Friday, June 25, 2010

Project idea

I'm busy with my novel revision this summer, but I did have a great idea for a novella in flash or verse: the story of a smiley-fiction-writer-family-man who drops off the indie-lit radar for months on end to get caught up on his serial killing (once a passion, now a tedious duty). He seizes the chance to combine both vocations when the AWP Conference comes to his home town one frosty February in the future.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Some days are too much

Here's a blurry pic of me at the 510 reading in Baltimore yesterday. Do I look insane enough? The GIANT HEAD in the foreground is one of Timothy Gager's relatives, I believe.

I'm up at 4 this morning, freaking blogging. Yesterday was too full, kicking off with news (not good/not bad) that made it near impossible to focus and enjoy the riches of the day. Here's hoping today brings a bit of perspective. I won't go into detail about the news except to say that I received some amazing notes about my novel, but moving forward means serious revision, and even then the future is iffy. This kind of situation usually energizes the hell out of me, but the wave hasn't struck yet.

Prick of the Spindle
4.2 went live yesterday, and the issue is the first that I have been fully involved in as the newly minted Fiction Editor. For Father's Day, I recommend Carmen Lau's "Taking Care," one of my favorite pieces in the issue. Also, DO NOT MISS Art Taylor's "Mrs. Marple and the Hit-and-Run," a story that does something completely new and lovely with sleuth narrative. In the poetry section, Lucy Jilka has three featured pieces that will knock you flat, and over in interviews I'm talking to Danny Collier about his web poetry project, An Abbreviated Family Dictionary. This issue also marks my official debut as a reviewer. Erin McKnight and I dogpile Michelle Reale's chap, Natural Habitat, with two reviews, and I've also reviewed Jacob Paul's novel Sarah/Sara.

Late in the day we headed off to Baltimore, to the fantastic Minas Gallery for the last 510 reading before summer break. Thank you Jen Michalski for inviting me out to read with Timothy Gager, Bill Black, and Curtis Smith, and I apologize for our group ADHD. I do regret not joining the crowd for dinner after, but my head was swimming with too much weird to do any socializing.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Just putting this pic up to provoke Jason J. Harriet is doing well in her second week of broke-leg boredom and has been upgraded from the pink to yellow bandage (not really an upgrade, but don't tell her that). She has at least 3 more weeks of this crap. The vet told us to keep her "still". Oh yeah? she's a 10 month old kitten, with an 11 month old kitten soul mate. She is still an expert climber, but not such a good getting-down-er.

In other news, it looks like I'm going to be in the year end Moon Milk Review anthology, which is thrilling. I met MMR editor Rae Bryant at the Dzanc National Workshop Day fund raiser workshop sponsored by Barrelhouse back in March, where we discovered we shared a lot of common ideas about new fiction. I LOVE MMR, and I'm really stoked about this.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

510 Reading Series, June 19--Me and some real writers

I'll be in Baltimore this Saturday for a 510 Reading along with Curtis Smith, Timothy Gager, and Bill Black. I'm pretty sure that I'm the weak sister in this line-up, seeing as I don't have a book. So I went out and bought an outrageous witch-style blouse. Imagine this in drippy font: You Will Remember Meeeeee . . .

Geographically, Baltimore is not that far away, but psychically? Holy crap, the things they do with words.

Hope to see you there--I'll be the crazy lady in the silly tunic.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pank Little Books: ETHEL!!!!!

It's already shaping up to be an interesting week. Not only am I reading for SLQ, last night I found out that I made the shortlist of finalists for the second year of Pank's Little Books series. Last year they published Aaron Burch’s HOW TO TAKE YOURSELF APART, HOW TO MAKE YOURSELF ANEW, a sweet book gorgeously produced. Like a lot of writers lately, I'm a wee bit frustrated by the crickety silence out there--making the finals is more than I hoped for.

This year they are publishing three books by these fine writers: Matt Salesses, Nicolle Elizabeth, and (drum-roll): ETHEL ROHAN. That Ethel is getting Hard to Say published has Crabtree & Evelyn-reeking fists pumping in the air all over indie-ana. Really, it means a lot to us.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

I AM This Week's Reader @ Smokelong Quarterly!!

So excited to be the guest editor reading submissions that come in Monday, June 7 to Sunday, June 13 for the Smokelong Weekly feature at SLQ. I think these come in blind, but I'm not sure. I hope I pick someone totally insane.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Write me this?

I can't find anything at Borders that tickles my fancy, so maybe someone will do up a custom job for me? An evolving list of what bits I want in a novel right now:

-220 pages. 178 even better. 178 pages is my favorite length.

-Gothic mouth feel

-Black comedy

-GREEN and shadowy. Belize? Ireland?

-Discovery in a box of photographs YES, in a box of documents NO

-Characters who make decisions

-Characters who are smarter than me

-Characters with physical features that could either bug you or turn you on, depending on your mood (broken nose, wonky eye, ape torso, etc)

-3rd person narrator fluent in wit and steam

-PIE. I don’t like pie in real life, but in novels I love pies

-Wrath, pride, lust, envy, gluttony. Greed and sloth not so much.

-Accidental interrogations

-Woman against nature

-Philadelphia Story with middle class psychopaths

-“Say something once, why say it again!?”

-Adult siblings with intense relationships YES, Dynasties with fearsome blank-riarchs NO

-Water—a lake or an ocean. Not a river.

-Beverages, patio living

-A long held secret that is not be about child abuse. geez

-Fortune, not fate

-A broad view, narrow focus

-Disorganized crime

-Unusual hobbies, explained quite a bit

-Jolly godlessness

-A genuine finish. There Will Be Blood, yeah?