JRM is looking for an agent and/or a publisher for her full-length memoir, and is available for writing or editing projects. Please email her at email@example.com for an excerpt or more information.
Julie Ricks McClintic is an MFA candidate at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the writing department (May 2022). Her focus is memoir, non-fiction essay, short fiction, and playwriting. Her stories have been published in Running Wild Press Anthology of Stories, Volume 4, Book I; Underwood Press; and theDoor County Pulse. Although a Los Angeles native, Ms. Ricks McClintic presently lives in Northeast Wisconsin with her herd of spotted cow-cats. She spent most of the 2020 Pandemic Season alone.
Travel. Explore. Go Outside. Visit. Do it. Experiences, not things.
Fiction Excerpt: “Riley’s Dream”
Mildred, my co-worker saunters over to my desk with an empty file folder. She hands it to me and I open it, nodding my head while we pretend to talk about work.
“You still have that freaking goldfish in the cup?” She hisses at me under her breath. “You can’t keep it there forever, you know,” she says. “You’re gonna kill it.”
“I am not. I’m going to keep him. I’ll stop at Petco on my way home and get him a nice bowl and a plant, maybe some sparkly rocks.”
“That’s ridiculous. A goldfish. He needs clean water now. You can’t take care of a goldfish.” She takes the folders out of my hands and walks away.
“What? Mildew?” She gives me an evil look for calling her that at work. “I can be a good goldfish parent…” I can’t believe I’m whining. That bitch.
She just waves her hand at me as she walks away. I look up. Our boss has noticed our encounter from inside his fishbowl office where the walls are all windows. Great. He’s going to do a walk-by, I can feel it. I move Gerald behind the picture of my parents. Everyone has pictures of family and loved ones on their desks. Not wanting to be left out, I had put up a picture of my parents. I hadn’t spoken to them in eight years. No one here needs to know that, not even Mildew.
Non-fiction Excerpt: “Mary”
My childhood memories appear to me as dreams. I can see the events that happened in color; I can smell things, I can feel the wind on my skin, the grass under my feet, but there’s no sound, just like in my sleeping dreams. I imagine that I remember the words that were spoken, but I clearly remember the sirens that screamed, the murmur of traffic, the water from a sprinkler hitting dry pavement, the songs of early-morning birds. How do I know these memories aren’t dreams, too? Recreated by my brain trying to make sense of things that happened when I was a child? I don’t. I have no way of knowing. The emotions these “memories” produce, however, are true—the hurt, the happy, the humiliating, the dangerous. Those things are real. I feel them even now. Maybe that’s why I try so hard not to remember—the bad slips in unannounced along with the good, moving quietly down the tree-lined suburban neighborhoods of my childhood, pulling into my driveway unwelcome, unwanted, and parking in my spot.
Play Excerpt: “Look Up Here: The Bowie Play”
There was no smell. Not even the clean smell of fresh air, or the fragrant bite of ashes, smoke, or the tang of cut grass. Just…nothing. I didn’t open my eyes…but still, no light crept in.
[He is enveloped in a gold light from chest to feet. He keeps his eyes closed, not tightly, no scrunching of the skin around the eyes]
I feel light, as if I were suspended in a heavy fog. It wasn’t whiteness, like from a bright light, no; it was just whiteness, Absence. Nothing. No breeze passed over my skin or my lips, not even my throat. I felt nothing. I feel nothing. Not a whisper of air. I feel like some sort of time and space oddity.
[Time passes, 2-3 minutes. He puts one hand down and rubs the fabric of his suit.]
Yes, it’s the Armani. I bet it’s the pale cream one. I feel it, I’m sure of it. When did I…? Did I?
[He opens his eyes and looks around. As soon as his eyes open, the velvet, golden light disappears. He speaks, still lying prone on the floor.] No, it wasn’t whiteness, maybe worse. And now…whot?
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