Wednesday, May 29, 2013

find me on WordPress

I don't live here anymore. Please visit my WordPress blog:

Sorry for the confusion. I hope to see you over at my newer, much more cared-for blog. Thanks!

Monday, May 21, 2012

hot off the press

Hi, Internet. I just had a short story published at Retort Magazine. They publish great art, poems, and short fiction. I got word this morning that my story Breasts Like Death-Sacks was chosen for publication. And BAM! The Internet is so amazing that I got to see my story live directly after reading the acceptance email.

Here's a screenshot, because why not?

short story jessica bates retort

I just bit the bullet and sent off my story in full profanity. One rejection I got said: "It would have to be more thoroughly believable to make all the vulgarity tolerable." Luckily not everyone thinks so; Retort Magazine liked the story in its full F-bomb fashion.

Thanks, Retort! 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

instant love

I've been reading Pacing the Panic Room for a while. My sister and I swoon over Ryan's gorgeous maternity series he shot and compiled for his wife. And now Ryan has announced a contest that I'd like to a) win, and b) share with you. The embedded video is for a cool book about instant photography. Instant Love is about making memories with Polaroids.

Just last night my husband was chasing our dog around the yard, and it was getting darker and darker. The sky was an amazing midnight blue, navy, almost the color I had just painted my nails (excuse the rough cuticles; I'm not a nail-biter, but I am a cuticle-chewer).

I tried to capture the sky's brilliant color with my iPhone, which normally takes solid photos. But the darkness, the largeness of the sky the iPhone can't handle that. I grabbed my point-and-shoot camera and tried again. Bleh. I suddenly, bare feet on the wooden deck, longed for film.

I remembered the Intro to Photojournalism summer class I took in college. We were the last class to use film; after that it was all digital. I yearned for the magic of patience, of taking the time to set up a shot, ponder the light, the composition. It is so easy to click, click, click taking shots that aren't quite right. It's so easy to delete what I don't want, that I spend less time worrying about the integrity of the shot and more time taking pictures. I wanted to see that ticker count down the number of chances I had left. The moment of excitement when you've finished the roll, when you can finally see what you've captured.

My husband's late grandfather was into photography. I never got to meet him. His old cameras and filters are floating around in the family. I suddenly longed for those cameras, cameras that I've never seen that belonged to a man I never met. A man that, should I have a child in the future, will be a part of that child. Selfishly, maybe, I wanted something tangible of his. Selfishly, I wanted those gritty, beautiful, old school cameras.

So, back to the point. I embedded this video to share it with you and to increase my own chances of winning the oh-so-lovely camera giveaway from Pacing the Panic Room. I'm all about full disclosure here. You can give it a shot, too. Enter here.

And to anyone reading this who might be shooting photos with real film: Where do you buy it? What's the best camera to get reacquainted with?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

and we're home owners

In late January, we closed on a house. I walked on the deck. It was a little cold that day.

I walked by the nandina lining our new house.

I hugged the tree in our side-yard. I wonder what it will look like in bloom.

We saw the sunset from our front porch.

With the help of amazing people in our life, we started renovating. Thanks Chelsea, Mom, Dad, Kristin, Melanie, Michael, and Jeremy. Seriously, thanks!

Sissy, thanks in advance for the curtains. :)

We changed fixtures and hung shower curtains. We painted walls and caulked cracks.

We adopted an old dog, Angel, aka Hell's Angel, from my mom. Angel is loving her spoiled, indoor life.

We started composting!

We adopted a young dog, Baron. He killed a rabbit in our yard at midnight on a Wednesday.

It's Saturday, and Mr. B hasn't killed anything else since.

Other things that have happened not documented with photos:
  • I got two new writing gigs, hurrah!
  • Baron chewed up a human bed
  • Baron chewed up a dog bed
  • Baron chewed up the hose handle + a doggie shampoo bottle after getting a bath
  • Angel stormed the doggie gate because her new brother was crying in his crate
  • We got a dog sitter who fell asleep, defeating her only purpose
  • We got snuggies
  • We're both working in the same room (even though we have two extra, completely empty rooms) because I was lonely and we're used to such tiny spaces

Sunday, January 22, 2012

lit quote: Murakami's KAFKA ON THE SHORE

But no matter how long he stared at the phone, it just sat there, a silent, unnecessarily introspective object. Nobody knocked on the door, not a single letter arrived. And nothing out of the ordinary happened. The weather stayed the same, and no flashes of inspiration struck him. One expressionless moment after another ticked by. Noon came and went, the afternoon quietly reeling into twilight. The hands of the electric clock on the wall skimmed smoothly over the surface of time like a whirligig beetle, and on the bed Mr. Nakata was still dead.

Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

Friday, September 23, 2011


My short story Remembering Elizabeth has been published in Interrobang?! Issue 5.

It arrived in the mail today! Get yours here.

Many thanks to the editors at Interrobang?! You've made this day one of my happiest.

Mark and I just took a celebratory shot of whiskey. Cheers!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

750 words

Any writers out there using 750words?

So far, I've found it most useful just to make me write everyday. Look! 4,354 words in four days of writing!

By 30 days, I'll have 22,500 words. Dude, I really can write a novel. Watch out!