In The Writing Life, Annie Dillard wrote,
I have been looking into schedules. Even when we read physics, we inquire of each least particle, What then shall I do this morning? How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time.
On the first of each month, a guest writer shares how he or she spends the day.
December 1, 2013: Matthew Limpede
Matthew Limpede is a prose writer who’s working on a collection of stories entitled You Can Grieve Your Dreams Too. One of his stories, “Color of an Overcast Day,” is online at Word Riot. It begins with a one-sentence paragraph:
I dreamt of you last night.
In the next paragraph the reader is grounded in a bedroom with the narrator wrapped in a gray comforter, as the dream fades and he goes after it.
Something about you, and the way you held me. My bedroom is still empty, with its barren walls and silence. Shh… You held me, your hand over my chest. We were lying on a tile floor. You hid something under your belt. A folded up note. A perfect square.
And that was where the story had me–with the perfect square. Matthew’s hypnotic prose will not let the reader go. He entwines the dream with the narrator’s day with the the memory of the week the narrator and you spent together five years earlier. Reading the story we work to keep the different threads straight–just as the narrator does–or perhaps he is, and we are, simply giving ourselves over to the entanglement. You can read the full story at Word Riot.
You can also listen to Matthew read “One Day,” another of his stories, at Secretly Timid, a cool website with an Open Mic feature.
Matthew is also the Editor in Chief of Carve Magazine. If you’re not familiar with this wonderful magazine, click over there right away and watch excerpts from the stories they’ve published float across top of your screen.
With each story Carve publishes comes:
- a box of Fast Facts–these from “Tu Quoque,” this year’s First Place winner of the annual Raymond Carver Short Story Contest, and
- an interview–What We Talk About, a lovely way to honor a publication.
In each print edition (and soon to be appearing online) is the Reject Feature, where Carve publishes an excerpt of a story it rejected that was later published elsewhere, along with various supporting documents–marked up pages, comments from the author, from Matthew, from the rejecting editor at Carve, from the accepting editor. It’s a generous feature that acknowledges the subjectivity of editors’ tastes.
In these days of waning print editions, Carve is published quarterly, full-size with stunning covers and clever back-cover messages. If you’re looking for a journal to support, I highly recommend it.
Come back on DECEMBER 1st to read how MATTHEW LIMPEDE spends his days.