Last night, I dreamed that I was in a clearing in a forest, and my wife was below me, yelling that I should fly higher to avoid danger. It was nighttime, there were some stars. I felt scared as I rose, but then I felt very happy, because my wife joined me over the forest, and we escaped along the mountain ridges.
It is a dream I have not had in so long. It is the kind of dream that I’ve missed having, one that I had so many times before when I was a young boy. Most of you have probably had this dream as well: the flying dream. Yes, when I was little, I often dreamed that I could fly. In my dream, I floated out of my room, down the stairs to the landing at the front door of our house, and outside.
Kim Chinquee is the author of Oh Baby, a collection of short shorts from Ravenna Press. She has won a Pushcart Prize. Her work has appeared in various places, online and in print: 3:am, Caketrain, Conjunctions, elimae, Fiction, Hobart, Keyhole, NOON, Phoebe, Post Road, Sleepingfish, Willow Springs, etc. She teaches at Buffalo State College. It is cold up there, I imagine. Probably snowy also.
I had to include Phoebe in that list, as that’s how I first really saw her work up close, if that makes sense. I emailed with Kim after accepting a handful of her short short pieces for an issue. I was (and still am) impressed with the precision of her writing. The stories in the collection are tiny and wonderful. So, if you happen to miss out on the giveaway, you really should click over to Ravenna Press and order a copy of her book all the same.
Here’s what Kim has to say about her new office, which she just moved into last year upon arriving in Buffalo:
This is my home office, a corner of my studio apartment, and I took this photo after moving to Buffalo in August. It’s a little different now, more “moved in,” so to speak, with papers and tablets and books and the drawers are sometimes open, and I’ve been working on a laptop.
The window looks down into a courtyard, that was pretty colorful in August. Now, mostly snow, and it’s really nice when the sun is
shining. I’m on the fourth floor. The bookshelf belongs to my son, who didn’t think he could fit it in his dorm room back in college, and some of the books are his: books on drawing, guitar, and lots of classics. On the top shelves, I’ve included books by my teachers and friends and favorite writers and journals. Some CDs, mostly classical: Ravel, Chopin and Mozart, though I don’t listen to music while writing, only when I’m sending out work, responding to an email. One of the paintings I made as an undergrad rests on top of the bookshelf, but only because I don’t have the heart to throw it out, and I don’t know where else to put it.
A framed picture of my son sits by my computer, a recent photo from his high school graduation.
The desk is new for me, but a very old desk, from a generous
colleague. We both left Michigan at the same time; she moved to Boston, and didn’t have the space. I did, and didn’t have a desk of my own. It’s huge. It’s heavy. It’s ancient and holds everything.
I spend the majority of my time at this desk. It’s the first place I
go when I wake up, though I do most of my writing late into the night. The chair is pretty comfortable, though I never sit in it the way I’m supposed to. I sometimes prop my feet up on a stool underneath the desk. Or I curl up, sitting at odd angles, like right now, as I write this.
Thanks, Kim, for sharing, and thanks, everyone, for reading.
And now, another book giveaway; I asked Kim if she would like to send a free copy of her book to a lucky HTMLGIANT reader, and she agreed. So you have until, let’s say, noon CST tomorrow (1.22.09) to email us your mailing address; subject line of the email should be OH BABY. If you’ve already won something, maybe step out of this one, thanks. I’ll let you know if the random integer generator smiled upon you. Send to htmlgiant [at] gmail [dot] com.
UPDATE: Congratulations to Evelyn Hampton, winner of the Oh Baby giveaway. Thank you to the other people who entered the contest – one day your time will come.