Traveling Through Sicily

NOVEL

Description

In the summer of 1993, in Nashville, TN, a poor poet meets a red-headed siren and the murky, treacherous journey begins. This excerpt is from the first chapter of Traveling through Sicily. 

Chapter One

1.  A Woman Walks into a Bar

Nashville, May 1993

The long silent descent to the club entrance with its unlit tunnel of stone walls and broken steps always felt to Peter like something dangerous was about to happen. His rapid pulse, the familiar pretense of not acting nervous, heightened his experience of pushing through the black metal door, emerging safely into the communal blare. It woke him up. He could be having a terrible day, a drowning kind of day where his thoughts got stuck in the same anxious groove, but then he would lace up his sneakers, run a comb through his hair, put on a clean shirt and pair of jeans and ask himself, What Would Jagger Do?

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The Love of My Life?

NOVEL

Description

This, novel-within-the-novel, is written by Sicily, and threads its way through the larger narrative of Traveling Through Sicily. Is this piece of magic realism “the truth” about the teenage Sicily, or yet another fabrication? This excerpt is from the first chapter of The Love of My Life?

Chapter One

Sicily sat on the bed in the hotel room. The uncurtained window was being rattled and pelted by the sharp attack of raindrops. Across the room, captured in a rectangle of light, was the dumbshow version, translucent and streaming down the green-papered wall. Bizarro rain, she thought, the exact opposite of real rain on planet earth. She sat in this hotel room alone, but her twin self was visible in the mirror. Her Bizarro self. She avoided the mirror and focused instead on the water stain beneath the windowsill that formed the face of the devil—one of those jolly, leering devils with a moustache and goatee and short jaunty horns. He reminded her of a younger Mr. Jenkins, her Mr. Jenkins. She personally didn’t think the devil was at all evil. The devil just behaved outside the rules. That’s why the devil had so much fun. Just like her and Mr. Jenkins. People wouldn’t understand. They would say that Mr. Jenkins is the devil and that he and Sicily should both burn in hell.

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THE GOOSE GIRL

SHORT STORY

Description

The Goose Girl was a winner in the Moment/Karma short story contest, judged by Erica Jong. It published in Moment Magazine and was nominated for a Pushcart.

Excerpt

In the grey light of morning, soft as a pigeon’s breast, Shena Lena can be seen silhouetted on a hill, geese waddling and honking before her. She carries a stick in her small solid hand, as much to lean on as to herd her feather-brained charges. Goose down clings in small white tufts to the rough texture of her sweater and long wool skirts. Beneath the sweater are more sweaters that finally button over coarse cotton underwear and fit snugly over her stout arms and swelling bosom. She is maturing like the other peasant girls in her village, into a large-hipped, flesh padded woman whom hard, lean young men love to lie on, because women like Shena Lena are soft like feather beds and keep a man warm in winter. 

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THE HEART IS A PUMP

SHORT STORY

Description

The Heart is a Pump was published in Lullwater Review.

Excerpt

There’s a man who’s been calling me every night for the past five nights. He calls at all hours, usually once a night. He calls from bars. I can tell from the background noise. I answer the phone, and he says, “Hey, fuck you, man,” listens for a moment and then hangs up. If I put my phone machine on, he waits for the beep after my message and then says the same thing. He says it angrily. His voice sounds like it’s coming from high inside his nose, maybe at the bridge where his eyebrows connect. 

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Letters from Bunny Burson's Grandmother Inspire New Series

NASHVILLE ARTS MAGAZINE

Description

Sally Schloss has been a contributing writer to the Nashville Arts magazine since 2006. NAM is the premiere arts magazine of Nashville, TN covering the visual and performing arts.

Excerpt

It is not uncommon for people who have lived through horrific tragedy and loss to distance themselves from the past and be unwilling to talk about it. This is as true for war veterans, or victims of abuse, as it is for people fleeing their homelands to find refuge. This was particularly true for the Holocaust generation. Some of these survivors—mothers, fathers, and children—kept their harrowing stories secret. Their wish for their families was inhabit the present, live for the future. These spoken and unspoken messages about not looking back were fierce—“Better you shouldnʼt know.” 

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BEDBUG SEX AND VIOLENCE

WEBVET

Description

As a columnist for Webvet.com Sally wrote about how “birds do it, bees do it.”

Excerpt

On a recent trip to New York, I discovered that Gotham is under siege by a creature that I grew up believing had disappeared along with the age of nursery rhymes and the Brothers Grimm. “Sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite.”

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