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Work Samples

Mission.pdf

When I was almost an adult, I saw things as a grid, and I could’ve led a company into battle. I could crouch and point and tell you what your job was and who you were. Someone else gives you your meals and your clothes and you don’t worry about where you live because all you do is hump with your brothers through the forest. You can try asking God for whatever you need now, but if you don’t even know what day it is, how could anyone take you seriously?
PDF icon Mission.pdf

Pleasure.pdf

I eat expired oatmeal that tastes like soap, one packet a day, and when I'm through this box, there's another, until I wake up and feel like a good person. I've got a moratorium on the things I like best, so my days are Shredded Wheat, visits to the railroad museum, Agatha Christie hardcovers.
PDF icon Pleasure.pdf

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About Liz

Baltimore City

Background Liz hails from Columbia, MD, and now calls Baltimore her home. She has a Bachelor's in English - Creative Writing from Towson University and has an MFA in Creative Writing - Fiction from University of Florida. Her work has appeared in Knee-Jerk Magazine, Six Sentences (nominated for a Six of the Month Award), The Muse, and on various places online. She currently teaches and tutors writing at different schools, including Howard Community College and Maryland Institute College of Art.... more

Mission

"Mission" is a very short story that covers: Ikea, shoplifting, Band of Brothers, talking to God, semi-homelessness, and houseplants.

The Writing Studio at MICA, where I work, published "Mission" in a chapbook on the theme "Frequently Unasked Questions." The staff, all writers and artists, wrote, designed and assembled it (literally--I stapled). It's such an pleasure to work with talented artists in my day job.

Last spring "Mission" was published around the same time as "Egg Noir," which was published in Knee-Jerk magazine.

  • Mission.pdf

    When I was almost an adult, I saw things as a grid, and I could’ve led a company into battle. I could crouch and point and tell you what your job was and who you were. Someone else gives you your meals and your clothes and you don’t worry about where you live because all you do is hump with your brothers through the forest. You can try asking God for whatever you need now, but if you don’t even know what day it is, how could anyone take you seriously?
    PDF icon Mission.pdf
  • Frequently Unasked Questions

    Photo of the finished chapbooks. Photo by Seo Kim, chapbook cover design by Seo Kim

Egg Noir, published in Knee-Jerk Magazine

A very short story, flash fiction, published online in Knee-Jerk magazine: http://kneejerkmag.com/2015/06/egg-noir-by-liz-femiano/

Not inspired by anything except a cat I knew in Florida, and a comment my ex-roommate made about "The Goldilocks effect."

I was delighted it found a home in Knee-Jerk magazine.

  • Egg Noir.pdf

    You come into this world alone, and you leave with nothing but a smile on your face from the night you ruined the facade of your enemy's house. And that's it, no bike, no hair, no dignity. Don't look back, or all you'll see are heaps of wasted eggs. Eggs—I mean all kinds of them.
    PDF icon Egg Noir.pdf

Let Us Enjoy the Night

A fictional short story, undergoing some revisions. It is set in the French Quarter and was partially inspired by an encounter I had there in 2009 where a man gave me a walking stick (see picture).

In March 2013, I had the opportunity to work with writer Laura van den Berg as part of MICA Writing Studio professional development. She was invited to give a guest lecture to the Writing Studio staff, and then we wrote an original story for her and conferenced one-on-one for feedback. I wrote this story for our conference, and she encouraged me to revise it and send it out for submission.

  • a walking stick

    This is a picture of a walking stick I own. A strange man gave it to me in New Orleans, like the stick Mars receives in the story. It inspired the story.
  • Let Us Enjoy the Night

    It was no good, in the end, because he was probably a sociopath. That's my answer for everything these days. When I have a bad exchange with a cashier or someone--sociopath.
    PDF icon Let Us Enjoy the Night

Pleasure

Published on Six Sentences, an online literary journal that only publishes stories that are...six sentences.

This story was nominated by the magazine for the Six of the Month award.

http://sixsentences.blogspot.com/2009/02/pleasure.html

Here is the piece:

----

I eat expired oatmeal that tastes like soap, one packet a day, and when I'm through this box, there's another, until I wake up and feel like a good person. I've got a moratorium on the things I like best, so my days are Shredded Wheat, visits to the railroad museum, Agatha Christie hardcovers. I miss checking my horoscopes most, how I could swing it to justify anything. I could decide right then to fold up the paper, change my underwear, drop by his place, then go with him to buy an apple or a carrot or a potato from Albertson's, then stay over because I was messed up in the best way - and it'd all be kosher, because the Moon entered Sagittarius, and he's so cute when the barber cuts his hair too short. "Everyone is good," a religious friend told me, "but you won't be good for a long time." My nice panties sit quietly in the drawer, all folded up in rows like teacher's pets, so pert and lacy and hopeful.

Monday Night, Five Months Post Grad School, With Cat

I was asked to write something to perform for the Bitch magazine cabaret. I was not going to be in town to read, so I wrote a nonfiction piece specifically for my friend Wylie to read in my stead.

I explored my ideas of feminism. It seemed best to honestly admit that I couldn't firmly grasp the ideas of feminism, especially how they related to everyday living. (Now it's common to read "you're a bad feminist" arguments on the internet, and I'm grateful I missed all that when I wrote this.) Topics explored include: beards, laundry, cat breasts, social isolation, shoplifting, and spiders.

The audio file is a recording of Wylie reading my piece. The piece was recorded by Sheila Bishop, from crookedletter.com, who organized the cabaret.

The text file is the speech as written.

Cough Drop: Hope of the Consumptive

An original work written and posted for Facebook. Inspired by a terrible cold that kept me quarantined for 10 days, this is nonfiction-poetry-prose-notes. Each subsection switches between narrative, observations, flashbacks, and prose poetry.

I like the ability to publish work directly to friends ("friends"?) on Facebook, and even to tag specific people whom I wanted to read it. It offers the depth of a blog entry, but the social notifications of twitter. I hoped Notes would catch on further on Facebook, but I guess not.

There is a thing called "Hope of the Consumptive," and it's very inspiring and dramatic.

In the Downpour

In Florida, there are daily rainstorms, which are brief and terrifying. Luckily everyone is accustomed to them.

This is a work of very short fiction from The Muse literary journal, published through Howard Community College. Upon publication, The Muse held a reading where I read "In the Downpour."

OBJECTS

These began as handwritten prose pieces about various objects, one per page.

I have always loved Gertrude Stein's "Tender Buttons," especially the idea of letting the object be the subject--writing about it, almost around it, letting the words circle it. The end result may be logically related to how we perceive the object, or it may not. I tried to let the objects form their own characters. In the end, ginger is marginalized, umbrellas are servile, bumper stickers are boorish, and tape is trying.

These are also distillation of my voice and style. They are abstracted, semi-dreams that I wanted to almost make sense, but not fully. Like trying to explain a dream to someone. The sum is much larger than its parts. Here, the parts themselves are mismatched, silly, culled from stock phrases and commercial messages and overheard conversations. All together, they work.

Objects:

Binoculars
Porkchops
The Ginger
Pills
Mesh
Tape
Lines on the Road
Umbrellas
Sponges
Flies
This Room
A Haircut
Bumper Stickers

Good Pie to You (nonfiction-ish)

The subtitle is "It's just some dumb snacks, yo," overheard at a 7-11 in Baltimore. This also encapsulates what this project is: dumb snacks.

Http://goodpie.wordpress.com

This is an abstracted nonfiction personal blog. I try to craft each entry so it could stand alone as a nonfiction short-short but also could, when read with others, build towards a larger work. I also use this space to try experimental writing, like lists, questions, or occasionally surrealism. Thematically, I always want to blur the line between humor and despair.

I capitalize very little, on purpose, so that what is written is slightly divorced from reader expectations. I want to call attention to the words themselves, to the concept that they were written by a real human person, and also I want to underscore that I do not take myself seriously as a subject.

For content, I do almost no commentary on any worthwhile topics like news or culture. I try and be tongue-in-cheek about the navel-gazing nature of the project. I am fascinated by the hard-to-articulate emotional states--like that feeling when you're slightly insane and go out to the grocery store to feel more insane--and how they reveal themselves in mundane situations.

Most of all, I try to be entertaining. There is absolutely no point writing on a public forum if you aren't conscious of readers. Otherwise I would just use my private journal.

Connect with Liz

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Liz's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.