My 17-year-old son has no interest in seeing the new Blade
Runner movie, and neither do his friends. Why? They can't or don't want to
relate to a dark vision of the technology. They are technological natives. They
want careers in tech; they see the promise of tech. They have no connection to
the original Blade Runner. They rarely go to the movies in the first place.
They have their gaming worlds, their drowning amount of homework (these are
bright kids:), their worries fueled by every day grown ups who can't or won't be
upfront with them about the perils of climate change they see all around them
in stronger storms. They live with inconvenient truths, with dystopian reality,
and don't need or desire it in movies now in their lives. They want a future,
however, not this one, not this film. Blame Trump. Blame ourselves, their
parents, or creators.
Thoughts from other parents??
Or, am I only a replicant?
Thrilled to share news that my short story, "SWEETNESS" is included in the new anthology THE WAY TO MY HEART: an anthology of food-related romance edited by the fabulous Kelly Ann Jacobson. And even nicer news—it was honored with the first place award.
From the judge Josephine Yu: "I was impressed by the voice and complexity of
“Sweetness” and the paradox it draws between Italian words and the foreign language
of a medical diagnosis. The bittersweet choice the narrator makes reminds us
that love in any stage or condition is worth savoring."
Molte Grazie (Many thanks!!) from a grateful writer
This anthology is available now via Amazon.
Write, Write, the yowling of desire.
Do you have a six word memoir? Must be six words. Post it, here, there.
Where does a writer start?
The question WHY? Eventually, upon analysis, I’ve learned that my initial
why. My curiosity. My questioning
myself and the human condition – leads to what English teachers call
How, in the 21st century, in Long Island, New York, can a group of suburban teens—turn on people who lived among them? Strangers, but not strange. Two brothers who weren’t bothering anyone—just because they were not like them? And why did no one——parents, teachers, coaches, notice anything? Why did none of their wide circle of friends say: this is wrong? What is the nature of hate and prejudice in the 21
century? These are the questions my character struggle with in my 2011 young adult novel, LIE.
With my 2014 young adult novel–Before My Eyes– three intertwined stories – but also inspired by the why. Why did no
one see what was going inside with these three fragile teens–especially one
who is going through a psychic break–and who has so easily bought a gun?
The second thing I start with is:
A voice in my head. A sense that something is
going to happen to this person–I’m not sure what, but I’m going on a
journey with him or her. It may end well; it may not. It may end unsettled—in a
question because my characters are complicated.
Ultimately, these novels end.
Yet life remains complicated, so I am starting a new novel; one I am aiming for adults, since our lives, these days, are more complicated than ever. STAY TUNED.
THE CRITIQUE GROUP
talk about giving birth and menopause, about celebrities we would jump in bed
with if we had the opportunity, about being married forever from one of us, and
not having a date in eighteen months, shit, maybe more— and about your
grandmother: How is she? Her home in Chevy Chase is being sold. Ninety years
old, and my parents have decided that she can not live alone anymore— the
unreliable furnace and those long flights of stairs leading to all those
unopened rooms. We gather closer to her, the youngest among us, and urge her to
write more, about her grandmother, about what matters and what terrifies. What
we think to ourselves: How did we find one another? How lucky we are— four
women poised between twenty-nine and fifty. What we say aloud: We should meet
more often. We drink more wine, weep, scream, howl, beat our fists against one
another, laugh gulping for air, a certain power in us to write about anything. And
he always arrives late, slick with sweat, riding his bicycle on even the
coldest of nights, changing the pheromones in the wide-open room. When he says:
Did I miss anything? We say: We haven’t even started.
The Critique Group was included in the new anthology, ABUNDANT GRACE published by Richard Peabody and Paycock Press in December, 2016, and featuring women writers in the Washington DC area. My fiction selection is one of the shortest in this amazing collection. Praise be to Richard Peabody for including it. Copies of the anthology can be purchased at http://www.gargoylemagazine.com/paycock.
A year or so ago I was watching the evening news and saw an image that filled me with anger and despair. The result was this piece of short or "flash" fiction entitled: "BEHEADED," which was just published in the wonderful online literary journal,FICTION SOUTHEAST.
Here is a link to this new short short:
Thank you for reading!
I was going to write a long blog about the value of entering
contests, but what I really want you to do is read my short story,
"Gargoyles and Stars,"winner of the 2016 Writer Magazine short story
contest judged by Colum McCann. I rarely enter contests so I truly have
no wisdom to share except to enter them once in a while, if you admire
the work of the judge or the publication, if you feel lucky, if you
don't feel lucky and want to feel lucky for a moment. ——Caroline
FISH SELL... was originally published earlier this year by the wonderful Washington Independent Review of Books...but I've been thinking a lot these hot summer days of my Pop and of his unorthodox real-world advice so I'm reprinting and sharing it here...
Beyond the Book
On seeing the
trade paperback of my book for the first time
By Caroline Bock
The cover of Before My
Eyes hasn’t changed, but the feel of it has. Grittier. I expect it to smell
I flip to the back first, as if the ending may somehow have
On the last page is an advertisement for another novel, LIE,
and I see that I wrote that, too.
I actually never forgot that I wrote LIE, my first novel.
Though sometimes it feels like I never published anything (except that poem I wrote
in third grade) — that someone else wrote all those words over all those years.
I can still remember that first poem. My father stared at it
and its “tall, towering trees” published in the school’s mimeographed newspaper.
“Toots, we got a writer in the family,” he said with his
kind of praise, expansive and vague. It took me a minute to know that he was imagining
me older, not 8 years old. Until that moment, I hadn’t particularly wanted to be
If my father were looking over Before My Eyes, he’d ask the sale price first ($9.99), and then how
many I expected to sell (a lot, maybe). And then he might ask: “Why don’t I
bring the book down to Thunderbird?” He’d sell a few for me at his flea-market table
in Florida where he sold souvenir T-shirts to Canadian tourists.
“I can’t promise you how many books I’d move, toots. I’m the
guy known for the fish T-shirts, not books. Did you ever think of slapping a
picture of a shark on any of your novels? Fish sell, toots.”
You’ll notice that there is always a mother, damaged or dead,
in my novels. I’m working on writing a mother into my next book, but I may have
to kill her off. My father raised me, and I have trouble with mothers.
I have never seen a shark or written about one. Before My Eyes is about paranoid
schizophrenia, gun violence, and the teen psyche at the end of a long, hot
summer. It is largely set at the beach, but there aren’t any fish.
Some people glance at Before
My Eyes and ask, “What age is this for?” because it is marketed as a YA
novel. I wrote it with teen characters surrounded by adults who don’t see what
is happening before their eyes. I think adults should read it first.
If you read Before My
Eyes, you’ll immediately glean that it starts near the end and moves
backward. The world is different if you think you know the answers, but you
I see the world moving forward and backward at the same
time, roots overlapping one another, the trees from my first poem. I see myself
writing in notebooks at 8 years old and today. My father is gone, dead now, but
here with me, looking over my shoulder, talking about fish.
“Fish sell, toots.”
trade-paperback version of Caroline Bock’s Before My Eyes is now available wherever books are sold.
For more about the author go to www.carolinebock.com.