Winner of Forgetting English

Random.org selected #5 out of 13 entrants in the Forgetting English by Midge Raymond giveaway.

The winner is Julie of Read Handed, who said:  “I love the title of this collection. I enjoy reading short stories so I will have to check this out. One of my favorite collections of short stories is Coronado by Dennis Lehane. He is so well known for his novels (many of which have been adapted into movies) that his short stories are often overlooked, which is a shame.”

Congrats to Julie.  I hope you enjoy the book.

Guest Post: Inside the Writer’s Studio

Today’s guest is author Midge Raymond, whose collection of short stories Forgetting English was recently released in an expanded edition.  Her stories received the Spokane Prize for Short Fiction, were nominated for three Pushcart Prizes, and received an Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship.  She graciously agreed to write up a guest post about her writing space.  Please give her a warm welcome.


This is the first photo I took of my current writing space, taken on the day I moved into my house.

I took this photo because I wanted to remember what my writing studio looked like before I really got settled in. I loved the way this clean, empty space looked—yet somehow I knew it wouldn’t last.

Of course, the room didn’t have much personality before the unpacking began, but at the same time, this photo above represents my dream desk: no clutter, no bills, no cat sleeping on the keyboard. Nothing but the blank screen and an empty chair. I don’t even have books in the shelves to distract me. While this setup was a little too spare for the long term, I still hoped to keep my writing studio somewhat de-cluttered—as if it might become a mirror image of my brain: open and ready for the muse to do her work.

Here is my desk today:

The writing studio is more homey, certainly—and at least the cat is staying off my keyboard (for the moment). I have my creativity crystal, my water and my coffee, all the books and journals I could possibly need should I get writer’s block. And, as I’d envisioned, the writing studio is indeed a reflection of what’s going on in my brain, i.e., a cluttered mess, in which million things are spinning all at once. (What you may not be able to see in the photo is my to-do list, stuck underneath the coffee mug, with frantically scrawled items in various stages of completion.)

At the same time, I love my desk, and most days, I even prefer it to the lovely spare one I used to dream of. It’s the desk of a person blessed with a full life, and I can’t complain about that. The trick is to put on my writing blinders, to mentally nudge all the other stuff out of the way in order to focus on writing new work, or revising old work, or jotting down ideas that may be brought to fruition in yet another writing space somewhere else.

Or, I’ll just move everything onto the floor, out of sight, and that works even better.

Thanks, Midge, for sharing your writing space.  Please check out her Website, blog, and the Press 53 site.

About the Author:

Midge Raymond’s short-story collection, Forgetting English, received the Spokane Prize for Short Fiction. Her award-winning stories have appeared in TriQuarterly, American Literary Review, Indiana Review, North American Review, Bellevue Literary Review, the Los Angeles Times, and many other publications. Her work has been nominated for three Pushcart Prizes and received an Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, along with her husband and an opinionated orange cat.

Giveaway Details:  US/Canada residents only.

1.  Leave a comment here about why you enjoy short stories.

2.  Tweet, Facebook, blog the giveaway for a second entry.

Deadline April 25, 2011, 11:59 PM EST