BY: DARLENE CAMPOS
To my great grandfather, Jose Alcides Martinez Tobar (1903-1994), who would wake up in the middle of the night to write and drive my great grandmother, America Isidora Villamar Naranjo de Martinez (1920-1988), crazy every time he did so. Thank you for passing on your talents and determination. Thank you, great grandmother America, for always being his inspiration and making his written works possible.
To my mother, Tammy Yasmin Martinez, who has supported my writing journey since the day it began. Thank you for all the home-cooked meals, the prayers, the ridiculous jokes, and your nonsensical quirks which have appeared in every single story I have written. My love for you is so deep, there will never be a tool long enough to measure it.
To my boyfriend, David Noé Alcalá, who lets me write without any interruptions or distractions. Thank you for always boosting my mood, your hugs and kisses, and all the surprise “I Love You” text messages. I cannot wait until you are officially my husband. You make me feel emotions I did not know I had. I might be a writer, but I could have never written the love story you show me every single day. I love you, teddy bear.
To my good friend, Javier Andres Pritchard, who read the first (and terrible) drafts of Behind Mount Rushmore. I am so lucky to have had you as a reader during my early writing days. You always told me one day I would have a book published and now, here it is. Thank you for your suggestions, your encouragement, and your open ears whenever I need a friend to talk to.
To all the creative writing/English professors and classmates I had over the years – this book would not be possible without you. Special gratitude goes out to Jessica Paige Wilson, Anthea Ara Rafique, Bertram Allan Mullin, Carla Erizbett Arellano, Donna Dennis Muñoz, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, Bruce James Martin, Laurie Clements Lambeth, and Aaron Reynolds. Go Coogs! Picks Up, Miners!
To all of the wonderful English teachers I had in public school, but especially to Carol Thielemann, my second grade reading and writing teacher, Terri Cyphers, my sixth grade English teacher, Laurie Wilmoth, my seventh grade English teacher, and Carolyn Giannantonio, my ninth grade English teacher. I owe the strength of my writing skills to you. Thank you for being my foundation. A big shout out goes to Meadow Wood Elementary, Spring Forest Middle School, and Stratford High School!
To every literary journal that has published my work – thank you kindly for giving me the opportunity to share my words with your readers.
Last, but certainly not least, to Jennifer Snider-Batula. Thank you for your homemade cookies, the coupon booklets, and your wise insight on this adventure called life. You are the best co-worker and neighbor anyone could ever imagine. When Fred Rogers talked about good neighbors, he was talking about you.
The following stories were previously published in slightly different form:
- “The Friend” was previously published by The Gap Toothed Madness
- “The Dance” was previously published by RiverBabble
- “The Funeral” was previously published by Word Riot
- “The Cigarette” was previously published by Alfie Dog Limited
- “The Burst” was previously published by Connotation Press
- “The Crush” was previously published by Forever! Onward
- “Lost Angeles” was previously published by The Aletheia
- “The Fork” was the 2013 prose winner of Glass Mountain’s poetry and prose contest, previously published by The Writing Disorder and featured in Plain China’s Best Undergraduate Fiction Writing of 2013 anthology
- “The Return” was previously published by Bartleby Snopes
- “The Wedding” was previously published by Red Fez
- “The Bullet” was previously published by Elohi Gadugi and was the winner of the 2013 Sylvan N. Karchmer Fiction Prize, awarded by the University of Houston