Saturday, June 30, 2012

Upcoming: Jarrid Deaton In the Lit Lab

I’m happy to say there are a few fine writers coming up for my segments of “In the Lit Lab” here at Bent Country.  Among those is a writer I’ve known, and whose work I’ve admired, for the past decade. 

I have published magazines with Jarrid Deaton, attended my MFA program alongside him, and, so often, looked to him for much needed advice on both work and life.  He is a friend, a writer, and in a world where it is truly a rare thing, a descent person.

All of this comes through in his work, though many can get caught up in the finesse of a line here, or the purity of an idea never presented before in such a certain and unique sleight of craft.  The overall impression after reading a story or poem from Jarrid Deaton is that a writer has just shared a deep truth with you. 

Now I’m not talking about divine truth and enlightenment and the like.  I’m talking about a truth that Deaton himself felt at some point and then told to us in the most truthful way possible.  I cannot overstate how rare this is in fiction, or any endeavor for that matter.

He does not look away – not from the beautiful, the grotesque, the living, the dying, or his own reflection, every wrinkle and flaw and every smile or moment of laughter, each passing moment and revelation of his own humility.

Because of this, I cannot say how pleased I am that Deaton will be writing here in the coming weeks about his short story “Shoot the Ballerina in the Heart”.  I hope it will be something you find as important and entertaining as I have, again and again.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Book Launch and Baked Beans

Friday was a good day.  I had the opportunity to finally meet Stephen Marlowe, friend and publisher, along with his fine family, I had good food and fun with family and friends and read a little and talked a little about my new book, The Same Terrible Storm.

The launch, held at the Eastern Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville, was just a good time all the way around.  Even set backs were cool.  Steve and I trekking out to get a grill at the last minute because prior grill plans went amiss resulted in some good jawing about writing, the writing life, finding out more about each other.  It was a fine time.

I am also now the proud owner of a poster with my face on it that is just huge.  I’m still thinking of what to do with this piece.  Time will tell.

Thanks to all of you who made it out.  I really appreciated it.  And thanks to Foxhead for understanding that this old mountain boy was more at ease with a cookout complete with BBQ and baked beans.  It means a lot to feel comfortable.  I hope everyone had as good a time as I did.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Fat To Be Chewed About My Book's Launch

The official launch for my new book, The Same Terrible Storm, will be held on Friday, June 8, from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.  The event, which I and others have mentioned here and there at various places through Facebook, Twitter and so on, should, if all goes well, take place during Pikeville, Kentucky’s Main Street Live directly adjacent to the Eastern Kentucky Expo Center. 

Directions will be provided and invites will be sent out as soon as all ducks are in a cliché.  Steve Marlowe and gang at Foxhead Books are working on final arrangements and keeping me in the loop, but for now conversations between myself and city organizers, as well as talks between Steve and the same, point to there being no problems at this point.

As the thing gets nice and solid, I’ll post an event on Facebook, etc. and send invites.  I hope as many of you as possible can make it out to the launch.  There’ll be good mountain food and some others we can sample.  A good old-fashioned cookout, basically, complete with music and singing and storytelling, meeting friends and turning strangers into friends.  I truly hope you will find interest in attending.

I’ll let you guys know more when it’s all situated.  And thanks in advance, both to those who may share this evening with me and my family and, of course, to Foxhead and their golden folks who have supported myself and my book all the way through.

More later.  And tuck your shirt in. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Royal Flush: Five Fine Stories for June

Here's five of what are several of my favorite stories, but just these five for June.  You all can expect five more for July and so on.  Hope you enjoy these as much as I have again and again.  No particular order, by the way, exactly like most everything else.

David James - "One Mississippi, Two Mississippi"

Kuzhali Manickavel - "Little Bones"

William Gay - "I Hate to See That Evening Sun Go Down"

Sam Nam - "I Use Commas Like Ninja Stars"

Kilean Kennedy - "True Up"

Yes, I googled myself. But look what I found!

I googled myself yesterday. It wasn't the first time and it won't be the last. I have a busy online life and so I like to see what...