We had what you call a "short week" at the newspaper where I peel potatoes all day and so I've not had as much time as I would have liked to read xTx's chap. I've read five or so of the stories, and I'm still trying to reattach the top of my head. But I'm going to save my full thoughts for when I've fully read the chap. It's tempting, though, because I want to talk about her use of language and her ability to place through that language a reader in the exact spot she intends. But I'm going to hold off for now. Just know this...xTx will grab you and you are no longer a "reader" but a vessel through which she channels some of the most real work being done today. It's a rush. But, like I said...more on that later.
Mark Reep is awesome. He gave my story "Intruder" some Pushcart love this week, as did Emprise with another southern story of mine called "Go Get Your Honor." I'm bubbling over with Pushcart love. Thanks to Mark and Patrick for that. All we need is love. John said that. Lennon.
I want to take a moment to say that for the past month or more I've been working with Frank Hinton at Metazen as a staff editor. Frank, Chris, Caitlin, Riley, Len, and the whole gang are amazing to work with. Frank has vision. Frank is the type of creative person who spurs others to action, passion, drive. I'm just hanging on and paying close attention.
I corresponded with the insanely awesome Rusty Barnes this week about his work on Fried Chicken and Coffee, one of my favorite online journals, and Rusty put a call out for some good work from good writers. Take a look. See if you have something that Rusty might find interesting. He's also a founding editor of Night Train, so bring your A game. Give him some love. I'm going to, to the best of my ability.
So I've had my turkey for the day. Mashed taters, green beans, baked beans, dinner rolls, etc. Gave thanks. Ate like I wouldn't get a crumb for another month. I hope you guys did the same and were able to spend time with people who make your heart what it is. That's the whole show, folks.
Attention Andrew Bowen: I still haven't cut my hair. Next month will be one year without a cut. We mentioned some kind of marker and such, a cut off point, something earlier. Well, I've figured it out. I'm just not cutting my hair. In fact, I actually had my daughter, who wondered if it could be done, put it in a ponytail this evening. It's ponytail long. I'm digging it. So...no cut off. I'm just not getting a haircut again. As Forrest would say: One less thing to worry about.
Mindy Beth Miller, who I interviewed some months ago here at this corner of the hellbilly world, was recently named by Kentucky Monthly as one of the five up and coming writers from the bluegrass. I love me some Mindy Beth, and just wanted to share that with y'all. She's a gem and a helluva writer. I've known that since the first time I met her in grad school.
Before I end this Thanksgiving ramble, I want to say that Roxane Gay is working to bring all of you fine folks an online version of Bluestem, Eastern Ill. Univeristy's journal. I think it's due out next month. Be on the watch.
Oh, now shit I almost forgot. Jarrid Deaton, aka JRock...and I are working to put together an online version of Wrong Tree Review Issue 2. He's already spread the word that we suck and couldn't put up the dough for a print issue, I think. But, it's all good. Online is fine. Look at that. I'm a damn poet. Look for this in the near future.
To you all....sending Irish love and luck and before we go let's get three sheets to the wind. What's say?