Pre-Order Connie Undone!

Would you like me to write you a poem based on a topic of your choice? I’ve received a handful of some pretty interesting requests, and I’d love to see more of what you have to suggest!

While CONNIE UNDONE’s official release date is March 1st, you can pre-order a copy from me directly, for $12. Not only do you get a signed copy of my first novel, but you also get a poem.

If you’re interested in pre-ordering, send me an email at crumpledpapercranes1981@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

– Kristine

Connie Undone is Now Available for Pre-ordering!

Hello, all! I hope you are well. I’ve been rather busy the last several months, but I would like to announce that my first novel, Connie Undone, is available for pre-ordering starting today! Officially, the paperback comes out on March 1st, but in the meantime, you can snag a copy on Amazon for $18.99.

If you’d still like to pre-order Connie Undone, but would rather buy a copy from me directly, let me know! I am selling signed copies to U.S. residents for $12, via Paypal or Venmo (@KristineBrown1918). If you live outside the United States, let me know, and we can negotiate on price. And, if you buy one of the first 250 copies, I’ll write you a poem on a subject of your choice! I can either email or mail you the poem, depending on your preference. Those who pre-order in the next few weeks should receive their copies of Connie Undone sometime in late February. 

And for those who like to exclusively purchase books via Amazon, just send me a screenshot showing that you’ve made a purchase, and I’ll still write you a poem!

Here’s a brief teaser for Connie Undone:

“Where do you find these people?”

This question was all too common concerning the events of Connie’s summer right out of college. Some people asked this sympathetically, while others shook their heads in pointed disapproval. For Connie, things weren’t going as planned. But in several months, she would learn to accept that detours, in all their uncertainty, laid a necessary foundation for a budding plan unseen.

For more than a decade, Connie often felt that she lived in a dull city, but was scared to venture out. We could attribute her self-sheltering to social anxiety and several years of codependency. Connie Undone seeks to dwell not on the negatives of what happened after a first serious breakup, but rather, documents the beginning of life after college, and one’s path towards self-reliance and acceptance.

***

Thank you for your kind readership. Writing is always wonderful.

– Kristine

Recent Publications

Hello, all!

Lately, I’ve been busy, but that’s a good thing. I just wanted to share some of my recent poem, “An Afterthought”, as well as a publication you should consider submitting to. Check out my poem here, at Dodging the Rain.

Let autumn ignite our passions with the same energy the sun places into frying an egg on the sidewalk.

Take care,

Kristine

March Publications

Hello, all! I hope you are well. I thought I might share this month’s publications, for anyone interested in reading them.

Ghost City Review published “Unstrung Pearls” at the beginning of March. Find it here.

Soft Cartel offers a fantastic assortment of short stories, poetry, and artwork. “Atún” is a prose piece about a cat, childhood, loss, and communal complacency. Read it here.

Maudlin House features another short story, “Unchanged Melodies.” I wrote this piece a few years ago. It is somewhat autobiographical, and is based on my childhood experiences living overseas on a military base. Much of the story is drawn from my memories of a classmate with autism who was often ridiculed, feared, and generally misunderstood by those around him. Check it out here.

Thank you so much for your readership and support. Gradually, I’ll be concentrating on more short fiction, with a focus on color and emotional acuity.

Have a good day,

Kristine

New Story in Queen Mob’s Teahouse

Hello all,

I wanted to let you know that I have a short story featured in Queen Mob’s Teahouse. It is titled “The Conditional Gift,” and was written in late 2016. You can give it a read here. I suggest listening to alt-J’s “Something Good,” while you’re at it. A big thanks to Jessica Sequeira, who currently serves as fiction editor. I highly recommend her novel, A Furious Oyster, particularly if you are a fan of Pablo Neruda.

I can’t thank you all enough for your continued support of my writing. I’m glad to have grown familiar with just how invigoratingly addictive creative exploration can be.

– Kristine

Forever, the Little Girl

In 2015, I originally wrote a 750-word draft of a piece that is now quite dear to me. It is titled, “Forever, the Little Girl,” and after several rounds of additions and subtractions, this story has found its home in Burning House Press. Prolific poet Bola Opaleke serves as January’s editor, compiling works that illustrate faith, faithlessness, and/or divinity. Immense thanks goes to Bola for his consideration and acceptance of my work.

You can read the piece here. Thanks to BHP, I’ve grown more acquainted with experimental writers, and I’ve enjoyed encountering all sorts of life that sprout from the journal’s monthly themes. Give the journal a look, and have as good a time as the relaxing walnut photographed above.

-Kristine

Pushcart (2018) Update

I highly recommend you all check out Bold + Italic, and consider submitting as they prepare their third issue. I thank the editors for nominating my poem, “Quarters,” for a Pushcart Prize. This only motivates me as I continue to write, imagine, and explore.

Hope all is well, and have a good day. – Kristine.

Bold + Italic

So to begin with, your little e-magazine here has brought forth its second issue with quite a success, but we had left something a little missing for you — the Featured Poems(s) segment of Issue 02, particularly; and we’ve readied ourselves to show you what we’ve got.

The Featured Poems this time come up from Kathryn Maris’s third collection The House with Only an Attic and a Basement (Penguin, 2018). We’re sure you’ll those as much as (or more than) we did, but never lesser!

Read her featured poems, School Run, and Jesus with Cigarette, here!!!


As for the Pushcart Prize, as the title suggests, let’s tell you that we’ve nominated six items (as is the rule) for the Pushcart Prize, and those are —

from Issue 01:

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I was always good enough.

I usually never post these kinds of things, but you should know that there is at least one person who believes in you and your capabilities.

I have spent so many years doubting myself. Consequentially, I’ve held myself back from doing things I’ve always dreamed of doing, solely because of silly feelings of inadequacy, that I am not deserving or good enough.

I’m done with being my own worst enemy, my number one longstanding obstacle. I’m done with refusing to acknowledge and take accountability for my maladaptive behaviors, thought processes, and refusal to properly address how numerous things of my past have impacted me.

Since I was ten years old, I’ve wanted to be an attorney. I still want to be an attorney. And I will become the attorney I’ve always aspired to be.

When applications open up this fall, I will be re-applying. I was admitted to law school before. Let’s forget about all those things that contributed to a derailment of several years.

I know that I have what it takes to achieve my goals. I have the desire, and I have the endurance.

Next year, I will go to law school. And I will be successful, despite my moments of self-doubt. I will be that assertive, headstrong person I was once perceived as, the person I know I still am.

I was always good enough. Thank you for helping me see that these past few years. And with that, I will be taking an official hiatus from the WordPress community. All the best.

– Kristine

I got the job.

Tonight, I finish my last round of white papers. Footnotes and formatting mainly. Make fifteen copies tomorrow morning, blithely white and collated. I should be happy.

The day before our annual conference, I broke my stress ball. Told my direct supervisor how I really felt, and back then, it was all so petty. I still felt worthless for what I thought were four years’ wasted time. I did choose to major in two rather unmarketable degrees, if limited to just a Bachelor’s. But as much as I tried to compensate for a hiccup in high school that was pivotal in the things I presently deal with, it seemed what I did was all for naught. Research fellowships. Under the school’s umbrella. Organizations. Within a collegiate shelter. Peer-reviewed publications in a journal that doesn’t cater to undergraduates (I was stubborn and felt professors doubted my ability when they gave me a list of undergraduate journals to submit my honors thesis for publication. I didn’t really see how this was impressive to graduate schools, if the journals’ only purpose was to give undergrads a boost. I wanted to demonstrate that I could be published along with doctorates. And I did this. I’m not saying this to be arrogant, but I sensed I was heavily patronized in college due to my family-related difficulties and the fact that you just don’t tell someone at this school that “you’re too stupid for a Harvard doctorate. I would know. I went there.”), and two outside internships. I know this is not a remarkable list, and I know so many others my age have similar resumes. I will be blunt. So many people are going to college. You get this murky feedback as to whether or not your alma mater matters, and amidst this talk, you try your best to “stand out.”

Common questions over a span of 43 interviews:

“Why are you not in graduate school?”

“…do you really have an intermediate knowledge of Mandarin Chinese?”

“Why did you double major in international relations and psychology? Explain how this makes sense.”

“Look, if you’re going to jump ship and leave for law school, we’ll end the interview now. I’m looking for someone who can make a five-year commitment.”

“Much of what you do seems to have been within the comfort of your school. Would you say that you were spoon-fed?”

“How and why would you do these things? You went to that school.”

Oh, how my insecurity waxed and waned since the summer of 2013.

For the past year and a half, I got a lot of flack for where you went to school. I think it was just specific to the standards of a certain individual. I observed the process of micromanagement, but without any active monitoring. It was subtle, sometimes flagrant. But the jabs and occasional side comments of “she’s weird” (because why the hell would I have a specific set of interests and not have graduated from the Ivy League?) eventually bit me hard, swallowed me whole, expelled me into an extended depression and a minefield of panic attacks I never quite experienced before.

Originally, it was agreed I would stay for two years. But after ranting to my colleague about my frustrations, to include being mistaken as an unpaid intern, condescendingly asked why I wasn’t pursuing a Master’s Degree, and feeling that our efforts were limited to the pages of a glossy bubblegum gossip mag, I chose to spend my weekends differently. Yes, I recently started freelance writing to further refine my skills and keep my mind going. I also watched tons of trash TV. I’ve gone through multiple Youtube playlists of The Maury Povich Show, seen start to finish of Dateline’s To Catch a Predator, and replayed and sang to most of the Epic Rap Battles of History vids. But did I spend some time to apply to jobs that were a bit more relevant to my interests? No. I exquisitely bitched.

After applying to a good 143 jobs, I got several interviews. I wasn’t so nervous, but dealt with the same questions. Fortunately, a year and a half of this questionable job of many hats granted me speaking points to justify weaknesses, address concerns, and fuel curiosities in a positive way. I’ve grown more confident, but remain cynical. I still applied for jobs not expecting much, but this time around, I carried myself better. I have a clearer idea of my strengths, tendencies to folly, and importantly, what I want most out of a job. And currently, I want to improve my people skills.

While I finish these projects on mental health, child welfare, and like topics that still so interest me, I’m enthusiastic about Monday. While I’ve got plenty of cubicle bits to share from my time here, I know that January 12th will beckon more opportunities for storytelling.

Dialogue and spillage. Expect more soon. But next week, you’ll hear it from a former research associate.