Living Abroad — Effects for Writers

I have been living abroad, in Glasgow, Scotland, for three months and have three more to go before I return to Wisconsin. I was lucky enough to take the picture below on Robert Burns Day from Georges Square, not far from where my flat is.

10929908_10202364296668697_8894003860628090647_nAnd yes, people do make Glasgow. Living here has been a challenge and a joy for me. I will always be grateful for the opportunity. A recent article in The Atlantic, For a More Creative Brain, Travel: How international experiences can open the mind to new ways of thinking has pulled me back to The Lyon Review. That article got me thinking a lot about how living abroad has affected me and I blogged about it at PamWritesSense of Connection & Living Abroad. We get comments from MHC alumnae near and far and I got to wondering, how many of our alums have had the opportunity to live abroad for some period of time? Abroad meaning anywhere far from home, landing in a culture unlike your home culture.

If that’s you, what did you learn in your time abroad?

Can you see effects in your writing? In other creative areas? In your life now?

Do you have any writing to submit to The Lyon Review that was inspired by or during your time abroad?? If you do, please visit the submission page here.

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Novel Excerpt: Dead Evil by Candace Hughes ’86

Candice M. Hughes, award-winning poet and essayist, is former Poetry Editor for the MHC literary journal. She has authored a wide variety of creative and nonfiction works. Her debut technothriller was Death on a Thin Horse. Her newest novel is Dead Evil, a paranormal thriller with an intriguing romance, from which an excerpt appears below. She is published in The Allegheny Review, The Lyon Review, and Pegasus among others. She is a recipient of the Ida F. Snell Poetry Prize and a Pen Works Honorable Mention for Creative Nonfiction. Other books include the Small Business Rocket Fuel nonfiction series. Candice is founder of a health game company developing games for teens with ADHD, a biotech consultant and professional medical writer. She holds a PhD in Anatomy and Neurobiology and an MBA in general business management with a focus on strategy and technology innovation.

CandiceMHughes_DeadEvil_800pxThickening smoke and ash cut visibility from twilight to moonless black night as sure as a Nor’easter rolling in from the Atlantic. Detective Gabe Bennett’s radio crackled a three alarm-fire alert a quarter mile from his location. He knew the place well. It was eight houses down from his own. He edged his Ford pick-up truck to the curb as a Ferrara tanker ripped past, racing to his neighbor Rebecca Howland’s flame-ravaged colonial. His boss’ phone was sure to light up what with Rebecca being one of Plymouth, Massachusetts’ last blue bloods, Mayflower pedigree and America’s royalty.

He pulled back onto the road, navigating through the chaos of flashing lights, cruisers and tankers. He’d left work hoping for an early night, but work had found him after all.

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Poems: Troy Falling and Christina’s Reflection

A poet and writer of thrillers, Candice Hughes ’86 holds  a Ph.D in Anatomy and Neurobiology from Boston University School of Medicine and works as a consultant to the health care and pharmaceutical industries.  While at Mount Holyoke, Candace was poetry editor of Pegasus and a winner of the Ida F. Snell Poetry Prize.

Over the past six plus years, she has turned her focus to fiction. Combining her background in medical science and creative writing, she has completed a paranormal thriller plus a biotech thriller and is hard at work on more novels. Read about publishing and life in New England on Candice’s blog: www.candicehughes.com.

Troy Falling (September 11, 2001)

No one noticed Eris
throw down her golden  apple
amongst the wind birthed dunes of a lonely desert.

Perhaps it was a sand storm,
causing women to pull their veils tighter,
driving men into backrooms
and fostering distraction.

No one noticed
when the clean shaven men
dressed in Brooks Brothers casuals
sauntered past security guards and
buckled themselves into their tin horse.

No one noticed
that they offered no Helen,
cherry lips parted, brown eyes gazing up at Paris—
Mon Dieu,
there was neither love nor even lust.

Blood lust, insha’ Allah,
is enough to launch a ship.

No one noticed
so busy were they
with counting, dealing and planning—
three pieces of silver can take you far—
no, no one wanted to stop.

Oh, but they all stopped—
watched on giant flat panel TVs—
as Troy was devoured by
lurid orange flames,
lapping over her towers in an orgy of hatred
that even then did not burn itself out
but instead slunk away in the swirling ash
as the sun tipped
below the bloody horizon.

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