Sandbox Notes: Troglodytes is in the Name


Want to dig deeper into the sandbox? Explore more at these links:

-“Beefcake Paperdoll” is the name of the incredible painting by Xavier Schipani. You can find it on the cover of Thomas Page McBee’s memoir, Man Alive.

It’s a pig meowing! It’s a giraffe barking! It’s….Nixon bleating! (From Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Series 1, Episode 12, “The Naked Ant”)

-It doesn’t have “whale” in the name, but Tilly and the Wall is a very cool band that features a tap dancer as the percussionist.

Perhaps one day, I will be eaten by birds. 


About Sandbox Notes. Collections by Cameron Finch.


Certain circumstances in my life this year have made me especially thankful for this life of mine. So…here is a gratitude list. It is surely incomplete and in no particular order:

  • My family and their undying support
  • Fuzzy animals (shoutout to Saki Finch)
  • Books
  • Every author I have ever met in person or met virtually through email interviews
  • Friends who have seen me in my best and worst states
  • Oatmeal – you have singlehandedly kept me alive this year with your nourishment
  • Vermont College of Fine Arts for giving me a safe space to discover myself, to find an encouraging and inspiring community of artists, and to challenge what creative writing can look like
  • Books
  • Art
  • My brain and heart for staying strong, even when I’m feeling down
  • The smell of my mother
  • Phones, for transporting faraway voices directly into my ear, wherever I may be
  • Smuttynose Brewing Company’s Old Brown Dog for reminding me it’s okay to let loose once in a while
  • Striped shirts
  • Fresh air
  • Tarsem’s The Fall
  • Everyone who reads my writing and this blog
  • Working on Hunger Mountain, which has made me realize that I want to work with authors on their writing and help promote amazing art for the rest of my life
  • Hibakusha Stories and the incredible work they are doing for our world
  • Music (particularly every song on this playlist)
  • Hugs
  • The ability to laugh

I lift my mug of tea to you. <3


Sandbox Notes: An Aerial Glimpse of Clunky Boots


*Bonus points for anyone who writes a short short story using the details from this plot map! Leave it in the comments below! I’d love to see it!

Want to dig deeper into the sandbox? Explore more at these links:

-Whose tradition (and history) are we celebrating (or ignoring) when we celebrate Thanksgiving? (Tommy Orange’s article via LA Times)

-I will never be able to think of a BB gun or a powder-blue suit the same, now that I’ve heard Alex Marzano-Lesnevich read from their award-winning book, The Fact of a Body.

-Why read today’s news when you can read Yesterday’s Print?

-In my class with James Scott, we’re thinking a lot about the inverted checkmark and how to structure a story.

-Some people call November 5th Bonfire Night, some call it Guy Fawkes’ Day, some people (like me) call it “Save John Watson” day (any Sherlock fans, here?)…here’s a refresher on The Gunpowder Plot.


About Sandbox Notes. Collections by Cameron Finch.

Sandbox Notes: Unobscured Pluming Complex

Want to dig deeper into the sandbox? Explore more at these links:

-If you hope to live for a long time, think twice about watching this video. According to Monty Python, the creator of this joke—the world’s funniest joke—died laughing at it.

-Need an icebreaker when you go to parties? Here’s one: Oedipus with Vegetables.

-The world would be a better place if we all just put our legs up the wall already.

-I’m a fangirl of words that don’t exist in the English language. Here’s a new one for me: Setsunai (切ない).

-All I’m listening to these days: “Spine” by Plume. Beautiful to listen to with eyes closed and in the rain. Full of yummy notes that will make you melancholic and nostalgic all at once.

About Sandbox Notes. Collections by Cameron Finch.

New Piece “Sad Animal Facts in the Style of Ikkyū” on Queen Mob’s Teahouse

I am overjoyed that my piece, “Sad Animal Facts in the Style of Ikkyū” was recently published online as part of Queen Mob’s Teahouse‘s collection of “Misfit” documents. According to Queen Mob’s, a Misfit Document is “a text that doesn’t easily fit into any genre or category. It’s not quite a poem or short story or novel excerpt or essay. Or if it is one of those things, it doesn’t quite qualify as “literary” or sci-fi or mystery or memoir or whatever.”

I had recently created a series of hybrid, Frankenstein-stitched pieces—unexpected mashups from different sources—including this sequence which mixes Brooke Barker’s “Sad Animal Facts” with the poetic style of 15th-century Japanese Zen monk and poet Ikkyū (for this, I used Stephen Berg’s 1989 English translation of Crow with No Mouth). This sequence is original in the sense that no one has ever thought to pair these puzzle pieces together, but leans into the idea that all art is borrowed and all art is a commemoration of the art that came before.

(Puffins are called the clowns of the sea)


the lace-ruffled puffins want it too

A huge thanks to Reb Livingston at Queen Mob’s Teahouse for publishing it and being wonderful to work with!