Caroline Bock-BEFORE MY EYES
Caroline Bock - Author of BEFORE MY EYES and LIE
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Blade Runner
"SWEETNESS" - THE WAY TO MY HEART
SIX WORD MEMOIR
Where Does a Writer Start?
NEW SHORT FICTION - THE CRITIQUE GROUP in the ABUNDANT GRACE Anthology

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BOOK CLUB READING GUIDE for BEFORE MY EYES
GOOD NEWS from Caroline Bock
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TEACHER'S GUIDE TO LIE
TEACHER'S GUIDES TO BEFORE MY EYES
YOUNG ADULT MOVIE STARS
YOUNG ADULT NOVEL WRITING TIPS
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Caroline Bock-BEFORE MY EYES

Blade Runner


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?



"SWEETNESS" - THE WAY TO MY HEART

Thrilled to share news that my short story, "SWEETNESS" is included in the new anthology THE WAY TO MY HEARTan 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.

SIX WORD MEMOIR

This isn't new--the Smith Magazine Six-Word Memoir-- but I was needing to get out of the box of my head, and I wrote one yesterday, and posted it on the Smith Magazine site. Since it's only six words, here it is:

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?

Where does a writer start?
This writer starts with two things:
 
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 “theme.”  
 
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 character.
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.

NEW SHORT FICTION - THE CRITIQUE GROUP in the ABUNDANT GRACE Anthology

The Critique Group by Caroline Bock
THE CRITIQUE GROUP
 
We 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.



NEW SHORT FICTION - "BEHEADED"

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!

GARGOYLES AND STARS - WINNING SHORT STORY

I am thrilled to share my short story "Gargoyles and Stars," winner of WRITER MAGAZINE'S 2016 short story contest, judged by Colum McCann (his new book of short stories: 13 Ways of Looking, is a must read, especially for writers).


It's a fast read, only about 750 words, about a woman of a certain age: Lydia. I love Lydia, and I think I will be coming back to her someday. Read on!!
 

WRITING ADVICE-INTERVIEW WITH THE WRITER MAGAZINE- MARCH ISSUE

Do you write short stories? I was interviewed by THE WRITER MAGAZINE after winning first place in their 2016 short story contest, judged by Column McCann. If you have not read his "!3 Ways of Seeing" story collection, run now and read it. It is masterful. And if you'd like read The Writer Magazine interview with me where I give some advice on writing, go now: http://www.writermag.com/2016/01/27/caroline-bock-author-gargoyles-stars/



GARGOYLES AND STARS- AWARD-WINNING SHORT STORY LINK HERE

Read my short story at The Writer Magazine web site now.
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...and other thoughts on BOOK MARKETING and MY POP

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
“Fish Sell”
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 like cigarettes.
 
It doesn’t.
BEFORE MY EYES by Caroline Bock 
I flip to the back first, as if the ending may somehow have changed.
 
It hasn’t.
 
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 a writer.
 
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 don’t.

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.”
 
The 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. 

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