills rose gradually above the farms and the creek and created Christmas colors with the bright green grass and trees.
Then our car would enter the canyon itself and we would wind around on the switchback up to our favorite picnic area. lt was always close to the creek and under the trees. I could hear the water rushing over the rocks on its way to the valley below. My grandmother would help the kids find grasshoppers so they could fish. My brother always tried to get the grasshoppers to spit at me but he never succeeded.
It seemed forever before the fire was hot enough to roast hot dogs over. There was always plenty of hot dogs, potato salad and chips to eat. Then afterwards we would roast marshmallows for a tasty treat. My brother liked to make torches and see how black he could get his marshmallow before it dropped off.
Finally, it was time to go home. Slowly, our car would make its way up the dirt road to the highway. If we were lucky we might see a few deer coming down for water. They would ignore our pleas to come closer to the car and cautiously pick their way across the road behind us. Before we finally reached grandma’s house the sun would have set and our headlights would pick out the highway. And finally, my brother and I would tumble into our beds almost asleep before our heads hit the pillow.
Now, after all those years and summer memories I have finally moved here. I have my home and my family. Is the reality of my life now, as I dreamed about for so many years? No, of course not. Dreams of paradise normally do not match up to expectations, or at least I have found things that way. But I wouldn’t trade my life out here either. Cities are too crowded, too far away from the place where I need to renew my strength. Like old legends, I need to touch the earth to keep my strength. If I am away too long, then my strength drains away and I become only an empty husk, sleepwalking through it. So each day I renew my strength and convictions as I live as a part of the country instead of apart from it. Perhaps I don’t soar quite as high as I dreamed about hut I am able to reduce my Problems down to a size I can hold in my hands and solve.
Tamara Harpster’s bio:
Walt Disney’s birthday and the day Mozart died, two facts she has been trying to reconcile ever since she found them out. Her childhood was spent in various cities in the Midwest as her family moved around for her father’s job. After graduating from Oklahoma State University she got her first job and met her husband to be on her first project. They married a year later and are still together some 28 years later. In that time she has been a software engineer, motel owner/manager, web developer, project manager and is currently a jack of all trades software support for a small technical manual business. After many years away from submitting her writing, she is returning to the field by working on blog articles and a novel and also learning about the new world of self-publishing.
Tamara is involved with a start up business with her husband called Shell Creek Publishing. Shell Creek Publishing is the business side for publishing and promoting books authored by John and Tamara Harpster. John’s books are light satires that take a different look at life in the USA. Tamara writes essays for the site and is working on a fantasy novel. Our published books are meant to provide a good read at a good value. We are proud to announce the release of the first novel for Shell Creek publishing, Doing the E.T. Tango: Dancing with the Universe by John M. Harpster.
The novel is a humorous story about a team trying to find alien artifacts hidden by the government in Wyoming. Everyone knows about Area 51 but what if there was another secret installation where the aliens were really kept? The novel Doing the E.T. Tango: Dancing with the Universe follows Ellen Goodwin, Bill Regal and their crew of misfits as they work on a plan to break into a top secret installation, Acre 47 at Fort Custer Wyoming. Their plan is to get proof that aliens do exist and have visited Earth. With the FBI, DHS and BLM investigating them, will they manage to find a way into the base and find aliens?
The novel is available on Amazon as an eBook and will soon be available in paperback format. Sample chapters from the book can be read on our website at http://www.shellcreekpublishing.com/. We also have a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/shellcreekbooks and find us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/shellcreekbooks
Winners of New
Rekha Shankar –
A Period Piece
Tara Le Reynolds –
Sticks and Stones
Breed Wilson –
Geography of a
L.S. Engler –
Michael Farley –
to a Homeland
Tamara Harpster –
City Mouse, Country Eagle
Tara Le Reynolds –
FAQs: A Summary of
Amanda Miller will be at the Rochester Fringe Festival performing One Breath, Then Another: An Interactive Yoga Show, based on her memoir, from September 18th to September 27th. Tickets are available by clicking here. On September 30th she will host Lyrics, Lit and Liquor, a music and literature party in New York’s Lower East Side where Sebastian Briglia will do a reading.
Amanda Erin Miller is an actor, writer, yoga instructor and massage therapist. She is intrigued by the ways these practices inform each other. Amanda recently published her memoir One Breath, Then Another about her quest for healing to avoid her father’s self destructive path on her own Lucid River Press.
She has adapted the book into an interactive solo show about studying yoga on an ashram in India, which premiered at Dixon Place in New York City on March 9th, 2013. Excerpts from One Breath, Then Another have been featured in Underwired Magazine, Om Times, Love Your Rebellion, Runaway Parade and So Long: Short Memoirs of Loss and Remembrance, a memoir anthology. Her writing has also appeared in The Rumpus and UC Riverside’s Cratelit.
She hosts and books the monthly literary/ music series Lyrics, Lit & Liquor at The Parkside Lounge. She has also created a two-person comedy show called Please Don’t Let Me Die Alone with her collaborator Shawn Shafner about the perils of love and dating. They have performed this show around Valentine’s Day every year since 2010 in New York City at The Tank Theater, The Magnet Theater and The People’s Improv Theater. Amanda earned her BFA in Acting from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and her MFA in Creative Writing from The New School. For more information, visit her website http://www.onebreaththenanother.com/.
AS A CHILD Sebastian Briglia wanted to be American, and luckily for him at the time, so did his parents. They emigrated from Bulgaria in 1991, not long after the fall of communism. As an adult, he wanted to be Bulgarian again, mostly because of his mounting legal troubles in America, though unfortunately for him at the time he was estranged from his parents and Bulgaria as he remembered it did not exist anymore. Later he began to suspect that Bulgaria as he remembered it never existed.
He has attempted to reach a balance between what he thinks he wants and what he thinks he needs by exploring spirituality and materialism both on and off drugs and new wave music, in urban as well as rural environments. All of this, of course, has been to no avail. His New Wave and the Art of Heroin Maintenance series reflect this struggle.
Two excerpts of New Wave and the Art of Heroin Maintenance, “Raven on Heroin” and “Raven in the Motel Room,” have been featured in Horror Sleaze Trash Magazine. As a journalist, he has only written under his real name at The Italian Tribune News in Newark, NJ, where he worked as a staff writer over a decade ago. The rest of his journalistic and feature writing has been published under a pen name. He currently works in public relations and plays guitar in the New York band Like Herding Cats. Their eponymous EP had just won The Deli Magazine’s NYC Artist of the Month Award when he joined.
Rejection can be the most exhilarating roller coaster you can be on emotionally, provided you remain the ultimate judge of your own failure.
Maintaining awareness during the working process can be very helpful in keeping rejection in perspective. Below is a post written by Sebouh Gemdjian that delves into some meditation techniques that can be practiced while working: