2022 actually began before it began, because in the last week of 2021, while I was away holidaying, I applied for and was offered the columnist’s position in trampset. Earlier still, I responded to a contributors-only call for regular columnists at Reckon Review and was warmly welcomed into the fold. Obviously charged up about the dual new challenges I returned home to writing with increased zeal. The year was slow on the submissions front, but I’m happy to end up with 79 published pieces. I’ll be linking up to all of those, except the ones in print/pdf, for you and for me, because online space are so impermanent nowadays. In Jan, “Whether an Apocryphal Story” in Psychopomp Magazine (Winter 2022). “With Nothing to Lose” in Janus Literary. “My Porcellanidae Crab-girl is Away This Morning” in Scissors & Spackle (ELJ). “Piezo” in the Alt current Anthology ‘And If That Mockingbird Don’t Sing: Parenting Stories Gone Speculative’. Of course, the first column I ever wrote, “Pushcarts on the Road” (titled rather ambitiously!), appeared on Jan 10 at trampset columns! The second one was “Summation by Parts.” (Jan 29).
My first column for Reckon appeared on Feb 2, “Outsider Perspectives“. Fractured Literary solicited and published a craft article. My third & fourth columns “Putting my Unknowing on a Pushcart” and “No Never Affairs with Rejection Slips” were up on trampset. “The Bones of Her Back” was up in Lindenwood Review. A recent visit to write this post, revealed the site statistics: the poem itself, individually, has received scores pf downloads, including from Sarasota, Florida and Atlanta Georgia, in the month of November 2022 alone. Overwhelmed how readers relate to this newbie writer’s words!
In April, “Honey and Connamon” appeared in The McNeese Review print edition. I joined the masthead of Vestal Review on the 16th, and it has been such a learning process working under David Galef. JMWW Magazine published my craft essay. “A Home Never Built” about the origins & history of Stanford University, appeared in The Dribble Drabble Review. Flash Frontier, New Zealand, published a favorite piece of mine “Angry Vikings Beating Drums”. “Dark Matter” was published by Contrary Magazine and later nominated for the Pushcart Prize! South Florida Potery Journal published the flash fiction, “Prosody of Rains”. 50WS published “Small Town Surmises”. At Flash Fiction Festival, UK, my hermit crab flash was placed second. An earlier version of “Where We Set Our Easel”, the title piece of my upcoming chapbook (Stanchion, May 2023), appeared in Commmuterlit. The columns “Secret Cousins of Literature” and “In Offense of Narrative Structure” got added to trampset’s pages.
In May, The Penn Review published “This Is It”. “Mimesis” and “A Week is a Long Time” appeared in trampset columns. The poem “Across a Wall” (Best of the Net nomination) was published by Middle House Review. Out came the TL;DR Press Anthology Breathless which featured my poem, “I Thought About My assassination.” The historical flash fiction “Malcha” appeared in the EllipsisZine anthology EZ11. Existere Journal (York University, Canada) published my poem, “Nomad”. “The Quaint Hornbill House Story” is a bit speculative and glad Ligeia Mag published it. “Unbelong” was published in MayDay Online. Crow Collective invited to hold my first ever writing workshop. It was so warmly received!
June ushered in a very eventful month. “Kaala Paani” (BotN & Best Microfiction nominated) appeared in FlashBack Fiction. “A Story I’d Tell My Unborn Grandchild” was included in Best of Asian Speculative Fiction (Insignia). Pigeon Review published “Close as Breath”, a favorite piece of mine. Necessary Fiction, a longtime aspired publication, accepted and published “Did You Know…”.Insignia Drabbles published a couple of Drabbles: “If Light Doesn’t Reach” and “Dimpy”. The craft essay “Five Approaches to Great Flash Fiction” was published by LitMAG. I managed to book a spot on Flash Flood with “Glass/Fire.” Night Heron Barks published the poem, “Hope Mission”. MiniSkirt Mag’s Starcrossed Issue featured my work “Tone Deaf”. The yearly MicroMadness (NFFD NZ) included my piece “Jamun”. I was also invited to the Flash Fiction Day New Zealand panel discussion on “Myths and Fairy Tales” (YouTube). Books Ireland Magazine published “On a Trellised Arbor”. “Home, Hinges and Halcyoons” appeared in Reckon Review. West Trade Review published “The House in the Math Problem.” My contribution to trampset columns this month was “Uncovering the Cover Letter.” I also interviewed Maria S. Picone for Vestal Review.
July was great too. Founding Editor Scott offered me to join trampset to read and vote on a wonderfully broad spectrum of submissions. Proud to put New Delhi on such a popular litmag’s landing page. I jumped at it in minutes and six months into the job, hands down, it has been a most exciting time. I continued to write columns, and 2 essays appeared in July: “On the Topic of Subjectivity” and “Word Wise Penny Fools– The World of Broke Writers“.
In August, three columns appeared in three places: “Holy Moly Vocabulary” in trampset, “Reckoning Flash” in Reckon Review, and “Center of an Imaginary World” in Cleaver Magazine. “Do You Ask to be Married to a Dress” was shortlisted in the New Flash Fiction Review Contest. Funny Pearls UK published “For Sure, Myman Knows”, earlier loglisted in the SmokeLong Commies 2021.
October is my birth month. On the publications front, it was a bumper haul. “Ribbons” appeared in Variant Literary. “How to Wear Your Eyes on Your Wedding” was published by Peatsmoke Journal. “Posthumus Susan” appeared on EllipsisZine. Scrawl Place published “Skirting Around the Corner.” The column, “Why Rowling Wrote Her Best Thing on Sick Bag?” in trampset.
December opened with couple of acceptances: both flash fiction chapbooks upcoming in 2023. Closer, now, I voiced my concerns about the Indian Lit scene and a writer’s “akrasia” in my trampset column. “Gift”, a micro piece, published by Five Minute Lit found many readers. I interviewed the amazing Melissa Llanes Brownlee for Vestal Review. Moot Point published a piece that’s hybrid-y. The Indian magazine Usawa Literary Review kindly showcased my short-story in the December Issue. Also scheduled this month are pieces in MayDay Online, and AAWW.
“Anatomy of a Storm-Weathered Quaint Townspeople” by Mandira Pattnaik
The twenty poems of this debut collection illustrate a world of simple people with complicated undercurrents. Drawn together through hardship, toil, and natural disaster, they strive to find strength and joy in one another. “Anatomy of a Storm-Weathered Quaint Townspeople” by Mandira Pattnaik, launching on November 20, 2022 from Fahmidan Press, is a study in provincial struggle, both heart-warming and wrenching at varying points.
From the first lines of the title poem Pattnaik takes us by the hand to guide us with stunning imagery through the small-town India of her heart and memory. The forces of nature play a large role as an overall theme, and immediately the tone of this ceaseless tug-of-war against the weather is set:
we barricade the windows, against a lashing undue storm,
Q1: When did you start writing and who influenced you the most?
Mandira: My first publication, a poem, was in a national daily when I was in middle school. Then for over 20 years I didn’t write anything. Life events prompted me to return to writing and now it feels great to be a published writer. I look to read widely, across genres and authors, and try not to get influenced by any particular style or writer.
Q2: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
Mandira: I had a secret wish to be a writer for as long as I can remember
Q3: Who has helped you the most with writing and career?
Mandira: My mom is a great storyteller, so that surely influenced me as a kid. Reading contemporary writers has greatly helped with my writing and career.