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Entries in #allisonlanda (2)


Event: Flash Fiction Forum

Been enjoying The Loyalty of Water? Local to the Bay Area? Not local, but planning on being here on March 12th? Come out and see some of us!

Lita Kurth, she of the yin-yang tattoo, is a cofounder of a vibrant local reading series in San Jose, the Flash Fiction Forum. This time around, you'll be able to meet her in person and listen to both me and Allison Landa read from our writing.

Here's the official information:

WHAT: Flash Fiction Forum! (a bimonthly curated reading series)

WHERE: The WORKS/SJ Gallery, 365 S. Market St. in downtown San Jose (in the same building as the Convention Center parking lot). Parking is about $3/hour.

WHEN: This time, March 12th. Generally, the second Wednesday of the month from 7 to about 8:30 PM. 

HOW MUCH: Although the event is free, beer and wine are available for sale to help WORKS with expenses and they also ask a donation of $2 for those who are able.

WHO: As of today, 3/4, it'll be these beautiful people:

1.     Jan Berkeley “Double Fantasy”

2.     Donelle McGee, “Homecoming”

3.     Jessica Barksdale Inclan, “He Grabbed Me” published in KneeJerk magazine, Oct., 2013

4.     Celia Stahr, “Detroit: Independence Day, 1932” is drawn from a larger work in progress, Frida Kahlo in America: A Mexican Artist’s Cross-Cultural Journey Into the Unknown

5.     Emily Breunig, “For the Children,” an excerpt from her novel, A Ghost at the Edge of the Sea

 6.     Victoria M. Johnson, “Thirteen Things to Do on Friday the 13th” 


7.     Marilyn Fahey, “Last Letter”

8.     Allison Landa “Creation”

9.     Leslie  Hoffman, “Cecile Street”

10.  Renee Schell “Suburban Fantasy”


All are welcome! Hope to see you there.


The Loyalty of Water: Living with the Scratches

Guest post by Allison Landa 

First off, thanks to Emily for inviting me to be part of this experiment. And it is an experiment, isn’t it? Everything is. The only time an experiment is no longer an experiment is when it’s dead, when it’s still and quiet and can finally, ultimately, be judged.

And speaking of judging, let’s look at the Mary Oliver quote from which this experiment takes its name: creative work requires a loyalty as complete as the loyalty of water to the force of gravity. I don’t have that loyalty. My loyalty is to other things: lying on the couch, for one. Buttered popcorn, for another. The Food Network, and I can go on and on – but these are easy loyalties, cheap and simply won.

The loyalty of which Oliver speaks is different. It is, I suspect, a matter of the creative process as willing entrapment. There are layers of entrapment: one must be committed to the project, the process and the present. Sometimes the layers feel like a favorite flannel shirt, slightly worn, completely comfortable. Other times they are that sweater you mistakenly wore on what turned out to be a ninety-degree day, defeating in their heavy insistence.

And what of my own loyalty to the process? It’s a fickle one to be sure. I write in spurts, without any sort of rhyme or reason or schedule. I write when I feel like it and occasionally when I don’t, but it’s typically at my whim, not because I have a cast-iron will. Sometimes it all feels great. Sometimes it feels like a burr in my ass, a prickly one.

It would be far too easy to say I happily choose to embrace it all. It would also be a bunch of crap. Of course challenge is harder to embrace than peaceful progress. Challenge is a bitch to wrap your arms around. It’s spiky, wriggly. But you hug it nonetheless, and you live with the scratches.


Allison Landa is a Berkeley, CA-based writer who earned her MFA in creative writing at St. Mary’s College of California. She has held residencies at The MacDowell Colony, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Playa Summer Lake and The Julia and David White Artists’ Colony. Her memoir BEARDED LADY is represented by Naomi Davis at Inklings Literary Agency, and an early excerpt was featured in Salon. Stalk her at