With the help of some writer friends, Ian Shane and I have launched an online literary magazine! It's called Praxis (the name comes from a Greek word meaning "to learn by doing"). Our first issue is now up and running. Below is an excerpt from my short story, Right Here, Right Now. It's fiction...except for the parts that aren't. (The Jim incident really did happen. Ew, I know--right?)
In the summer of 1991, I was seventeen years old and proudly unemployed. When my junior year of high school ended in May, I informed my mother that instead of getting a part-time job, I'd be taking the summer off to relax. My reasoning was that I needed a chance to get my head together before my senior year, a year that Sister Jane Ann had warned “would be no picnic.”
“Are you planning on doing some extra studying?” my mother asked. Her question caught me off guard.
“Yeah,” I'd answered, with as much conviction as I could muster. “I'll be studying. Out by the pool.”
I had yet to realize that my mother wasn't quite the idiot I'd taken her for. Like most teenagers, I'd decided my parents were completely brain-dead around the time I hit puberty.
Looking back, I now know that my mother was just highly adept at picking her battles. Unlike my friends' parents, she didn't get uptight about small things like black polish on my toenails, or my penchant for rolling the waists of my school uniform skirts so that the hem hovered well above the knee. She saved her freak-outs for special occasions, like the time she caught me smoking in my bedroom, or when she discovered that the boy I'd dated the previous summer was a 21-year-old college student....Read the rest of the story here.