Elizabeth Holzman Reads “The Flat Earth”

Last summer, I was lucky enough to see a short story I wrote performed at Sacramento Stories on Stage. This monthly event is just one more reason why Sacramento is a premier literary town and a wonderful place to be a reader and a writer. My story “The Flat Earth” appears in the print edition of Night Train Journal released last March. The story opens on a scene at a ninth grade girl slumber party that is based almost word for word on something that happened to me when I was a kid. Someday you should try having one of…

Refund by Karen E. Bender: A Book Review

I just finished reading Refund, a collection of short stories written by author Karen E. Bender and published by Counterpoint Press. All of the stories center around the question of money in a post 9/11 economy for characters who are used to being able to make a living. With an eye that is beyond observant and almost prescient, Ms. Bender reveals exactly what is at stake when people’s livelihoods are threatened. Her characters scramble for dignity, survival, and a sense of selfhood while the systems that are supposed to sustain them crumble away. For me, reading this collection of stories was an…

You Write What’s Real: The Secret Lives of Young Adults

Last December I visited an English class at a continuation high school. The students had read and discussed  my YA novel HOW TO BE MANLY  (Giant Squid Books) and the plan was for me to give a talk and answer their questions. I came bearing a big pink box of donuts (if you read the book you’ll know why). As I put a donut on every desk, one girl jumped from her seat, unable to wait for my presentation to begin to share her thoughts. “I like you,” she said. “Because you write what’s real.”  Her classmates nodded in agreement, glad that she broke…

Goddess University: Furiosa

Okay, so Furiosa isn’t a goddess, she’s a character in Mad Max: Fury Road. She doesn’t even have magical powers or supernatural forces of any kind. She looks like Charlize Theron, so she has that going for her, but being beautiful is not exactly an asset in her world. I read Cindy Fazzi’s film review of Mad Max: Fury Road that touches on the feminist themes at work in this film. In fact, I read the review on the way home from seeing the film and it was such a joy to see that someone else understood the same things I…

Notebooks

On the way to the gym this morning, I heard this story on NPR  in which Eric Weiner reported that Moleskine’s business is booming, and research shows that  all the cool kids write in notebooks now. I was fascinated but also horrified by this story. Listening to an interview with a guy who revealed that he wrote in notebooks like it was a new idea made me feel  sort of the way I did when the lady who wrote Freedom Writers came to town and everyone at the school where I worked got very excited about her revolutionary teaching technique of having her students write in journals.  My…