New short stories in The Laurel Review

Aimee Parkison and I have three new stories in the current issue of The Laurel Review (Volume 50, Issue 2). "Girl in Your Car" and "Girl in Mansion" were co-written; "Girl in Special Collector's Edition" is one of Aimee's brilliant solo pieces. I'm especially happy with how "Girl in Mansion" turned out. When we co-wrote "Girl in Mansion," I felt that click happen. Suddenly our imaginations were intertwined. Instead of two stories, we shared one story between us. Writing forward from her first half, I found a way to link Aimee's beginning to an ending that appeared with cinematic clarity. I'm grateful to Aimee for sharing imaginative space on and off the page, and for the friendship that grounds our short story collection, Girl Zoo.
Since I'm on the topic of friendship, this TED talk by Monica Lewinsky on "The Price of Shame" offers an articulate, poignant analysis of how far-reaching betrayal, gossip, harassment, gaslighting, and shunning can be in the age of the internet. Just a reminder that collaboration -- with its emphasis on respect, sharing, trust, and compassion -- is an antidote to the experiences Lewinsky details, and the betrayals she survived. She's a hero of mine, someone who managed to remain vulnerable and lovely despite suffering devastating social violence, including female-to-female bullying and collective ostracism. Her recent writing, such as this piece in Vanity Fair, links her lived experience to larger cultural traumas. Thank you, Monica Lewinsky. Someday I'll write poems for you. It's a book in my head, unwritten but deeply felt, shining in the distance.