“Grateful, Thankful” to Literal Latte


The online journal Literal Latte has just posted their current issue, containing my story Grateful, Thankful, which won second prize in their 2006 fiction contest. This excerpt from my novel-in-progress finds Prue coping with the competing pressures of teenage sexuality and academic achievement. (Sex in bathrooms is becoming the King Charles’s Head of this book; it just seems to find its way into whatever I am thinking.) Here’s the opener:


I could have avoided all that trouble if only I had remembered the capital of North Dakota. Normally I took schoolwork seriously, but it had been a late night at band practice and I decided to give myself a pass on memorizing stupid places I would never live. I couldn’t see my mother moving us anywhere shotguns were more popular than cappuccino. I dropped my regulation #2 pencil and bent down to fetch it, so that on the upswing I could skim a peek at Ryan McFarrell’s test paper. He winked at me, those blue eyes wide under streaky blond surfer-hair (he’d just moved to Boston from Santa Barbara and hadn’t perfected our cold-weather scowl yet), and moved his elbow to give me a better view. His dimbulb generosity would’ve been enough to blow our cover, but what really tipped off Mr. Hollister was that we’d both spelled it “Bizmark,” like a corporate logo. That’s how my first moments alone with Ryan were spent on a bench outside the principal’s office. It started as a “meet cute,” but it didn’t end that way.

Read the whole story here.

3 comments on ““Grateful, Thankful” to Literal Latte

  1. Jendi says:

    Had to say hello. It’s not often that I find another person with the same name as mine. Just curious as to how you received your name. I am 46, live in PA and my Mother chose it after hearing her next door neighbors daughter who was named Jennifer, but was knicknamed Jendi. There are 3 other Jendi’s in PA, all named after their mother heard my name. I would love to hear your story. Jendi Gertz/DuBois, PA

  2. Jendi Reiter says:

    That is funny – my mother named me “Jennifer” but also made up the nickname “Jendi”, which I decided to use instead because there were so many Jennifers in my first-grade class. I thought I was the only one. We need to have a reunion or a fan club or something. At the very least, lobby those personalized knicknack vendors at the mall to include our name in their inventory!

  3. Tyler Gore says:

    Jendi, just wanted to drop a note and let you know that because the Literal Latte site has been reorganized, the link you have above should be updated.

    “Grateful, Thankful” can now be found here.

    (Still working on getting our massive archives online, but your story is up.)

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