Wednesday, March 31, 2010

diminished capacity

got slammed with a FAST cold that has slowed me down over the past couple of days, but I can't let March 31 slip by without noting that it's the final day of my selections for Everyday Genius, and I chose to end the month with Steve Himmer's novel excerpt for what I think are obvious reasons. For a couple of hours there this morning, the post was up as being from Steve Zimmer, which may have been Adam's subconscious desire to solicit a sub from either Carl Zimmer or Steve Zahn.

I was going to do a March parade of all the work we featured, but Adam beat me to it. NICE.

In other news, I have a piece called "Seckle" in the latest issue of Double Shiny, alongside work by Kyle Hemmings, Jac Jemc (kept dreaming that name in my Nyquil visions), Neila Mezynski, Brian Oliu, Matthew Savoca, and Chris Taylor.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Everyday Genius:The Final Three! March 29-31

I am sad it's over but relieved, too. After Wednesday Everyday Genius is some other art-tard's baby.


The first man will do anything for the moon.

—from Cami Park’s “Night Walk” (Plus “As If to Become, as If One Actually Were” & “It Is a Wonder”)


So when Kim asks if I want to go for a ride, I say sure.

—from Robert Swartwood’s “Summer of ‘84”


And like that my days in the garden began to go by.

—from Steve Himmer’s “Whose Hands”

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fictionaut Five: La Meg i-views me

Thank you Meg Pokrass for letting me gas out at Fictionaut.

Monday, March 22, 2010

I want to kiss!

is the name of my story in the stunning debut issue of Corium Magazine. This is one of the stories from my gothic leaning collection, Curio, so to all you moneybags publishers out there--I got more like that.

Greg Gerke and Lauren Becker really worked with me on this one, but they did take away my exclamation point. I'm almost over that, especially seeing who I'm in there with--cripes!:

Stephen Elliott
Donna D. Vitucci
Sean Lovelace
Alec Niedenthal
Adam Moorad
Kim Chinquee
Scott Garson
Andrea Kneeland
Kathy Fish
Sheldon Compton
Julie Babcock
Ryan Ridge
Beth Thomas
Laura Ellen Scott
Christina Murphy
Eric Beeny
Shaindel Beers
Corey Mesler
Sam Rasnake
Rusty Barnes
Cami Park

Haven't started on the thing yet, but WOW.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Everyday Genius, March 22-26--oh wow

so there will be a lot of new things out this week, but EG will be on fire every day:


They teeter. They totter. They fall, knees pressed together, into crumpled heaps.

—from Roxane Gay’s “Boys in Drag”


He looks about to cry. His shoe comes at my face before I can close my eyes.

—from David Erlewine’s “Buried”


They told her that she was an orphan, a feral child. To repay her rescuers, she became a prisoner of science.

—from G. Walker’s “An Experiment”


Under the dog’s old quilt they listened to the voices inside the butter-light windows, Aunt Louie’s laugh rising over the murmur, an unidentified man cough.

—from Jen Michalski’s “The Turn of Things”


My old buddy Asidri burned to death on a lava cavern tour and was chewed on by a goblin. Post-mortem.

—from Erin Fitzgerald’s “At Grayfield Keep”

the day after Dzanc Workshop Day/DC

I have no idea if it went well, but we filled up the time and made people write. There were about a dozen participants, most of whom could have run the workshop themselves--I was especially pleased to meet Rae Bryant of Moon Milk Review, and poet Kate Wyer, whose living book project And, Afterward is really fascinating.

It was a gorgeous day, so of course we convened in the windowless upstairs of the Wonderland Ballroom bar. The Barrelhouse lads like bar food and bar drink, but I did not see anyone taking up the waitress on her offer of free waffles. Apparently they used to have bacon days.

Mike Ingram started things off with a discussion of point of view, I did my flash thing, and Reb wrapped up with a guided tour through "Moves through Contemporary Poetry," an essay by Elisa Gabbert & Mike Young that appeared on HTMLGIANT.

For my segment I tried to talk about how tension occurs in vsf, and I shared Katrina Denza's "Soap," Scott Garson's "Captions," Joseph Young's "10 Point" & "Lethe," and Matt Bell's "How To Watch Paint Dry." After a quick browse of the readings I had the attendees write in response to one of the following exercises, all of which I adapted from Behn & Twichell's Practice of Poetry--my rationale being that the compositional mood for writing very short fiction is more akin to that of writing poetry than it is to writing conventional fiction:

Write one or two complete sentences in response to each of these steps.
The “You” in these prompts is the narrator, who is part of the scene.

1. Think of a person you know, or invent a person. Describe the person’s hands.
2. Describe something he or she is doing with the hands.
3. Use a metaphor to describe an exotic place.
4. Mention what you would want to ask this person in context of numbers 2 and 3.
5. The person notices you and gives a response that indicates a misunderstanding of your question.

Build or dismantle, piece by piece, an object, being, or phenomena that we don’t naturally think of as being constructed.

1. Write a paragraph to describe an intriguing event or object—avoid using comparisons, stick with the image.
2. Do the same to describe a powerful character.
3. Combine the paragraphs into one, alternating between the object and the person. Use transitional language to make the paragraph sound right, even if it doesn’t seem to make sense. Make the flow take priority over reason. (new reason will create itself)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

March 15-19 @ Everyday Genius

This week at Everyday Genius!


“What the hell,” the pickpocket lady said, peeking into the stroller while the boys shoved their sticky hands into her pockets, pulling various small toys, all made of plastic.

—from Michelle Reale’s “At the Fair”


He begins to play solitaire! Is this strange behavior? Should I shoot him now?

—from Dawn Corrigan’s “The Assignment”


That fucking spotted hyena working behind the counter—he was probably, at this very moment, laughing his anal pouch off.

—from Tamm Walters’ “The Hyena and the Gnus”


It had a child it didn’t know; blessed that fruit with silver hands.

—from Joseph Young’s “Stories Around People” & “More from Stories Around People”


SHE LEFT HIM WITH THE TALLOW OF THEIR LOVE GONE FLABBY. It was the first line from her mystery novel-in-progress
--Augurs Under My Bed

—from Kyle Hemmings’ “Amazing Animal Facts #4” & “Amazing Animal Facts #2”

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Chapbook done or close to it? & Prick of the Spindle & Dzanc Day

That's what it looks like. For several months now I've been worrying a dark theme to death in the very short form, and what with breakthroughs achieved in the past week, I think I've written all I care to on the subjects of death, eternity, or the lack thereof--for the time being. So what do I have?

A folder called "Curio" containing 26 short stories, 3 of which may get tossed. 7 have been/are scheduled to be published (the final 3 coming out this month, yikes). A few of the pieces are multi-part, so with each part sitting on its own page, I probably have about 50 pages. I know that's damn brief, but I think it's the right length for something like this. Plus I'm all WWSJD? I want people to read it like they might have read Weird Tales comics once upon a time.

Now what? I don't know. But it's a good thing I'm wrapping it up because beginning in April I should start reading submissions for my new gig as Fiction Editor at Prick of the Spindle. I'm stupid-happy-excited to join the PotS staff, and to work for Cynthia Reeser who strikes me as a very sharp, particularly forward thinking artist.

Also want to remind everyone out there that Next Saturday is DZANC DAY, and along with Reb Livingston and the lads from Barrelhouse, I'll be helping conduct workshops as part of DC's "Dzanc National Workshop Day," a fundraising event to support the DZANC's "charitable programs which, in part, bring creative writing programs to students who could not otherwise afford the opportunity." Should be a hoot. I'm doing the flash workshop.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Everyday Genius Line-Up, March 8-12 2010

Gonna be a weird week at


You are less attractive than I am. If panties are to be wetted for this, then I will be the master of the waterworks

—from Ben White's "Milestones"


an unending landscape of glue and glue and glue

—from Tara Laskowski's "Day 72"


Those were some muscles he had and Sally Potawatomi wanted to eat them

—from Gabriel Orgease's "For Three Days They Were Not Able to Identify a Body That Had No Arm"


They measure her body for the sake of the artists, then they build a barge and sail her corpse east

—from Danny Collier's "Ouch" & "His fortune gone . . ."


You may find her grunting on the floor, in the manner of a goat, to find what she let fall and roll under the table

—from Donna D. Vitucci's "The Woman"

Friday, March 5, 2010

March has ADHD

We will all need personal assistants to keep March organized.

Very pleased that Short Story Reader has noticed "Rot." Thank for the heads up, E.

The vsf blog has been quiet for a while, but today Tara L. Masih, editor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction and author of Where the Dog Star Never Glows: Stories, talks about formal variety within collections with the great Jayne Anne Phillips (Black Tickets changed your life, didn't it?) and Press 53 publisher, Kevin Watson.

Oh and one other thing--Barry Graham rocks Everyday Genius with "!3 Ways of Looking at a Roadtrip"

Thursday, March 4, 2010

New "story"????? up at The Northville Review

My "Annotation of 'Who Killed Lord Darnley'" is up at the March issue of The Northville Review, as guest edited by the inspired/inspiring Lauren Becker.

I don't know what to tell you about this piece, and seeing it on-line I'm not sure what I could have been thinking.

I think the piece I have coming out in the next Double Shiny comes from the same strange mood.