It's not often that I get to visit my best friend in Michigan, but when I do, I'm more thrilled than a bunny rabbit let loose in a field of carrots.
Here are some photographs from my trip to Detroit this weekend:
Caption for this photo: The Detroit People Mover is a great opportunity to be moved if you're a person.
WE DIDN'T KNOW IT, BUT THE MAN IN THE BACKGROUND HAD THE ANSWERS TO EVERYTHING.
My apologies for the reflection, but the point is, this is the dress that I'm going to wear when I renew my vows.
"And we'll never be royals . . . "
Comerica Park: it doesn't beat PNC Park, but it's still a pretty great place to watch a game.
And eat too much popcorn. Like, way too much popcorn.
And last but not least, Café Rhema = one of the cutest coffee shops I've yet to see . . .
. . . not to mention a great place to introduce my best friend to bubble tea!
The trip to PA to MI and back was 14 hours in total. During those 14 hours in the car, I discovered two amazing songs that are worth a listen if you are looking for just two more songs to complete that awesome mixtape of yours:
I mean, I kinda feel embarrassed that Iron and Wine fell off my radar. This song is enough to remind me not to let that happen again.
So anyway. That's my trip. Thanks to my best friend Cristy for keeping me, and for keeping me sane. <3
Here's what Luke Wortley and Zach Roth, the editors of Axolotl, had to say about my play "The Feeling Down Check-Up":
In the middle of the issue is a play by Kayla Pongrac entitled “The Feeling Down Check-Up.” The amount of paradox present in the title is in of itself puzzling, yet oddly satisfying, in its invitation to interpretation, and as the scene unfolds, the reader finds herself both repelled by and attracted to the strangeness of the world. By the end, as the reader watches the “Three small, red balls…roll across the floor,” she wants both to laugh hysterically and to throw up her hands in frustration at being denied a clear meaning.
"The Feeling Down Check-Up" was performed at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown a few years ago as part of the annual Golgonooza Festival. Faculty members hand-pick student plays to be performed on stage, and mine made the cut. Once the plays are chosen, they are handed to student directors and then Pitt-Johnstown students fill the roles accordingly. The respect and interest that everyone from the director to the audience members showed my play was what made me want to continue writing for the stage (this fall I plan to finish a new play about a couple dining in a unique restaurant setting). If you're interested in seeing the performance of my play, click here. I do apologize for the lack of quality but, hey, at least proof of the fantastic job the director and students did exists.
To see this play in print in the very first issue of Axolotl is a real treat. I'm so thrilled that the editors selected it for publication and handled it with care; it looks fantastic on their website, and I'm proud to be part of what I think is going to be a stellar literary magazine. Click here to read "The Feeling Down Check-Up" and while you're at it, read the rest of the inaugural issue, too. I'm delighted to find that my play is in good company and that the issue is well-cast :D
I love coffee shops. I especially love coffee shops that I can bike to. This means that you can often find me writing at a coffee shop in my hometown called Mill House Cafe.
I've been frequenting Mill House for over a year. With every drink I order, I get a card punched and this brings me one step closer to "earning" a free chai tea latte. The bonus (!) is that once I claim my free drink, I'm invited to turn in my card for a chance to become "King of the Mill."
GUESS WHAT, EVERBODYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?
That's right! It finally happened. I've finally been crowned. I'm enjoying my first fancy and free drink as we speak:
Cheers! to those little hometown coffee shops that know how to treat their customers like royalty.
My husband and I were listening to music from India on NPR this past Sunday evening when I heard a song that I really liked. Shazam came to my rescue, of course, which means that I can now pass along my latest musical discovery:
I conducted an interview with a pianist this week, and during our interview she happened to mention the piano duo Anderson and Roe. When I looked them up on YouTube and discovered their rendition of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean," I was captivated and impressed. Check it out, if you'd like:
Yesterday on Twitter, I stumbled upon this Tweet:
As any Pink fan would, I clicked the link. And wouldn't you know that I was led to this video (are you ready? I don't think you're ready!):
Let's put it this way: I'm a huge Pink fan AND Dallas Green/City & Colour fan. So, I'm pretty ecstatic about this collaboration. I find that this song is well-written and quite beautiful, so if this tells me anything about the upcoming album, I doubt I'll be disappointed by any means. Go Pink! And go Dallas Green! :D
I'm OBSESSED with Vampire Weekend's "Modern Vampires of the City." Cannot get enough of it. In fact, most of the writing I've been publishing--and the creation of my first chapbook (!)--received some inspirational assistance from this polished gem of an ear candy collection.
The band recently posted this video to their Twitter account and I must share because Ezra Koenig makes me nerd out like woah . . .
. . . and that's the truth.
Welp, yesterday was definitely a record-breaking day for me: I had five writings appear in three different literary magazines!
Here's a re-cap:
1. Three of my flash fiction pieces were published by a new literary magazine called Maudlin House. I wasn't sure to expect from these guys, but as soon as I saw the cover art for the first issue on Twitter, I knew that what they had in store (or should I say under the tent?) was going to be good.
Simply put, I love everything about this new literary magazine. Their website design is sharp. Plus, I'm thrilled that they selected my pieces for publication in their FIRST issue. Good stuff. Check it out here, and don't forget to subscribe to their mailing list!
2. My fourth publication of the day was by the wonderful, music-inspired literary magazine Mixtape Methodology. They published a humorous piece ("Dog Adoption Hut") that details what could happen if dogs' barks could be catered to our musical tastes. Curious? :)
3. Last but not least, another humorous piece, "How to Keep Your Enamel Exhibit Presentable," was chosen for publication by The Gambler. This was a fun one for me because these are the magazine's submission guidelines: "Work is selected by using a method that relies largely on chance. Submissions are collected and numbered in the order they arrive and then a random selection of numbers decides. Winning numbers may come from anywhere: a Powerball ticket, an editor’s social security number, or numbers that are divisible by nine. Why nine? Why not? These selections are then reviewed by editors, put through a revision process (if needed, sometimes submission are wonderful just the way they are), and published online." So, lucky me. This piece found a unique home!
Coming this month, I'll have a short story published by Grouch, a funky literary magazine based out of Melbourne, Australia, and a flash fiction piece published by Digging Through the Fat: ripping out the heart, which is run by a fellow theNewerYork contributor. A few others may pop up here and there . . . stay tuned! September is my birthday month so I'm hoping that I will have a lot of good news to share about various projects I'm working on and a new dog that I'll be looking forward to welcoming into my life.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. I also want to mention that I made the Top 25 for The Molotov Cocktail's Flash Monster Contest! My email read: "We received a relatively large number of submissions, so your inclusion in the Top 25 is meant to both be encouraging (it wasn't an easy feat to accomplish!)." All smiles here.
Fiction, poetry, and all that good stuff . . .