Tag Archives: review

Pomona Valley Review: On the Selection Process

Earlier this summer, I was selected to be part of the editorial board of Pomona Valley Review – an arts journal that comes out once a year. Because of my experience here as a managing editor, as well as Melanie and I presenting on Pomona Valley Review’s poetry panel last year at the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Associate conference (PAMLA), I was put in charge of the editorial board and took on the position of lead editor for the 11th edition of the journal.

While I have been published in the past through a handful of smaller journals (PVR included), this was my first time behind the scenes selecting artistic items that would be published. The process, I found, was very different from what we do here and not something I took into consideration when I would submit pieces myself.

I know that the knowledge I’ve gained in working as an editorial board member during this past issue of Pomona Valley Review has helped me understand how I should submit my work as a writer/poet to increase my chances of being published in the future. And, of course, I want to share that gained knowledge with you, the reader.

Submissions Interface

Pomona Valley Review uses Submittable for all of it’s submissions – stories, poetry, pictures, paintings, etc. But there are still many people who try to email in their submissions. When a journal selects one way and makes that way apparent, as a submitter, you should really follow what the journal asks. In general, if a journal asks for submissions one way and you send it in another way, your chances of being considered go down from the start. The policy at Pomona Valley Review is that unless we’re hurting for submissions, we won’t look at work that isn’t submitted in the correct manner.

Now, there was one author with poor vision and their adaptive software (text to speak) worked best in email. The process of creating a word document, uploading it, attaching it, and submitting a biography wasn’t accessible for that individual so their submission was taken via email. So exceptions can be made for accessibility purposes but otherwise, you’d need to stick with the platform the journal asks you to use. (more…)

The Martian v. The Martian

The Martian novel, written by Andy Weir, is a self-publishing success. In 2011, he self-published the book and it got enough attention to garner him a contract with Crown Books. In 2014, The Martian was re-released with the help of Crown and became one of the top selling books on Amazon.Com. And then it became a movie.

I started reading The Martian last year and, between applying to graduate programs, moving (twice!), picking up a few side jobs (on top of my main jobs), and all the rest of life stuff that gets in the way of fun stuff, it took me a while to finish the book. Mind you, I really enjoyed the book as I was reading it and I even got students of mine to read it as well.

Now that I’ve finally finished reading and watching The Martian, I can compare and contrast the two different media used to tell Andy Weir’s story of an astronaut left behind on Mars for your (and more likely my) amusement and declare one better than the other (because all things must be ranked!).

If you haven’t read the book or watched the movie, this post contains spoilers. Though, if you’ve clicked on this blog because of the title, I’m assuming you kind of already knew that, but I thought I’d be nice and post a warning anyway.


Yesterday: A Review of Haruki Murakami’s Latest Short Story

(Image Source: The New Yorker)
The very first Haruki Murakami book I read was The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and I enjoyed it. The book was an odd mixture of eastern culture and western influences. The theme of balance, or Feng shui, permeated the novel and the sense that something was off within the book penetrated the pages. Murakami’s playfulness with the food his character ate within the novel was my first clue to the theme of broken flow. In the opening pages of the book, the main character, Toru Okada, was making spaghetti at 10 a.m. For me, spaghetti is a dish best served in the afternoon or evening and didn’t quiet fit with being a breakfast type meal. These seemingly mundane occurrences taking place out of their normal order flowed throughout the book to create an environment for the reader to immerse themselves in and understand the importance of balance within the novel. Murakami is a master of running with a theme and weaving it into every fiber of the fabric that makes up the tapestry of his stories. Yesterday is no exception.

Yesterday opens with a Beatles song being sung incorrectly by a man the main character, Tanimura-kun, only met briefly in his youth. This story explores the reliability of human memory and plays with the things we remember, why remember them, and what seemingly important details at the time get blurred as time moves forward.