34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 39
HOW I LEARNED TO MANAGE
AN EMOTIONAL PREGNANCY
MAN IN THE MIRROR
JANIE AND THE TAIYAKI MAN
KAREN BREMER MASUDA
MY LIFE IN SCARS
As is frequently the case, I began this story with a vague concept: in this case a story about sex. From there it grew, organically, to become something independent with a will of its own. I threw in the lizards randomly and added the phenomenon of parthenogenesis, at which point it occurred to me that parthenogenesis has the potential to generate the ultimate feminist society. And yet it doesn’t. Because sometimes we need, desperately, what we tell ourselves we really shouldn’t need.
I write introspective novels and short stories. My formal education and career are in the biomedical sciences. I have an MS in neuroscience and over a decade experience working in biomedical research. This enriches my writing, adding its own dimension, and easing the transitions between diverse topics. I have a short story published as part of a larger anthology (2015) and another short story due out later this year in a second anthology. I am also author on multiple scientific publications.
Writing is ostensibly a solitary occupation, but I think it requires a balance of noise and quiet; go places, absorb the noise and the sights, take notes, then reflect.
I had a short story called Perfidia published in the 34th Parallel Magazine, Issue 32. My short fiction has also appeared in The Neworld Review (www.neworldreview.com) where I’’m the fiction editor, Everyday Fiction (www.everydayfiction.com), and Silver Birch press. My first novel was Getting to Lamma, and I’m now revising my new novel, Ms Ming’s Guide to Civilization in anticipation of a 2017 publication.
And I’m a mentor in the fabulous non-profit program Girls Write Now, which matches women writers with talented New York inner city high school girls.
I am a co-author of the New York Times Bestselling parody Where’s Karl? (Clarkson Potter, 2015), the founder of MANNA Paris, a lifestyle website for English speaking mothers in Paris, a wife to a Swiss-German man who speaks five languages, and a mother to two tri-lingual children in Paris. (I speak English and embarrassingly bad French.) Before moving to Paris five years ago, I lived in New York City and worked in the fashion industry as a video producer, a costume historian, and a magazine stylist. Before I lived what was sometimes a glamorous life in The Big Apple, I grew up in the suburbs of Austin, Texas, dreaming of big city life. And before I landed in American suburbia, I was born in Nigeria.
I wrote Man in the Mirror as a piece to show imperfections and my past fears. In my world, I am confronted with many difficult social encounters, internal and external, which became the driving force for this piece. When I say, “I am not as tough as the man I debate with in the mirror,” it shows a true definition of what I do, my peers have told me they’ve done, and what I believe others do as well.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Facebook: Oscar Bruce
KAREN BREMER MASUDA
Micro-aggression can be illusive and it is easy to say “What’s the big deal!” But I hope in my story I show how frustrating and distressing micro-aggression can be.
My short stories have been published in a few magazines including the 34thParallel (The Fringes, Issue 04), Poor Mojo’s Almanac(k), Miranda Magazine, and Driftwood.
My first novel Backbones and Pillars was self-published in 2003. My second novel Before the Ever After is about a gaijin earthquake victim. My third novel, which I am sending out to publishers and agencies, is titled The Rainbow on the Other Side of Loneliness. This story is part of my fourth novel, Janie’s Intangibles. My novels are what my writing is about these days.
As much fun as I had sculpting this essay, I usually prefer writing fiction. My stories have been published in literary journals such as Story, TatlinsTower.com, and Reed, and in the anthology Not What I Expected: The Unpredictable Road from Womanhood to Motherhood.
My essays have been published in anthologies including Desire: Women Write About Wanting; Texting: Clear Communications for Various Contexts; and My Life with Charles Fraser.
I have an MFA in Fiction Writing from New York University, where I taught creative writing for two semesters. I’ve also taught at the Harvard Extension School, Radcliffe Seminars, University of Southern Maine, and Armstrong State University.