Tag Archives: travel

“Test Tank” (New Short Fiction)

My most recent short fiction piece, “Test Tank” is up at Corporeal Writing. Read an excerpt below, or read the full essay here. 

Coming in July: If you’re a writer of any kind and you’re looking for community and feedback on your writing, join the newest section of my online writing workshop at Viva Institute. Class begins July 17.

 


 Excerpt: “Test Tank”

 

1.

“I missed my deadline.” It’s the first thought.

 

“Hey.” The sound is thick. “Welcome back.”

 

Drifting.

 

“How are you feeling?”

 

I missed my deadline. Again.

 

“Can you tell me your name?”

 

Ocean glass. Blue-green.

 

“I know it’s difficult, but can you wiggle the finger on your left hand?”

 

Certainly.

 

“Great,” you say. “You’re doing really great.” Warm and soft, the way I love. “Now can you tell me how you feel?”

 

“Like the ocean,” I murmur. “Without the waves.” I stretch my left arm and flex the fingers, swirling. I stretch the right, but it’s all wrong. Stretch left, stretch right – nothing. “Something’s wrong.”

 

The scrape of a chair. “Naia, listen. There’s not much time before we need to send you back, so I’m going to explain quickly, OK?”

 

“Back?”

 

“There’s been an accident.” You clear your throat and start again. “You were in an accident, but you’re going to be OK.”

 

“Back where?” I reach again, but everything is ocean. “Why can’t I see?”

 

“It’s part of the process. Just one of the stages of regeneration.”

 

I wince. From somewhere deep.

 

Thirty seconds, says a voice. [Read “Test Tank” here.]

 

Publications

You say, write something hopeful, Corporeal Writing.

Make a Little Birdhouse in Your Soul, Corporeal Writing.

You Can Do Anything, Corporeal Writing.

The Right to Bare Arms, ENTROPY Magazine.

Still Gonna Do (#ShePersisted), The Manifest-Station.

Upcoming Classes

Online Writing Workshop: The Illuminated Narrator – begins July 17

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Postage

LeighHereNow

PO Box 27771

Philadelphia, PA

19118, USA

You say, write something hopeful

My most recent essay, “You say, write something hopeful,” was published yesterday at Corporeal Writing. For the month of June, I have the incredible fortune of living on one of the Dodecanese islands in Greece, and I’ve included some of my personal shots of the places mentioned in the piece below.

Read the full essay here.

 


 Excerpt: “You say, write something hopeful”

Something that makes people feel as hopeful and beautiful as this moment is, and even though that seems like an impossible thing to do, although it actually seems like the very worst thing to do, I say OK, I’ll try, because at this moment the sun has just done a kind of magic trick on the water, everything shimmering layers of gold and blue, and then I wonder how many times people have used the word shimmering to describe sunlight on water, and I stop.

Later, I say. I make a mental note that once we have walked back along the pebbled road, away from the darkening cliffs and spiked green shrubs, past the farmer who herds the goats to their night pasture, bronze bells clanging around their necks as they shuffle and call, once we have stacked the dishes and shuttered the windows and poured two glasses of water for bed, I will make a list of hopeful things, just to remind myself.

But as I stack the dishes, I am thinking of this morning’s hike to a remote beach on the north side of the island, how when a cheerful woman called “kalimera!” followed by “good morning!” (just in case I didn’t know) I slowed my gait and responded in kind, and then, because we are both travelers, I asked the question travelers ask: “Where are you from?” and she smiled “Australia,” and I nodded and smiled, and she asked, “You?” and I answered “The United States,” and I dropped my head. [read more]

Publications

Make a Little Birdhouse in Your Soul, Corporeal Writing.

You Can Do Anything, Corporeal Writing.

The Right to Bare Arms, ENTROPY Magazine.

Still Gonna Do (#ShePersisted), The Manifest-Station.

Upcoming Classes

Online Writing Workshop: The Illuminated Narrator – begins July 17

Subscribe

To receive blog updates, subscribe to LeighHereNow.

Postage

LeighHereNow

PO Box 27771

Philadelphia, PA

19118, USA

 

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Make a little birdhouse in your soul

My newest essay, “Make a Little Birdhouse in Your Soul” was published today in my monthly column, Secret Circus, at Corporeal Writing. I was invited to create a featured column at Corporeal Writing, a writing website run by bestselling-author Lidia Yuknavitch. Lidia’s newest release, The Book of Joan, was recently featured on the cover of the New York Times Book Review and it’s getting rave reviews. This is my second piece for Secret Circus.

The starlings are back. For each of the past three years, they have returned to gather a chaotic pile of damp grass, peeled bark, and matted bits of twine, threads still unraveling even as they are tucked away. One day a silky puff of cream-colored fur appears, the next, a waxy red leaf. I marvel at their ability to make do with such a seemingly uninhabitable place, an old crook of drainpipe beneath the roof of my apartment building, but this is what starlings do. I watch them, thinking of home.

Twenty-nine places in twenty-seven years. Never allowing myself to need anywhere or anything or anyone long enough to stay.

I think this is not true.

(Maybe it is partly true.)

Starlings are “egg droppers.” When they’re feeling competitive, they swoop into unattended nests and steal eggs, dropping them from great heights. Glossy and pale blue… [read more]

Publications

You Can Do Anything, Corporeal Writing.

The Right to Bare Arms, ENTROPY Magazine.

Still Gonna Do (#ShePersisted), The Manifest-Station.

Subscribe

To receive blog updates, subscribe to LeighHereNow.

Postage

LeighHereNow
PO Box 27771
Philadelphia, PA
19118, USA

Postage from Shona

postage-2016-04-25-shona-marie
Shona, I love that the Sedona workshop set you on such a powerful course. In the name of badass traveling women and kindred spirits, sending you a big “Aho!” from Philadelphia … xo.
 

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Send YOUR Postage to:

LeighHereNow
PO Box 27771
Philadelphia, PA
19118, USA

What is Postage?

viva l’italia!

Today marks Day One of a thirty-day travel adventure. In about six hours I’ll be boarding a flight for Rome, then I’ll travel by train to the small town of Assisi in Perugia. Once in Assisi, I’ll spend four days wandering, sitting in cathedrals, writing, eating, drinking (“il vino della casa , per favore!”), watching paint dry, and listening to the saints.

After Assisi I’ll return to Rome, where an unanswered question awaits – one that I’ve been aware of since September, but won’t understand until I get there…

If there’s a good story to be told, I’ll scribble it in one of the plain brown Moleskine journals I always carry. Perhaps a few stories will hit the blog, but I’m going to do my best to enjoy life offline so that I don’t miss a thing. I know that I’m one lucky duck to have 30 days of adventure ahead of me, and I’m humbled and grateful.

Tell me a story

While I’m away, tell me a favorite travel story. I LOVE a good story.