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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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The myth of the bumble bees

I was putting on t-shirt so we could go jogging the other day, and a bumblebee fell out. Unfortunately, it was dead. It must have flown into the shirt when it was drying on the clothesline then trapped in the wardrobe until it died. I like bumblebees a lot, although they are not my favorite creature (that space is reserved for owls, elephants, and turtles). But one thing I'll miss when we move is seeing them in the rosemary while I hung clothes to dry. They were never particularly aggressive, although I suppose a little curious. A little too curious for one bumblebee. And apparently it was postulated some time ago that, according to the laws of physics, bumblebees should not be able to fly because their wings don't beat fast enough for flight. It sounds like a good (albeit trite) metaphor.

I'm re-reading Norman McLean's Young Men and Fire for research for my novel. It's a great (albeit unfinished before McLean died) nonfiction account of the deaths of ten firejumpers in Montana, who were ambushed by a particularly fast-moving fire (so fast, in fact, they were unable to outrun it and died on the spot).

Although not exactly moving as fast as that fire, I'm about 280 pages into the first draft of my novel with maybe 100 to go. No bumblebees in it, though, but definitely heat.