Summer reading ☀️📚

I love summer for countless reasons. There’s more time to lounge and read, the days grow longer, my birthday falls in the summer. My spirits are always higher in this season — something about the warmth of the sun on my skin, the fireflies lighting up the night.

When I was a kid, summer vacation also meant summer reading, great for an avid reader like me! That’s stayed constant in my life even after school. I’ve already read lots of books this summer, and plan to finish more.

Also, this summer is jam-packed with poetry readings and literary festivals. Here are some upcoming events that I’m super excited about:

 July 28: I’m a featured reader at The Deaf Poets Society’s reading at Bards Alley in Vienna, Va. at 7 p.m. Bards Alley is a brand-new bookstore in the DMV area, and the DPS literary journal has been doing incredible work at offering a space for D/deaf/disabled writers and artists. There are going to be incredible readers, like Camisha Jones, so make sure to come to this one.

Ask Rayceen Show August 2017August 2: As a part of The Ask Rayceen ShowI’m participating in the Authors’ Corner with OutWrite 2017 panelists at the Human Rights Campaign at 7 p.m. There will also be live music, poetry readings, and a burlesque performance.

Queer Enough panel at OutWrite 2017 OutWrite 2017, August 5:

Hope to see you at some (or all!) of these events! Happy summer (reading)!

‘Wonder Women’ published in Paper Darts!

Wonder Women characters by Marlena Chertock. Illustrated by Meghan Murphy.

My short story “Wonder Women” was published in Paper Darts! They’ve been a goal publication of mine for years. I’ve been reading Paper Darts since college, when I fell in love with their short, weird fiction and rad art.

The editors worked with me to help shape “Wonder Women” into a stronger story. They suggested cuts, moving paragraphs around, and Meghan Murphy even illustrated it beautifully! I’m so grateful for their feedback, and for publishing me.

“Wonder Women” is a story about two girls who love comic books and comic-conventions, or cons. Nishka and Morgan are geeks, and are proud of it.

One, or both characters, is queer, or just beginning to explore that part of their identities. They argue about their “ships” in Ms. Marvel, try to avoid the crowds on the Metro, and pluck their chin hairs. They dress up as their favorite characters and call out street harassers.

Hope you enjoy!