Beautiful Sentences: Laudomia Bonnani

They were round, meek eyes, with straight eyelashes, the eyes of a pet.

Laudomia Bonnani. The Reprisal. 

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Beautiful Sentences: Elie Wiesel

But if all living people are guilty, can’t we deduce from this that no one is?

Elie Wiesel, The Judges.

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Beautiful Sentences: Tom Rachman

What I really fear is time. That’s the devil: whipping us on when we’d rather loll, so the present sprints by, impossible to grasp, and all is suddenly past, a past that won’t hold still, that slides into these inauthentic tales.

Tom Rachman. The Imperfectionists

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Beautiful Sentences: Harriet Beecher Stowe

Of course, in a novel, people’s hearts break, and they die, and that is the end of it; and in a story this is very convenient. But in real life we do not die when all that makes life bright dies to us. There is a most busy and important round of eating, drinking, dressing, walking, visiting, buying, selling, talking, reading, and all that makes up what is commonly called living,  yet to be gone through; and this yet remained to Augustine.

Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin

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Beautiful Sentences: Alberto Manguel

Some nights I dream of an entirely anonymous library in which books have no title and boast no author, forming a continuous narrative stream in which all genres, all styles, all stories converge, and all protagonists and all locations are unidentified, a stream into which I can dip at any point of its course.

Alberto Manguel, The Library at Night.

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Beautiful Sentences: Jeffery Eugenides

We knew that the girls were our twins, that we existed in space like animals with identical skins, and that they knew everything about us though we couldn’t fathom them at all. We knew, finally, that the girls were really women in disguise, that they understood love and even deathm and that our job was merely to create the noise that seemed to fascinate them.

Jeffery Eugenides, The Virgin Suicides.

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Beautiful Sentences: Alberto Manguel

Every reader exists to ensure for a certain book a modest immortality. Reading is, in this sense, a ritual of rebirth.

Alberto Manguel, The Library at Night.

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“MeTube”: The Story Behind the Story

The genesis of “MeTube” was an actual YouTube video, “Bride Has Massive Hair Wig Out” which initially presented itself as an actual pre-wedding video but was later revealed to be a promotional video for hair care products. Regardless of its veracity, the question that struck me about the video was, What happened after the camera turned off? Did the bride go through with the wedding? If not, how did everyone around her react to that development. This question of what happens after the story ends is one that often intrigues me and in this case I found it to be fertile ground.

The story has been kicking around for a while, having been workshopped first in a writers’ group I participated in around 2007–8 with Georgene Smith Goodin among others, and then resurrected when I took a class at Story Studio Chicago with Lee Strickland. It took a few bouts of submissions before it was finally accepted by Popshot for their Truth issue.

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“Q & A”: The Story Behind the Story

The genesis of “Q & ANewImage was a passing mention in Dava Sobel’s book Galileo’s Daughter, where, when she was discussing the trial of Galileo by the Inquisition, she mentions the surreal effect of the transcript in which all the questions are written in the third person but the answers given are in the first person. I found this intriguing and wanted to employ it in a story.

Since the original question and answer format came out of the inquisition, I imagined a sort of contemporary inquisition and decided that some betrayal in love would be the target of said inquisition. As for just who is asking the questions, I leave that to the imagination of the reader.

The first version of this story was workshopped in a class at UCLA Extension under the leadership of Adam Cushman. I took a revised version of it to my MFA program where it got further attention from TIbor Fischer, Kat Grilli, Steven Paul Lansky, Kossiwa Logan and Ryan McConkey

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Beautiful Sentences: Jac Jemc

She filled her clothes the way one fills one’s skin: exactly.

Jac Jemc, My Only Wife.

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