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“Jen Michalski’s second novel is an intense emotional commitment, but a worthwhile one.” – Ploughshares


“Jen is an astonishingly sensitive writer.” – HTML Giant


“Jen Michalski excels in subtlety that is made possible by her nuanced understanding of voice.” – The Rumpus


“Jen is a writerly heavyweight.” – Nate Brown, American Short Fiction


“We’re lucky to have Michalski before the rest of the world discovers her. But they will.” – Baltimore City Paper

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I dreamed of very big naval ships and airplanes, airplanes that measured a block long and seemed so close I would touch them. The ships were ten, twenty stories high, and they dwarfed me by docks, floating metal echo empty, rust moss crawling over portholes and rudder lines. So much gray and metal imposing its will, its history, silent, vellumed, of wars, of waste.

Tomorrow we'll get up early and go to Scranton for the Pages & Places Book Festival to sell copies of jmww, The Baltimore Review, my books, and a few others. We usually do three or sometimes four book festivals/conferences a year. Sometimes we sell very little; sometimes we're surprised by how much we sell. Mostly, it's a good excuse to get out of town, take a working vacation. And you meet people and make connections. And sometimes you see them again and sometimes you don't.

Being an author is a lot like being in a band. There's a lot of traveling and readings, many low-reward situations in which you place yourself in constantly to try and find a break—an agent, a publisher, a well-connected fellow author or patron. And although publishing is very much about luck, but it's also about putting yourself in the best position to find that luck. So we'll get up at 5:30 am tomorrow and drive the 3+ hours to Scranton. And it will be fun. The Pages & Places Book Festival is young (second year), energetic, and already capable of signing big draws (Christopher Hitchens) to its reading spaces. And there's also a dynamic little theater company—The Electric Theater—and a lot of urban places (Thai, sushi) for a sleepy little town nestled in the valley. See you there tomorrow?