Linked Stories by Gina Isabel R.

Welcome to my writing scrapbook! Here I keep items of interest that I find online.

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Nobody writes songs about sitting on the edge of the tub while a man applies topical antibiotics to your oozing skin graft. There are no poetic odes to women with gaping scars, no sonnets to men who may be wearing the same shirt for the third day in a row.

But maybe there should be…

Post-MFA Life: Who will have me now?

Thou shalt not get an MFA to make money. Thou shalt not get an MFA to publish a book. Thou shalt not get an MFA to advance thy career.

I need mo' allowance

via Wikimedia Commons

I got an MFA so that two years of my life would forever bear that big fat imprint of “writing.” I got an MFA so I could learn more in two years about writing than I might in ten years of trying to figure things out on my own. I got an MFA so…

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Iraq, Scheherazade, and Borges. Now at The Rumpus!

Baghdad Monument of Saddam Hussein

Wikimedia Commons | Peter Rimar

My review of The Corpse Exhibition by Hassan Blasim is up at The Rumpus. It’s a short story collection by an Iraqi author living in Finland:

Blasim’s slim new volume gives us an asylum-seeker’s experience as a kidnapping victim, a young man’s admiration for his murderous older brother, and an unwilling suicide bomber’s love for his mother. But Blasim also throws in…

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Einstein once said that you can’t simultaneously prepare for war and peace. There’s something analogous here. This key brain region can’t simultaneously prompt you to do the right thing because it’s the right thing and because otherwise you’re going to get your butt kicked.
Love is the bread instinct
From “The names of the night” by Hassan Mutlak: 4 poems
Writing for me is an important piece of Jalal al-Din al-Rumi’s mirror fragments, as when he says, more or less, that, “The truth is like a mirror that has fallen from the sky and shattered into tiny shards. Every human being is capable of holding onto a piece of the truth.” I think the fragment of “imagination,” for example, contributes somehow to our understanding of the past.
I spend a lot of time thinking about my stories – two or three months just thinking, until I see the beginning and the end. Then I write the story in just three days. I close the door and type. I can’t work on something for a long time, because I come up with a new idea and want to work on that. I enjoy the time of thinking about a story – the current character, the current picture, where the story is going. And when I see the whole story, I type.