Monday, July 26, 2010

New Story at Smokelong! (look at me using only one exclamation pt)

SLQ lives! and my ghost story "Last Seen Leaving" is in it, accompanied by a marvelous photo by an old friend, Jason Ellison. Be sure to click on the image for the full deal, so good. My Bio talks about the story as coming from my collection-in-progress, which was true then, but Curio made Pank's Little Books shortlist this year and is now out at a couple of publishers for consideration. There's also an interview where I try to pick a fight with the usual suspects.

Big thank you to Tara Laskowski who encouraged me to submit "Last Seen Leaving" to Smokelong. I wouldn't have thought to do so. & then shortly after, she took on an editorial role at SLQ, so that meant she helped me get the story into the shape you see now, including the title.

The Chronicler is a figure in a few of the stories from the collection.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mason Alumni Appreciation Workshop & Reading

So this Saturday I'm running this thing--I'm always hearing from graduates that now they are out of school, they feel untethered to a writing community. Even though there are plenty of readings and workshops locally, I think a good portion of our former students would like a little more help entering a scene, and I totally get that. I cooked up this idea after the Dzanc workshops in March, although our thing is not so much a fundraiser simply because all the money we've raised is going toward paying the small group facilitators, and maybe some lunch for me, Tara Laskowski, and Art Taylor.

Our thing will go like this:

10am--Poet Wade Fletcher will talk about Metro area opportunities and resources, like readings series, workshops, festivals, etc. He's very good at this, having helped run the Cheryl's Gone series as well as Mason's Fall for the Book festival.

103am -12 Workshop session one

12-1pm Lunch discussion with me, Art Taylor, and Tara Laskowski. The topic is writing after Mason, or as we more delicately put it on the flyer, "Writing After Graduation." You know Art from his mystery & crime fiction, his blog interviews, and his reviews in the Washington Post. Tara's got a ton of great stories out there and is now an editorial force at Smokelong Quartery.

1-2:30pm Workshop Session two

2:30-4pm Free & Open to the Public
Readings by Joe Hall, Mel Nichols, and Kyle Semmel. They'll each read about 10-15 minutes, so we will use the rest of the time for an "open mic," prioritizing the workshop participants. Of course I have no mic set up at this time, so it may just be a shouting event.

If you want to come out, the reading will be in the Johnson Center Bistro (lowest floor in the JC). Parking is free on the green areas of this map:
http://parking.gmu.edu/pdf files/parkingmap09.pdf

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

Econ 101: Tales of Mystery & Gloom

My completely unscientific survey of attitudes among newly minted teens (total of three interviewed) suggests that Micheal Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story" is as important to young thinkers now as Rand's novels have been to the same demographic for the last fifty years.

I guess I'm impressed that Moore's fairly predictable essay on financial oppression seems to resonate so powerfully with the junior high set. I don't recall "Bowling for Columbine" as being anything other than darkly amusing to the same population.(But maybe I didn't know enough teens then. Ye gods, did I really write that sentence?)

Wish I had one of those Live Journal thingies. Mood: Hopeful

Sunday, July 18, 2010

What it's all about


I currently have two books "out" for consideration by publishers. One is the Louisiana novel, and the other is the ghosty-gothic vsf collection. I may have gotten my little toe in the door with one publisher, so if I'm not very social lately it's because I'm attempting a re-write based on some excellent notes. I was doing this last year at this time, too, but in that case I was trying to inject a project with more commercial elements to please an agent. THAT did not work out. This time, I'm trying to recover the heart of the concept, and in the process my soul as well. It's way easier than you think. As if that weren't motivation enough, years back my old man and I made a deal. If I get a book accepted by an agent or publisher, I get a SECOND pinball machine. This is not the sort of info I can comfortably include in a query letter.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

my brain turned over

If writing is the exercise of thinking, then I'm just getting my heart rate up.

This is about revision.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Things I wish I had the energy to do this weekend

I wish I had it together to put on a pig mask and a snow suit and dance around the webcam at night. I'd send the photos to the cell phones of my friend's kids who were just busted for prank calls.

On a gentler note, I'd like to drive into DC and look for parking this holiday weekend with a dried pine tree tied to the top of the car. If we could get it to be a little bit on fire, that would be extra neat.

Happy 4th, everyone.