I asked CCLaP summer intern Traci Kim if she might give us an update on how things are going with both her and the new center anthology she's putting together, all on the subject of setting and how this can sometimes profoundly affect contemporary literature, and here's what she had to say...
Hello again CCLaPers!
Please tell me other people are still out of power and it's not just me! I haven't had internet, let alone lights, since Tuesday night. You'd think we're more sophisticated and resourceful to not fully rely on TV and computers to entertain ourselves, but when it's too dark to read by candlelight it's surprising how bored one can become.
That said, sorry if you're wondering "Why haven't I heard anything about my submission?!" I will be back on my game once I have electricity! I'm just a little testy since my DVR probably didn't record this week's episode of "So You Think You Can Dance"--frown face.
In terms of the anthology, everything is just peachy! I do, however, feel incredibly guilty giving out rejections. Who am I, Traci Kim (lowly plebian intern), to reject established and seasoned writers? I am definitely not on some sort of power high from playing literary god: deciding who is published and who gets the "thanks but no thanks." Instead, I am rather nervous and anally thorough in making my decisions about submissions. I want to make sure that my first project to be published is a great one, and at the same time, that I am not making any enemies!
On a brighter note, I am closer to picking out an image for the cover! Photographer Jenn Winter has some amazing pictures and an accompanying blog on her website. She not only photographs weddings, events, and family portraits, but also has an amazing gallery of travel photos that I will be choosing from. I am very excited to be working with her on the cover of the anthology.
After my last post, I received a handful of promising pieces, and everything seems to be coming together. Hopefully this post will inspire some more submissions. However, I do hope that in true procrastinator's fashion, I will get a gaggle of submissions within the last week. Remember, only two and a half weeks until deadline! I expect that all your stories are in the cooker and just marinating until perfection.
Thanks, Traci! I'm looking forward to seeing how the anthology comes out, as I'm sure everyone else is too. And speaking of which, this is a good time to remind you that the deadline is fast approaching on CCLaP's other anthology as well, the sci-fi cautionary compilation American Wasteland: Bleak Tales of the Future on the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11. For those who don't know, this is basically my attempt at putting out something that will remind future generations of just how awful the Bush years actually were (not to mention a much-needed reminder to 2012 voters), which I have a feeling is going to be getting kind of washed over this fall as we approach the tenth anniversary of September 11th, and talk will suddenly turn to heroism and bravery and goodness and courage 24 hours a day as these kinds of anniversaries always seem to do. Basically I've come up with a vision of a broken-down America another ten years from now (that is, a US just about the celebrate the twentieth anniversary of 9/11) in which I'm asking writers to set their individual stories, an alt-history America in which John McCain was elected twice after George Bush instead of Obama, and then Sarah Palin elected after that, turning the US into a quasi-fascist state with almost no oil left, where the far suburbs of metropolitan areas have become a Mad-Max wasteland of crumbling abandoned McMansions and burned-out strip malls now serving the booming gray market, and where the self-sustaining economy that comes with perpetual war is now the only major means of revenue left in the country, which is why the US is currently on the brink of invading Mexico in a trumped-up attempt to keep the war machine moving. Anyway, the full description of this alt-future US is over on the book's main submission page, and deadline for submissions is this coming July 4th, so I encourage you to put something together for it if you have the chance!