Hello, friends. It’s a short week for us at Catapult, as we’re off tomorrow, but it feels like an age since Monday. If you missed any of our stories this week, you can get caught up now:
“It is hard to imagine now why, when I called my mother to announce I’d be giving up my day job at Children’s Television Workshop to go on the road with the Cirque du Soleil in the summer of 1993, I thought this news would be received with the same enthusiasm with which it was delivered.”
In this time of justified rage, Katelyn Best reflects on the band she loved as a teenager, Rage Against the Machine, and how they always had to fight the machine from within.
John Fischer on the history of school shootings and the stories behind these tragedies:
. . . a school shooting is not just a story of inevitability, but also of the vast and invisible domain of de-escalation from which it escapes. It’s strange to consider school shootings as such, and yet there are so many angry boys who determine, for one reason or another, not to move ahead. There are many candidates who might qualify if only the time and place were a little different, if their circumstances were slightly changed, had a better alternative not appeared.
Lilian Min on her parents, her abortion, her Monkey Year, and the dueling astrologies in her life:
My flirtation with Western astrology is a way for me to consciously map out my mad scramble toward independence, but it’s the Eastern-born pull that I feel more acutely; my parents’, especially my mother’s, expectations and questions about my future haunt my waking and even sleeping moments, pressing me to project what’s ahead . . . When my mother asks about plans for my own family, I don’t have the heart to tell her that, in another life, it’s already begun. Nor can I explain to her that it could be a Monkey year again before I have all, if any, of the answers to the questions she posits every time we talk.
“The more I explored our neighborhood, the more I realized what an epicenter it was for the kind of rapid globalization seen throughout China”: Amy Zhang’s lovely meditation on her Beijing homecoming and the neighborhood where she and her family lived.
Lena Valencia, managing editor of One Story , will lead our lit mag bootcamp this Saturday afternoon. Here Lena talks about some of her favorite journals, offers cover letter tips, and explains why the literary magazine is such a great platform for writers.
“We see so many battles that are spectacle that it may be hard to wake up to the battles that are not . . . What happens tomorrow, however, matters. The smoke is just the part you can see. Underneath, the world is burning.”