Monday, March 28, 2011

Making the list

Erin Fitzgerald's Storybucket 2011 is a compilation of suggestions, and for the time being the suggester identities are being withheld. Insanely I was dreaming about this thing for the past few days, really working up a lather. And today? Delight and confusion. Yes, one of my stories made the list, but it's a really random one from Curio called "Crimson." One that I almost cut, as a matter of fact.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Prick of the Spindle 5.1 is live & my last

The latest issue is live and chock full of features by me, mainly because Cynthia Reeser encouraged me to initiate a lot of projects last winter, and now they've come into being. Check out

My interview with Steve Himmer.

A round up of silly questions for Steve, Matt Bell, Paula Bomer, D. Harlan Wilson, Lee Papa, Ethel Rohan, and Joseph Young.

A review of Joe Young's Name, where I seek assistance with the vampire genre from a 14 year old expert named Maggie.

So with my fingers all over this issue, it probably seems weird for me to announce that this is my last go round with Prick of the Spindle. It has been a wonderful experience, but I'm just not able to manage the reading load, and with other events on the horizon, my head is not in the game.

My sincere thanks to Cynthia, Erin, and Trish--I've learned so much this year, and you all have been terrifically supportive. Congratulations to the incoming fiction team--they're already doing incredible work and are largely responsible for the fine selections that appear in 5.1: Cynthia Hawkins, Peg Alford Pursell, and Sarah Fruchtnicht.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Curio Reviewed (at last!)

Well, mini-reviewed, but damned sweet. David Barker was an early supporter of the project, and now he's the first reviewer. But the best part? (And here Robert Swartwood needs to listen up.) I don't know this person. We're not even FB friends. I don't think--hafta check.

Also? A CANADAIAN OPINION. C'mon US, what're you scared of?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Why, it's revision-fest!

Welcome to the fourth annual (fifth? we may have skipped a year)re-write of my West Virginia novel. This year we're working on making it sure it "jells" and features a "plot."

At the cabin right now, and the peepers are outraged.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Exploiting my gosh daughter to further my fabulous career

Rexine reads Garson over at Plumb.

Btw, the url keeps sitting in my mind as "plumbdognet." Zatta prollem?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Curio the ebook has arrived

Woweee, respect the tweet. Last night Curio was set free in ebook format, and we're using pay with a tweet or FB update, which has been pretty successful, especially after the support of some heavy taste-makers.

I've been getting a couple of questions about the "free" status. It's not that I don't value my work. My thing is out there the way I want it, Dean taught himself how to do e-pubs, Mike will teach himself e-pubs, and the privilege of being the first representative of Uncanny Valley's vision is an honor and a thrill. Right now that's the pay-off. Money, or the work of collecting it, would mess with the energy of what we're doing. That said, I can totally imagine throwing Curio up for a 99 cent sale on amazon at a later point closer to the release of my novel next fall. If I do that, I'll probable create a modified edition with added stories--turns out I'm still writing itty bitty creepy stories.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


PLUMB is a lit & culture blog dreamed up by Charles Dodd White. My debut post is up today--it's about some DIY Katrina lit titles that I like.

Other contributors include:

Matt Baker
Matt Briggs
Kirby Gann
Robert Kloss
Sheldon’s Lee Compton
Lavinia Ludlow
Cynthia Reeser
And The Terrifying PH Madore

Too early to tell what flavor this project is, especially since I've been caught up in the technicals of wordpress. Bot so far the posts have been pretty fun.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Last week one of my students came back from a job & internship fair with a dismal report: Upon entering the site a suit-clad woman jumped up and demanded to know, “Are you a SHARK!?” (I suppose that counts as whimsy in the world of biz.) My student’s honest repulsion at how the professional world/professionalism was depicted at the job fair reminded me of when, in a moment of stress, I bitchily let it slip to a third party that a colleague of mine was not tenure-line (I’m not tenure-line either, but the difference is I don’t care. And it’s public info anyway. So there. Yeah, I’m still defensive seventeen years later). When the colleague got wind of my indiscretion, he wigged and demanded that I be punished for my lack of professionalism. Nothing came of it, because at the end of the day, I do my thing pretty well. I am not necessarily unprofessional, but I am aprofessional, if the a- prefix means what I think it does. I should look it up some time.

Actually, that last part is a lie. I am often deliberately unprofessional. For example, I chew gum and blow bubbles at meetings so I don't speak up too much. The main thing I’ve learned about professionalism is that posers and bullies love it. And in the dark corner of the writing world that I inhabit, professionalism offers a comfortable domain for talent-challenged, anti intellectuals. Professional behavior is powerfully attractive; it is easy to produce and measure, and we all have a story about failure that resulted from a technicality. The thought that we are a checklist item away from success is intoxicating. Do you remember cracking open your first Writer’s Market? Suddenly being successful was merely a matter of research, routine, and tidiness. They still sell those things, you know.

I know that at 48 years old it is unseemly for me to be growling eat-the-rich-type slogans, but if I’m honest, the professional urge has sent me down too many blind alleys. The only successes I have ever enjoyed came from doing what I want to do when I want to do it.* Slapping on the pantyhose never got me anything except a uti.

I’m going on about this because with my novel coming out in October, I’m starting to feel the PU (professional urge), and it’s making me nervous. Gotta lose weight, gotta buy clothes, gotta dye my hair, gotta what else? Grace comes so easy to everyone else.

*It’s true that when I’m thinner people are nicer to me. So there’s that, I suppose. But when I’m thin I wear shorts and t-shirts, so not exactly profesh.