Sometimes it snows in April

I can’t remember the exact reason my cousin Andy quit speaking to me — it was twenty-eight years ago — but it had to do with Prince. I vaguely remember the argument. We were in front of the lockers before band class and we disagreed about some finer point of the musician’s genius. We both liked Prince. It was 1987 and really, who didn’t. But Andy, who was a dedicated musician when I was on the verge of quitting band, liked Prince more.

IMG_1237

Prince came to me through my sister. She was nearly three years younger and usually I discovered music first, but she discovered Prince. She told me his real name was Prince Rogers Nelson. She learned everything she could about Minneapolis. She talked about going to college there. She bought the soundtrack to Under the Cherry Moon. My sister probably had other Prince albums, but that’s the one we listened to most together. Continue reading

Music is the muse

A review of Eleven Dialogues from jazz trio Up Jumped Three, originally published at mountainx.com.

a0080906060_10Those who know bassist Bryan White know he’s a dedicated runner and coffee drinker. So it’s fitting that Eleven Dialogues, the newest release from jazz trio Up Jumped Three, leads with the track “Espresso (Evening).” It opens with a moody run of strings. The double bass is a low grumble and yet its deep timbre is more purr than growl, its lithe skip and shuffle a complex poetry.

That rhythmic voice also serves as a platform for Tim Winter’s guitar and Frank Southecorvo’s saxophone. And while the instrumental compositions of those three seasoned players are an intricate dance of textures and perspectives, there’s also a smoothness of vibe — an underlying warmth and polish that allows the listener to relax into the groove before returning to the headier melodic conversation. That conversation is the centerpiece, though — hence the 11-track album’s name. Continue reading

Short story award!

I’m so delighted to share that my short story, “Catching Out,” won the Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize. The final judge was Ron Rash — I actually entered the contest (and agonized over my story) in hopes that it would make it far enough along in the contest to be read by him. For that reason, this award means so much to me.

I’m also excited to share this story. It’s about a college registrar who fantasizes about riding the rails and was inspired, in part, by a woman I saw at the gym. It will be published in The Thomas Wolfe Review in late autumn.

Read the press release from the North Carolina Writers’ Network here.

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 5.00.39 PM

Photo by Michael Ranta from Vice