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Observations: April, 2017

My father once told me he'd been a genius for a few days. For fewer than a hundred hours in his life, sometime in his early forties, everything made sense. All the pieces fit, and everything felt easy to him. In those days, art flowed (he's a visual artist), math was cake, the right word was always on the tip of his tongue. Answers came readily, and nothing felt overwhelming. The universal codes seemed to materialize everywhere. Then, he said, as fast as the feeling came, it disappeared.

I like to believe those genius days hit us all, though they will sometimes be more dispersed - seconds or minutes spread out over a lifetime. I woke up this morning, after what I think was a brilliant dream, worrying that all of my genius time will be spent asleep. One can hope we all have a few minutes to come.

Some observations from last month:
  • Today's terrorized are tomorrow's terrorists.
  • If you trust that people can rise to the occasion, good or bad, they usually will.
  • Belief in one's self is easy for a day, but becomes tougher to maintain as time passes.
  • Writers need to constantly remind themselves to value their words and value their time.
  • As I get older, I know what I like and I know what I don't like (but sometimes I still realize I'm wrong).
  • Artists need to fight harder, write/create more. #resist
  • Buying a house now is like building on a cliff when the view is most beautiful, just before the rampart begins to crack below us.
  • College lectures make me happy.
  • Human connections are everything.
  • A society is only as fiscally healthy as its people are physically healthy.
  • I should probably start journaling during these dark times. I think we all should.   
Writing News: "Lottery Days" was selected for inclusion in The Best Small Fictions 2017, guest edited by Amy Hempel. It should be out in September, and I'm really thrilled to be a part. I'll post a link when available. Also, The Glass City is in the works and should be out from Hollywood Books International around the same time. I'll post the date soon. In the meantime, I got in a few blurbs. Here's one...

"Jen Knox is a master cartographer of the human psyche. In the stories of The Glass City, she maps the depths and complexity of the human mind against the backdrop of a future so possible yet so surreal that it’s nearly futile to try to set the book down. I kept telling myself, just one more page before bed, just one more story—until I found myself turning the last page in the middle of the night, having forgotten to eat dinner. Ultimately, The Glass City is the miracle of artistic imagination at its absolute peak: read casually, it thrills and entertains us with insightful depictions of who we are; read deeply, it shows us who we can become." 
—Melissa Studdard, author of I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast
Prompt: Start a story or a piece of art with the line/idea "I never told anyone..." Write as long as you'd like.

xo Jen

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