Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Occupation that Won't Let Go of Me: INTERVIEW with Darryl Price


Sheldon Lee Compton: So glad you had some time to have a chat with me, Darryl.  I've been eager to talk with you for some time.  The first thing that comes to mind when I think of you and your work is how generous you are.  I'm always happy to receive your "gift poems" as I've come to refer to them.  You write, it seems more than most anyone I know, to share in that way than for any other reason.  If there were no more journals and no more publishing, I can see you still writing and sending your work to others for no other reason than to share something beautiful that comes from your heart.  These gifts I, and no doubt others have received from you, always have that feel about them - this was a moment, a feeling, you wanted to give to another.  Care to talk a little about your tendency to do that?

Darryl Price: I''ve always said that we are responsible caretakers of the world. The words we choose to use and manifest in our daily lives will insert themselves into the architecture of our beings,into all being, and they don't want to come out again in the same way. They become what we are made of. In that sense I'd like to add some few chosen words that I think might build something a little more caring all around us. This has to do with freedom of choice as much as it does with cocreating a better world. Philosophers have thoughtfully mentioned this fact for centuries. We make the world appear to be as it is as we speak it and name it so. Since everyone is doing this, both consciously and unconsciously, the world is constantly mutating around us. I just figure I might as well add my own poetic two cents worth to the mix. Ever go to a great music concert and wonder why the world doesn't instantly change right before your very eyes from the powerful words being embraced together by so many at once? Well, it does,it actually does, it's just subtle,not invisible so much as everywhere and in everyone and gets carried off into the night in many more pieces.It's the miracle of the fishes and loaves. How does everyone get fed? The Beatles were experts at enlisting words to do this special kind of work to the planet as a whole, but they couldn't keep it up, not to that sort of intensity. Still it worked beautifully, for a little while. That's the nature of the beast. It still has to be fed again the next day. So I bake up a few of my own poems here and there and feed whatever hungry mouths I can.It's the least I can do. A little beauty here. A little flash of truth here. Forgiveness. Mercy. Tenderness.Generosity. Kindness. The words for these things matter and manifest as well and as quickly as the more hateful and fearful ones. It's a question of balance, not of overcoming. It's flowers not bullets.That's all.

SLC: I like that a lot - caretakers of the world.  And the concept of creating works that feed the hungry.  It seems people are still hungry for words, even in this day of short attention spans.  You're one of the most frequent writers to contribute and offer feedback at Fictionaut, a online community for readers and writers and, in fact, the place where I first had the pleasure of coming across your work.  How is this type of community important to writers these days?  And, of course, with the vast number of pieces you have available to read at Fictionaut.  You have plenty enough to bring the world a fine book of your work.  Any plans for that in the future?

DP: People are always hungry for the connection that art provides. Creativity with words attracts all of our senses. It thrills us, inspires us,comforts us. It opens up pathways to both dreaming and doing. I think short attention spans have more to do with boredom and maybe fear than a lack of education, or a lack of understanding, or a lack of feeling. People can go deep, but they have to want to. Poetry opens the door, but it doesn't kick you in. As far as Fictionaut and its type of community they couldn't be more important for the present age if you ask me. The world is different now. The new social media has seeped into everything. It can never go back to what it was.That romance is dead. It's time we started flirting with the new one. It must be embraced and faced and come to terms with. We don't know exactly what it will bring about in our brains yet, but we do know we still want to read and write new things for it. A short story of mine,SPY VS.PARK,was picked up recently by ThriceFiction magazine. They had like two thousand hits for a free download of the issue in less than a week's time! That's simply amazing to me.If I thought I could sell 3.000 copies of anything I'd be in heaven! Speaking of books, did you know I've published 33 chapbooks of poetry in my lifetime so far, but again that was in a different world, 100 copies at the most? Well it's true. I've been at this game since I was five. I'd love to put together a really good Darryl Price reader, but no editors have approached me with the same idea yet. I'm very much these days into the book as object. I want it to be lovely to look at, lovely to hold, to give, to share, to own. I think any book of poetry right now should be a piece of art in and of itself.It's not enough just to print one up.Every now and then I put a free chapbook on Fictionaut just to see if there's any interest out there, but so far it's been minimal. And right now I have an e-book,SAFETY FIRST, over at the Camel Saloon.


SLC: Much to think about, for sure.  I especially connect with this statement of yours: "People can go deep, but they have to want to.  Poetry opens the door, but it doesn't kick you in."  That sums it up perfectly, I think.  I knew you had published books, but I was not aware 33 of your chaps were out there.  I'll be looking for them to be sure.  There's so many romantic notions about the act of creating works of poetry or stories or novels or any form of writing.  It's refreshing to hear of someone who writes with sharing in mind, rather than directing attention to themselves in sort of an exclusive way.  On that note, is it difficult for you to both write and keep creativity as a pure thing while at the same time having little choice but to promote and more or less represent yourself to the masses?


DP: All those little chaps of mine,some no bigger than a pocketbook for change, were limited editions, or most of them, done with fellow young artist types of the time, but that's not so important to me now. There's a Beach Boys song called, HANG ON TO YOUR EGO, off of PET SOUNDS,which I've always dearly loved--because I believe it's the best advice. Getting rid of your ego is suicide. The problem is to determine exactly how much of it you might actually need at any given time in the creative process to keep things real--a little dash will do ya! Pepper in a soup or a stew can add just the right amount of kick to the flavoring, but too much can ruin the whole meal, so to speak.So,yes,to answer your question at long last,it is always somewhat difficult to keep the creativity at a place where I am truly happy with it and to also keep an eye out for its intrinsic entertainment values at the same time. I want people to like my stuff. I don't write it to shove it in a drawer and hope for a miracle resurrection to take place while I am sleeping. It's hard work, and it can be lonely,frustrating work as well. I'd love for people to want to share it with others. That's happened to me a few times already,where someone has asked my permission to copy and paste something of mine onto a Facebook account. I always say yes.The more the merrier. There are a million writers and a million more being born every day. That's where I think a site like Fictionaut becomes very helpful to those of us who use words to express ourselves, it lets you stay in the game.It gives you forum,purpose, and media. But it doesn't do the writing or the thinking or the editing or the shaping of the art for you. You have to ring that bell all by yourself. And if someone else hears your song and smiles or hums along or adds to it in anyway because of its unique tone,and it means something to them, then you my friend are one very lucky person in the universe.


SLC: I can only speak for myself, but talking about the writing process has always been something I struggle with each time it's required of me.  Rather than ask about the details of your process, let me inquire as to when you knew you could write - I mean the year during which you said: Okay, I'm likely a better writer than the average person and maybe I can do something with this.  And how, if at all, did that alter the course of your life, your goals, your confidence?


DP: It was very early on--in school I think, I always loved English and generally aced any exam I was given. I was always amazed when my friends struggled with writing. I couldn't understand it. It seemed natural and easy. Then friends would explain how it baffled them--putting one word after the other--and it humbled me. I realized it was a gift that not everyone had received equally. This made me more aware of its potential to harm or to help, to be a weapon or a kind of spiritual medicine. The problem is you can't help but misuse these words eventually because you are feeling grouchy one day or sad the next or lonely or left out or whatever. You can't beat yourself up over this.It's probably pretty human. The goal is to keep trying to get it right, or to accept the inspiration when it comes and give it the proper respect it deserves from you.There have been many times when a hazy line will start unfolding in my mind and it won't stop creating more stuff out of itself until I get up and write it down. This can happen at any time during the day or the night. The problem being of course that it can just as easily blow away and disappear from you if you refuse to pay it any attention. It knocks, you answer, or you fall back asleep and it goes away.This always makes me mad at myself.Why didn't I just get up and receive that hug from the Muse? You know how much she means to me.Why would I treat her this way?What's wrong with me? Nothing. You're okay. Just tired. She'll be back with any luck because she already likes you.


SLC: I once tried to stop writing all together, possibly because of the very strain of keeping up you just mentioned.  I made it about six months and that was it.  Have you ever made a similar effort?  If so, care to explain?  If not, I'd love to hear about that, as well.


DP: When I was laid off from my job as a book buyer, things became very dire around my house. We still had lots of bills to pay, a kid getting ready to go off to college. For a long time I couldn't justify the time or the energy spent on making my art. It felt like something I just didn't rightfully deserve anymore, that I had been reckless with. It didn't bring one red cent into my family to help us along financially. It didn't feed us. It only fed me, and only spiritually,emotionally, even if it did wonders for others. I was still getting letters and notes from around the world from people telling me how much my work meant to them. But it felt selfish to continue, so I put it down, but this made me extremely unhappy. I felt utterly lost, useless. I realized I needed it to remind me of who I am, even if it didn't pan out in gold, it gave me a sense of belonging in the world, so gradually I began to write again, to post again, to hope again, to dream again. There have been two other times,not having to do with money,where I lost faith in myself, in my writing. I just couldn't seem to come up with an original thought, I was trying too hard to please others instead of being real. I put it down then, too,knowing that it just wasn't me, but inspiration strikes you and you answer the call, which is what I did. The poetry wasn't done with me yet, even if I was tired and getting older, or even a lot sadder.It's what I do. I'm a poet. A writer.I fashion things out of words. Sometimes these little things of mine mean something to someone else. This gives me a profound joy. I try to share that feeling and be brave about the occupation that won't let go of me.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Catching the Storm: Readings and the Wish List


I had the pleasure of giving a reading from The Same Terrible Storm and a couple pieces from the upcoming collection Where Alligators Sleep, as well as sections from the soon to be finished novel Brown Bottle yesterday. 

Though the room wasn’t exactly packed, the folks who attended were lively and full of cool questions and provided lively discussion.  I love when that happens.  I think when a story brings out questions in readers, not those of confusion but of interest, it means a storyteller is doing something right and the reader is thinking more deeply about the work.

It's always easier to talk about craft with a pen in  your hand


Next up will be readings at Readmore Bookstore in Presto and then Louisville before heading to Lexington to read at The Wild Fig courtesy of Crystal Wilkinson, owner and wildly talented writer in her own right.  Still grateful, as well, to have the open invite from Sara Lippman to read for her Sunday Salon series in New York, a trip I’m looking forward to a great deal. 

On a related note, I’m so pleased to be chosen as the visiting writer at the University of Pikeville for a week this coming October.  Couldn’t ask for more things to be falling in place at just the right time.  So thankful.

I usually start my work day around 5:30 a.m., but this morning I went all Amazon-wish-list crazy.  Books I’ve added when I probably should have been working on my own include titles from Tom Franklin, William Gay, Blake Butler, Brian Allen Carr, Ron Rash, Michael Kimball, Matt Bell, Pinkney Benedict, Joe Hill, Ethel Rohan, Sam Pink, Mark Richard, Scott McClanahan, Kyle Minor, Kirby Gann…the list just keeps going.

Currently re-reading Mostly Redneck by Rusty Barnes.

Currently drinking hazel nut coffee.

Currently wearing a true (not factory distressed) vintage Ghostbusters t-shirt I found for a buck at the Goodwill store.

Currently thrilled with the Braves.  CHOP! 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

He Was the Worst Man of His Name



In the time he was on the blacktop, Devlin saw, spoke to, and touched across the shoulder his younger self, a boy who thought fighting hardly more than the post-match reverie from a bar stool or the cradle of his father’s arm.

He might’ve been drunk, his older self, watching and thinking on his boyhood, grabbing for an easier time, less painful, less full of bare knuckles, the yelping gawkers blocking off traffic, the knuckled money and the slobbering and coughing.

This was a fair fight, and it was all but lost now.  He made a rundown of his injuries from his place on the blacktop.  Broken nose, split eyebrow, cracked jaw, a wheezing that pointed to his lungs and probably a few green stick ribs.  There was a larger reason, a purpose for why he was in this position, but it was as clear as mud from this spot.

Sixty-thousand pounds from each family.  The words train-spiked inside his head, worse than the ache.  He made another mental note as best he could – possible concussion.  Sixty-thousand pounds for a fair fight with his own cousin in this remote section of countryside.  Folks from both sides of each family were at opposite ends of the stretch of blacktop road.  They would stop any traffic, even county officials for as long as possible, until one man was left standing or until one of the two called it off.  Everybody involved, down to the gawkers with traffic duty, were reliable because all of them had money invested.  In Devlin’s case, it was a matter of easy money for his family.  He, the King of the Travellers.

The man he fought today, a cousin from the Joyces, was a tattooed version of his younger days.  The lifted face of Che Guevara inked across his right side moving like a reflection across the skin, his arms without a touch of fat, eyes steady.  The boy was more than Devlin could take on. 

He played through his previous five fair fights over and over, one elbow to the ground now and rising, though his chin still lagged.  And while he recapped what he had done before, the loss came more easily in the here and now.  Inside his head, he was still young.  Not the granite fighter breaking a Joyce’s bones, but a boy pressing his fingers into the bicep of his father, drinking from the same glass, when fights were stories told with laughter and losing was part of a dead language.

Friday, April 20, 2012

REVIEW: Waiting for Better by Matt Dennison


While studying fiction as an impressionable graduate student I was often surrounded by those concentrating in poetry.  I mostly listened, believing these writers to be the most pure, the most dedicated to the craft of writing on a word-by-word level, unquestionably the most difficult of forms.

This said, I’m often and admittedly intimidated when a poetry chapbook lands in my lap, thinking I might not be able to fully appreciate what is set out in front of me, tactfully built with such care that even what is left out of a line is often where the power and movement are found.

But, as if often the case with poetry with which I connect, Matt Dennison brings an accessible voice in his chapbook Waiting for Better.  There’s a straight-forward tone in the poems running through this collection that carries the reader easily from one to the next and on and on, and I reckon that’s one of the big wins in any work. 

Though rarely a poet myself, I do understand images and that’s what I came away with after reading Waiting for Better.  Sure, there’s a clear command of language and I don’t want to take away from anything Dennison worked toward, but as a reader it’s the use of images in an original way that will always stay with me, prompt me to recommend a book or chap to a friend, another writer.  I was not disappointed, such as with this from the poem “At Ease”:

“His head moves flatly/ from side to side until/ the gunner-blue eyes sight/ me and he advances slowly,/ carefully, hiding/ behind clumps of chairs/ tables of trees…”

The difference between lightning and the lightning bug, as Twain put it is what I see in Dennison’s work.  Clumps of chairs, tables of trees.  There were untold words ready for use in these lines, but clumps and tables are not words I would have thought to use.  I love when that happens in any form.

Another example comes in the poem “What Happens” when the image presented drips into the mind’s eye:

“I felt dirty when I saw her/ with the daughter,/ ashamed/ of my hands.”

I feel ashamed, too, when reading this, that feeling inserted into my own life by the quick cut of that one moment “ashamed of my hands”.  That image, the moment, speaks volumes in four words.  This is what poetry can do in the hands of the capable, and Dennison consistently stays at this level throughout the thirty-three poems that make up this chap.

On occasion, and this not often, I found a line here and there, exclusively at the ends of certain poems, where I felt Dennison went one moment too long with the piece.  But this is only noticeable when compared to other works throughout the book.  I’ve been told this is usually the writer being concerned he has not put across what he wanted in the previous lines, so adds the final line or two at the very end of the poem as a last effort to ensure the overall theme.  It’s common, but I did find this to be the case a few times.  The most significant was in the poem “Improvements” where it seems the final two lines, the final stanza, could have been left out and the poem would have stood fine.  I’ll include the final two stanzas here:

“And it wasn’t that I had changed/ but noticed the teacher never/ liked me quite as much/ or ever called on me again/ to read.”

And then:

“She knew I knew/ something.”

By the time I read the final line of this poem, I had already concluded the teacher was aware the narrator knew something.  It may not be the conclusion every reader would reach, but I feel Dennison brought me to that place with a command of craft and that most readers would likely be able to understand, as well.

Throughout the thirty-three poems that make up Waiting for Better I had the very real sense I was in the hands of a talented writer, and at the end of the day, regardless of any points that could be made, this is what we’re all shooting for, the ability to engage a reader and then keep them in the fictive world you have created.  Dennison does this, and does it well.  It’s a chapbook worthy of a read and one that will always call for lively discussion.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Good Work and the Good People

It’s been a busy time, and I’m glad for it. Since my short story collection, The Same Terrible Storm, went up for pre-order at Foxhead Books I’ve seen several good folks get on board for a copy. Couldn’t be more appreciative and excited all at the same time.


Also, I’ve had some luck getting readings booked, though I had to reset my trip to New York City to be part of Sara Lippman’s Sunday Salon lineup along with some cool people due to work-related issues. In addition, local bookstores have asked me to do book signings when hard copies of the collection arrive, so I can’t ask for more on that front. Advance thanks is also due to Crystal Wilkinson, owner of Lexington’s Wild Fig Bookstore and author of Blackberries, Blackberries, among other titles, for agreeing to have me visit for a reading and book signing there at some point this spring.


And the indie lit community has been amazing as far as talking with me about the collection. This has included interviews so far with Robert Vaughn for the Lit Pub and with Meg Tuite for fwriction:review, as well as a short piece on process for Necessary Fiction’s upcoming new section called “Research Notes”. All this and more, not to mention the basic buzz that has come from so many fine writers and friends spreading the good word about TSTS, as well as a story from the collection, “Blueprint”, published just today at Metazen. All you folks rock.


I learned this week that administrators with the University of Pikeville will be having me as the visiting writer during their homecoming festivities in October, which is also an honor and something I’m greatly looking forward to, especially since they are actually going to pay me a stipend for doing something I would have done for free.


So it’s been busy on the public front in the last month or so, and I’m still working daily on my novel, Brown Bottle. I hope to have this book finished in time to submit a manuscript to Foxhead soon after my second story collection, Where Alligators Sleeps, is brought into the light of day. However, I’m also working half a day each day on expanding Alligators. My goal is to double the number of stories of the manuscript I submitted to Stephen Marlowe at Foxhead this past fall.


Wish me luck, good people, and thanks again to everyone.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Roadmaps: Helping Characters Find Themselves in Tobias Wolff’s “Awaiting Orders”


Soft-spoken does not, or at least it should not, apply exclusively to turns in conversation or in personality. In making this limiting judgment about the power of the unsaid or understated, what could be lost in the mix is the resonating effect such as approach can have when applied to the craft of writing strong fiction. This is a fact that Tobias Wolff is fully aware of and proves in his short story, “Awaiting Orders,” which was included in the 2006 Best American Short Stories and first published by The New Yorker earlier this year.

A short story, even for the form and especially for having been published by The New Yorker, “Awaiting Orders” does what all solid stories do that fail to reach, so to speak, the staple twenty-page rule often beautifully butchered on one end by the Raymond Carvers of the world and exhaustively on the other by the Alice Munros. It buries the truth while revealing it in one quick and short punch. And it achieves this strange balance by fully employing the understated, by juxtaposition and, most importantly, by exploring the world of its characters with such bluntness that a roadmap is created for the character that is clear to the reader, if not clear to the character himself, which is, of course, another small pleasure in and of itself for the astute reader of literary fiction.

In “Awaiting Orders,” Wolff opens with his main character, Morse, a longtime military man pondering his proclivity toward men and allowing his thoughts to roam around this general idea as seen in this passage:

He had often wished that his desires served him better, but in this he supposed he was not unusual -- that it was a lucky man indeed whose desired served him well. Yet he had hopes. Over the last few months Morse had become involved with a master sergeant from division intelligence -- a calm, scholarly man five years older than he.

This is an interesting place for the reader to be for any length of time -- the mind of a gay man in the military being a hotbed for hidden and revealing thoughts. Through this format we find out that Morse has been involved with another man in his unit for a few months. The man, Dixon, will prove intricate later on.

In taking on the subject of a gay man in the military, Wolff set out to do exactly what his author notes says he wanted to achieve included in the anthology. Morse has become the vehicle for Wolff to explore what is too often a black and white issue among the general public. In his author notes, Wolff expands on this idea, saying: “Issues -- gay marriage, abortion, evolution, capital punishment, gays in the military -- have the effect of making us imagine demons on one side and angels on the other." This story works on that second level, taking on a topic that appears to have only two options for perspective. But, at its core, it is a story that shows us a confused man who has learned to repress his true feelings because of his environment and so, as a result, has lost any chance he might have ever had to find his inner compass, the source of his true happiness.

This idea of the inability of Morse to find the courage to live his life in the way he sees fit is hinted at with the inner-glimpse into his mind through Wolff’s observations leading up to the introduction of another character that will ultimately finish off the contrast for both the reader and Morse. This character, Julianne, the sister of a fellow-soldier, Billy Hart, whom Morse has felt a stirring affection for of late, will provide a reflection, a reminder, to Morse of his inability to allow any part of his true self exposed and also work to provide an echo to him of his biggest problem -- the failure to commit. However, Wolff’s roadmap will lead the reader to his destination far before the character.

Julianne has arrived at the base to find out more about her brother after learning from Morse that he has shipped out already, apparently without giving notice to his family. Julianne brings Hart’s adolescent son, Charlie, and the three meet at a local diner where we see Morse react to each detail of Hart’s private life on a plethora of levels, that of disgust, disappointment and longing, the knowledge that somewhere in the world there is a son and a wife, if disgruntled, are subtle, soft-spoken revelations for both the reader and the character. In the following passage, we find Morse reflecting on how he failed to offer Julianne and Charlie the opportunity to stay at his place with he and Dixon during the storm earlier in the story, instead allowing them to sleep in a truck as an alternative. The fact that he offered money for a hotel room is little consolation to him, as he realizes he only made the offer in such a way because Julianne was too proud to accept. Morse is so engrossed in his own desires for Hart and contrasting fears of being found out as a homosexual that he knowingly fails to appreciate the problem Julianne faces with money and how to manage the responsibilities that have been cast upon her by her wayward brother. It is also telling that Morse is spurred into this reflection by Dixon, who can’t understand why Morse didn’t offer Julianne and Charlie the chance to stay with them.

“You should have invited them to stay here. People like that, mountain people, will accept hospitality when they won’t take money. They’re like Arabs. Hospitality has a sacred claim. You don’t refuse to give it, and you don’t refuse to take it.”

“Never occurred to me,” Morse said, but in truth he’d had the same intuition, standing outside the restaurant with the two of them, wallet in hand.

Later in the same passage, Morse continues with that wonderful inner reflection that Wolff so easily taps into, contemplating the possibilities of what could have happened had he invited Julianne and Charlie to stay with himself and Dixon, revealing a great deal that the reader, at this point, already understands, and that Morse himself is just now facing.

And then what? Dixon walking up and playing host, bearing fresh towels to the guest room, making coffee, teasing the boy -- and looking at Morse in that way of his. Its meaning would be clear enough to Julianne. What might she do with such knowledge? Out of shock and disgust, perhaps even feeling herself betrayed, she could ruin them.

Finally, Morse concludes that Julianne might not be a threat in this way, but as he remembers her walking away in the rain, walking against the rain, and telling Charlie matter-of-factly that walking in the rain was what needed to be done, the story wraps with this implied and subtle touch of the pen, the clear understanding that Morse is flawed, yes, but not because he is gay. In this way, Wolff has provided this information to both the reader and created this understanding within the character himself, a revelation about his basic human nature, not his sexual preference. The revelation goes to great length to comment on the idea that human shortcomings are universal, no matter the details. Wolff has used the short story as a way of commenting on society’s complete failure to make this simple observation without assistance, instead leaning lazily to a jagged perspective on their fellow human beings, as was his intentions, according to a further look at contributor’s notes in the anthology in which “Awaiting Orders” appeared, in which he explains, “This is a crude and degrading habit of mind, and stories are one cure for it”.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

GUEST POST: Dennis Gillenwater

Fearfully Made

(Psalms 139:14)

The thing I can’t get out of my mind when I’m in a crowd of people is all those beating hearts squishing blood in and out of valves and coursing through veins and arteries, and spongy lungs expanding and contracting—cold air in, warm air out—and coils of guts squeezing the last mashed food and liquid along, and yet the people walking around, talking and laughing and praising the Lord or cursing the natural and the Super Natural, like nothing’s bound to happen, while all those necessary life functions go on just beneath the surface. I tell you, it’s a hell of a pitiful thing—life on a string. Freaks me out. Maybe I see things different because I used to be an EMT working on the Big Creek emergency squad, riding up and down Rt. 10 between Salt Rock and Logan, picking up scraps of people and human remains from head-on collisions, chain saw accidents, and coal mine disasters—trying to put those mutilated parts back together. I don’t know the exact reason, but I can’t keep from thinking about the internal workings, what’s really going on inside a body, and how precarious life is. When people stop to think about it, which isn’t often—usually only when they’re flat on their back in a hospital bed—they rebel. They question the Almighty. Why did he design a body this way—so frail? Why all those nerve endings, synopsis, sinews, ligaments, muscles, arteries, veins, valves, corpuscles, and what not, so many possibilities for catastrophe? It’s bound to happen. Three score and ten? There’s a painful joke. That’s like the blink of an eye. Who’s ever ready for it? On the other hand, the first time around, the angels were indestructible. In fact, all of them are alive to this day, all the legions of angels still up there somewhere. Indestructible. Emotions, no doubt, that we’re subject to, maybe a degree of pain. Nevertheless, indestructible, especially when compared to human flesh. So, what did the angels end up doing with all that indestructibility, eternal life, etc.? For the record, they took a wrong turn, a third of them getting into all kinds of mischief, and everyone’s been paying ever since. So, here we are, human flesh, a new design, and this time there’s no call for pride. There should be humility all over the place, coming down like a rain storm.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Same Terrible Storm Now Available for Pre-Order


My collection, The Same Terrible Storm, is now available for pre-order at Foxhead Books. Visit here, if interested in getting your hands on a copy, and thanks.

I was highly pleased to see that Steve Himmer blogged about this at Necessary Fiction, and even more pleased with the support I've received from many of my friends since this morning. It's good to see writers and others spreading the word about this little book of mine.

In addition to Foxhead's website, the book will eventually be available for purchase at Amazon and other places.

Fail Better: Learning To Let Go as a Reader and a Writer

Tonight I begin again on a book I'm writing that may have no ending at all. And no hope for one. It's doesn't even have a tit...