Friday, May 02, 2014

Published in Switchback!

Happy Friday, friends! I have some good news to share. My essay, "Hatchling," is in the latest issue of Switchback. You can read it here

A little background on the essay, because I love that sort of thing: it's a braided essay (kind of), which is a form of creative nonfiction where the writer takes a few different threads and weaves them together so that they end up informing and reflecting one another. The threads in this essay are the experience of hatching our first chickens, the domestication of chickens, and my own ambivalence about motherhood. 

I originally wrote the sections in pieces here and there, not realizing they'd all be a part of the same essay one day. When we our eggs arrived, I kept a journal documenting the experience; some of that ended up in the essay. Once, during the Baby Boom of 2010, I tried to articulate the feeling that occurs when all your friends get pregnant at once; some of that was woven into the braid. And I think all the time about animals and humans and the domesticity, so those words just sort of arrived on their own. I pulled it all together so I'd have something to workshop in last spring's creative nonfiction class, and revised it extensively based on the feedback I received. 

Right around the time I was finishing it up, Creative Nonfiction magazine announced submissions for an anthology about parenthood, which they were calling Oh, Baby. I thought my essay would be a good fit, so I submitted it there and only there, then waited... and waited... and waited... until it was finally rejected. I promptly submitted it to six or seven more places, and it was picked up within two months by Switchback, at which point I danced around the house with the dogs and then rushed out to the coop to tell the chickens the good news. "Ladies," I said, "thanks for all the help!" And they kind of squinted at me and then went back to their dust baths. 

At any rate, if you read the essay, let me know what you think. We've got a fun weekend planned, and I can't wait to tell you all about it on Monday. Until then!