Saturday, March 24, 2018

Brett Pribble and the gang are putting together a beautiful art object, the journal Ghost Parachute

I received my contributor copies of Ghost Parachute (a wonderful surprise in the mail yesterday). I somehow wasn't aware I'd get these. And the issue is beautiful. My story "Stress Cardiomyopathy" is included with some other really cool stories. Thanks Brett for doing what you do, buddy.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Reading Quotes - Kevin Wilson's TUNNELING TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH and a bonus interview quote of Wilson

"We’d gotten down far enough to where we were touching earth that probably hadn’t felt the gaze of sunlight in hundreds of years. At one point, Amy took a big handful of dirt and held it close to her face, took deep breaths of it. “It smells like a museum,” she said, “like something from the past.”

- from the story "Tunneling to the Center of the Earth"


And for good measure, here's a good quote from Wilson about the short story form. It's taken from an interview Oxford American did with him, asking if he thought he'd write another collection of stories.

"Yeah. At the same time I'm writing the novel, I'm writing short stories. I love the form. I keep thinking maybe I'll become better at one or the other, but I think I'll just be imperfect at both because I love them both so much. And also there's just something about the weirdness of story—that quickness of it is just really wonderful. It feels much more like an incantation. Like a magic spell, in a way that the novel can't replicate. The novel is just too big and unwieldy to be entirely magical."

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Interview and story included in the new issue of Cowboy Jamboree

Let's get this link in right off the top. Go here to read the story and interview.

Okay, now hear this: CJ editor Adam Van Winkle is a jewel. I mean a bright, shining jewel of a man. I've met only a handful of people who are as supportive and as much of a champion to other writers. It's rare for a writer and editor to put as much as Adam does into someone else's work, and it's beautiful.

Aside from from my interview and story, there's also a story and interview from Ben Drevlow, an A-1 writer and also the editor of BULL Men's Fiction.

Adam obviously gave a lot of love to the entire issue and you should go have a look and see the end result.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

New review of PODUNK LORE @ Red Fez

Donna Snyder recently turned an attentive eye to my poetry chapbook Podunk Lore, along with William Graham's and Mat Gould's chaps in Lantern Lit Vol. 4 at Red Fez.

It is a really good review that actually revealed to me a larger picture that was already in focus to the head chief and Dog On A Chain Press editor extraordinaire Beasley Barrenton. In all truth, Beasely laid down some serious editing chops on both the content end and overall vision for this volume. 

And it's really cool that it appears at Red Fez. I've been trying to get a story in that fine publication since Methuselah was a pup. A good review is the next best thing. 

So go have a look and see what Ms. Snyder has to say. She says it wonderfully. 


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

A homunculus story today @ Lost Balloon

My short story "Causality Dilemma" was published this morning at the journal Lost Balloon. Before I offer up a link to go read, let me tell you how such an odd story came about.

I'm always looking for oddities in the world. The fantastic and real. Somehow this led me one afternoon to a video on YouTube. In this video a man claims to have "grown" a homunculus inside an egg after fertilizing the egg with his own, ahem, sperm. Yes. That someone would even try this was odd enough for me to be intrigued, but the video made it that much more so. I have no doubt it is entirely fictitious, but that doesn't make it any less interesting. Below you can see the video:

Fiercely gross, I know. But this got me thinking and the next thing that happened was I had this story that now has a fine home at Lost Balloon. If you'd still like to read the story you can find it at this link. Thanks in advance for having a look and, of course, thanks to all the folks at LB for publishing the piece.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Reading Quotes: From Where You Dream & Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights

Some solid quotes from two books I'm reading now:

FROM Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie

This one seems especially appropriate for this day and age:

"There is no originality in tyrants, and they learn nothing from the demise of their precursors. They will be brutal and stifling and engender hatred and destroy what men love and that will defeat them."

And this one made me miss the days before the Internet and YouTube and social media:

"All our stories are told more quickly now, we are addicted to the acceleration, we have forgotten the pleasures of the old slownesses, of the dawdles, the browses, the three-volume novels, the four-hour motion pictures, the thirteen-episode drama series, the pleasures of duration, of lingering."

FROM From Where You Dream: The Process of Writing Fiction by Robert Olen Butler

Both of these speak to the craft of writing and are probably more interesting to me than to some of you, but I think Butler has a great way of conveying his ideas:

"If somebody rejects the story, with whatever criticism—you’re going to get bad criticism from literary magazines too, let’s face it—you let it go. What is the editorial reader’s frame of mind? They have fifty things on their desk today, and there are going to be fifty tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. Do you think this puts them in a frame of mind where they are naked to each manuscript they open? Where they put aside the worldview they’ve held all their lives and open up to a new voice, a new vision of the world? Rarely. That’s why a lot of bad stuff gets perpetuated, the bland stuff and the mediocre stuff. It’s because often those screening readers—I’m talking about those first two people who see it—those readers, just by the very nature of what they do, are going to be if not consciously looking for, at least more open to, things familiar to them. So all of this works against the unique voice of the real artist. And this happens at the highest, most prestigious, slickest magazines—for any number of reasons that don’t have to do with art."

"You should read slowly. You should never read a work of literary art faster than would allow you to hear the narrative voice in your head. Speed-reading is one reason editors and, not incidentally, book reviewers can be so utterly wrongheaded about a particular work of art. By their professions they are driven to speed-read. Some book reviewers review three or four books a week. Such reviewers could theoretically be fine on works of nonfiction. Or certain works of fiction that do not rely on many of the essential qualities I’ve been trying to identify for you as the characteristics of art. But if you read four books a week and you read them all at pretty much the same pace, you are inevitably going to be a bad reader of literature. A speed-reader necessarily reads for concept, skipping “unnecessary” words; she is impervious to the rhythms of the prose and the revelations of narrative voice and the nuances of motif and irony. This makes a legitimate response to a work of art impossible."

Thursday, March 1, 2018

FROM THE ARCHIVES: "Cards, Jacks, and Wooden Guns" @ Necessary Fiction

This is one I've included in an ongoing story collection project under the new title of "Bear Tale".

Here's the story. Hope you enjoy it.

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...