November 25, 2012

I Can’t Make You Love Me

On Friday, I read the first third of my manuscript I’m turning in for YesYes Books for the first time in over a year, where I fought through a lot of emotion to get it in the state it was for Write Bloody. The first third, dealing with the divorce, there were two pieces that were hard to get through reading them aloud (the only way you should really edit anything) but there was progress in the fact I got through that first third pretty OK. I have two more sections to go before I implement the edits, read through it again. The other sections will not be as emotionally draining but I know there are certain moments it will be.

It’s hard for me to detach myself from poems to read them, edit them, and perform them. I have to recall the moment and the emotion associated with that moment and it can be painful. Pain is a tool though if handled well.

I was talking to a friend last night about the divorce since she asked about it and I remember the silence in the apartment the morning after she decided to move out, sitting there in front of my computer, processing all of the events and the emotion. I could have broken down, exploded, and I didn’t. I focused all that energy and wrote this. And then wrote another piece the next day. And another. And another. Writing has always been a survival mechanism and whatever emotional state I’m in affects what I create.

I thought I was done with Jesus Christ, Boy Detective for awhile and as always whenever I say something like that, I prove myself wrong. It’s in first draft form right now. I’ll look at it in a day or so to see how I can spruce it up.

Speaking of Jesus Christ, Boy Detective, CL Bledsoe wrote a little something about the series here.

I also have two flash fiction pieces in this staggeringly brilliant anthology called In Those Days We. You will yell out in joy when you look what’s inside. Go here. Now!

I went on an adventure last year to see one of my all time favorite bands. You can relive it here.


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About J. Bradley

J. Bradley's is a Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominated writer whose work has appeared in numerous literary journals including decomP, Hobart, and Prairie Schooner. He was the Interviews Editor of PANK, the Flash Fiction Editor of NAP, and the Web Editor of Monkeybicycle. He is the author of the poetry collection Dodging Traffic (Ampersand Books, 2009), the novella Bodies Made of Smoke (HOUSEFIRE, 2012), and the graphic poetry collection The Bones of Us (YesYes Books, 2014), illustrated by Adam Scott Mazer. He is the curator of the Central Florida reading series There Will Be Words and lives at

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flash fiction, poetry, publication news, self assessment, Writing


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