Laura Ellen Scott

les reads and writes

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Mysterious list

I found this in an unnamed folder. I think I was working through the category of “books that I feel weird about”

  1. Anne of Green Gables: because I didn’t know you could swap reading for sleep
  2. Mandingo: I guess it was a movie tie in. Perry King was on the cover and he hypnotized me. Jesus, they boil a guy
  3. Shibumi: I didn’t know it was a parody
  4. Our Bodies Ourselves: Most embarrassing birthday present ever. Pro-tip: Vag leads to Ute.
  5. Harrold Robbins books: I bought most of my books at the damned grocery store when I was 15. MESSED. UP.
  6. Tarantula, Kathy Acker. Recommended whisperly by the poet who taught research methods. I read it because I was afraid of him.
  7. A Tale of Two Men. Taylor Caldwell. Really hot scene of a guy touching a girl’s ankle.
  8. The Inheritors, Goldman. I was in a crosslisted course packed with athletes, given free range. Had no idea.
  9. The Girl With The Curious Hair. One day you will be adrift in an MFA program and A*** C***** will slide a book your way and say “you need to read this.”
  10. I bought your book at AWP to be polite.
  11. The Catalogue

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Fidelity and the short story that comes from/turns into a novel

Question: When you write a short story that spawns a novel or when you extract material from a long project to create a short story, how concerned are you about consistency between them?

In my own practice, I make a regular habit of developing short work and submitting it for publication from whatever novel project I’m working on, both to buoy my spirits and to test the general concepts/characters. I rarely take into consideration how the short work diverges from–or outright contradicts–the long work.

I imagine I need to think more about the dependencies between the forms if they are operating with the same concepts, although the only time it was an issue that I was aware of was when Barrelhouse hosted an event to support my novel but were also selling issues of the mag with a story of mine in it. They cautioned purchasers not to read the story before the book because the story gave away the ending.

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You can’t put a price on Victory

My 6 yr old gosh daughter is headed toward her own little “Araby” moment this weekend; she’s piling up her quarters and dollars so she can spend money at a small town fall festival, and I admit I’ve been whispering in her ear about it. She’s already announced to her folks that what she might buy is none of their business, and btw, don’t they owe her money for chores? She was supposed to sweep the porch for $4 (I can only assume that was the total cash on hand), but later when her mother accidentally said $5, the GD corrected her: “No, it’s 4,” and we all chuckled at her negotiating skills. In hindsight, considering the little girl’s death grip on her autonomy, maybe it wasn’t a misstep. Maybe it was worth the dollar to be right.


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