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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 Was Here Where I Was

I took a hike on the Hambidge trail today. It was steep, challenging to jog but not impossible, although coming down was mostly walking because of the incline and all the wet leaves from the torrential downpour the night before.

It is very easy to become lost in the woods. At one point, the trail I was following seemed to end, so I retraced my steps, figuring I would come out the way I went in. However, I came out the way I thought I would the first time, ie, the opposite side of the grounds! Apparently I had been following the wrong trail (it forked a few times) and accidentally picked up the correct one on the way back. Next time I will hike with another fellow. You can hear cars everywhere, which makes you feel as if you're close to the road, but the road kind of loops around Hambidge, so you could be anywhere. The winding hills/mountainsides are beautiful but certainly qualify as "deep woods"--thirty feet in and you can't see the opening from where you came. A deer hopped away about forty feet from me, but that's all I saw in terms of wildlife. A continual battle ensued with spiderwebs in my face and hair, although several of the webs were breathtaking, and I practically crawled on the ground not to break them.

Because I stupidly did not leave a note at my studio or tell anyone where I was going, I am happy that the hike was mostly uneventful. I realized again that I sort of motor through things, thinking they are things to be "accomplished." Next time through the woods, I'm going to try and slow down, take a camera, look at things so someday far from now I can tell you where I was when I was here and that I was here where I was.