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Hey, all you Fickle Readers Who Are Also Writers! Do you like Shakespeare? Of course you do! Right now, I’m here to interrupt my regularly scheduled navel-gazing to tell you about the New Orleans Review and its special Shakespeare issue to be released in 2016, just in time to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. (Yes, it’s sort of a macabre thing to celebrate, but whatever.) Here’s what they’re looking for:
We welcome submissions that riff on, respond to, reimagine, or recast any of Shakespeare’s works. Submissions may be in any genre, including short fiction, poetry, image/text pieces, creative nonfiction, and scholarship.
Deadline is December 31, 2015, so that should give everyone plenty of time to brush up their Shakespeare-based projects or start new ones.
Am I going to submit to this? You bet your booty I am! I’ve been re-re-re-inspired. Deadlines and submission calls do that to a person. It’s easy to want to fulfill someone else’s desire.
Today my friend–let’s call him Wikipedia Brown–and I sorted all of my old books into a pile to get rid of. And oh, what a tremendous pile it is. About 90% of the volumes I scrounged and scurried to get for my dissertation, both for my comprehensive exams (two reading lists that were required to contain about 100 titles apiece) and for my ill-fated dissertation. My exams I passed (although not without controversy). My dissertation I never finished.
These were books I desperately wanted to obtain, books that made me feel like a queen when I found them. I luxuriated in their bulk of pages, material unread and undiscovered, soon to go straight into my brain and make me–what? I have no idea now. I think when I went into the PhD program, I mistook being an information hoarder for being a scholar. Or maybe being a narcissist for being a researcher. Because now that those books no longer serve a purpose (most of my primary sources long ago passed into the public domain, and nowadays that means I can get them for free, chock-full of typos and bad formatting but instantly accessible nonetheless), I couldn’t be happier to throw them in a giant pile and cart them out of my house. One time I thought I might do something creative with them, like write found poetry from each book that was meaningful to me in my program. Then as I looked at each title, I realized how nonessential most of these volumes were to my life.
I have no idea how I could have thought I wanted that PhD. I have no idea how I worked on it for twelve years.
There’s a particular sense of urgency to my writing. Cognitive dysfunction and decline are signatures of MS and I don’t know if or when these will start, if they haven’t already. Writing is a way I tell the world I was here, I mattered. Please listen to me while I still have something to say.
–Linda Chavers, “34 Things I Wish Multiple Sclerosis Hadn’t Shown Me“
The mud-grey sea heaved sluggishly under a sky the colour of thin milk, faintly luminous at the horizon as if the fickle sun were about once more to break through.
–P.D. James, Children of Men