new work – atlas/pantograph punch

Exciting developments in writing life, one of which is a long time coming in a couple of ways. In the more general, longer term way, I FINALLY have a creative piece in a print literary journal. Hurrah! In the specific, shorter term way, I submitted this piece over a year ago, and it was allocated to the second issue of the journal.

But now, it’s out! Issue 2 of Atlas Literary Journal is out, and my piece, ‘Trading Pain’ is in it. It’s about hospital and scary things like emergency surgery and ketamine and nasogastric tubes.

Continue reading new work – atlas/pantograph punch

feeling appraised.

Situation: You are a university student. This is your second-to-last semester. You have a part-time job in a bookstore. You started working in this store in your last year of high school, and apart from nine months of being overseas/working elsewhere, you have been there all this time. You’ve been in a position of authority for quite some time. Retail slavery is only sticking around as long as you a) are a student and b) live in the vicinity of the shop in question.

And now, time has rolled around once more for your appraisal.

It tends to feel like one of the more pointless exercises of life. And my my, this situation happens to be presenting itself to me right now. Or in an hour or so, anyway. I’ve been gifted a wad of paper to look through, containing my supervisor job description (obviously so that I will realise there is one little criterion I haven’t been fulfilling, and for which I will spend my appraisal begging forgiveness. Ha.) and a goal-type template. Problem is, at this point, I have no goals within this particular job. I can open the store, and close it, and oversee the running of however many minions are rostered on with me on any one day. I know procedures, I’ve learned some extra processes (like those pertaining to magazines – mission and a half, I tell you.).

There’s really nowhere that I can go from here. Since I have no desire to stick around in the retail sector, or, god forbid, enter the corporate world as it relates to my particular company. A bookstore’s just a good place for a writerly English major to spend her money making Saturdays. Mildly castigatory action may occur due to my lack of preparation, but honestly, I don’t know what more they expect. My ‘longer-term goals’? To get a non-retail job as soon as possible. ‘Skills and past experiences [that I have] acquired to support [my] career goals’? Hmmm. That if I decide to write under a pseudonym, I should make sure it starts with something in the front half of the alphabet for general eye-level accessibility. That’s something relevant to my career plans. And knowledge of what (drastically terrible) genres sell. That’s both depressing and useful to know, I suppose. So maybe there’s a little bit of usefulness that comes from this long-term planning. Thanks, work!

Obviously, the part-time-supervisor final-year-student appraisal is a worthy and necessary fixture. I’m sorry to have ever doubted you, retail world.