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No Record Press has just posted my story, “Car Dodging.” More importantly, the editor for No Record Press, Miles Newbold Clark, has written a fantastic novel called None of This Will Do. Now What? which I called, in my Depraved Press review, “one of the best novels of 2007.” I know what you are thinking – favors, right? – but know that I didn’t even know about None of This Will Do. Now What? until Mr. Clark notified me that my story would appear at No Record.

So, read None of This Will Do. Now What?, first. Then, if you have time and energy enough after taking in that true work of art, head over to No Record Press to read my story, “Car Dodging.”

Here’s the author notes on the story:

Easily one of the most polarizing intros I’ve ever written. I love this intro, and though it might be admittedly shock-driven, it still serves the greater story.

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I thought I’d do something different this time around. I recently read Jeremy Robert Johnson’s story collection “Angeldust Apocalypse” (which is absolutely amazing); with it JRJ does something unique. At the end of the collection he as a section called Author’s Notes, which are a series of anecdotal behind-the-scenes snippets on each story. Here’s hoping it catches on.

So, with my newest publication I figure I would do the same. Present Magazine has just posted my story “Dry Dot.” Here’s the thoughts:

At every rain I wonder—though the drop patterns are likely random—if there is a single spot somewhere within the downpour where no drop falls; where the concrete remains dry. Give water’s tendency to pool together, could there be an untouched dot? Further, how would we explain it? Science? Maybe, but wouldn’t that argument just be destroyed by politics? Global warming, anyone? It seems even the earth is subject to abiding by the party with the most supporters.

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When a man in a suit made of cockroaches meets a man in a suit made of Twinkies — well, that’s about as easy as subtraction gets.

From Jeremy Robert Johnson’s Extinction Journals

About a year ago I came across this novella, fell in love, then promptly forgot it in favor of my ever-increasing to-read stack. Shame, really. Recently (today, actually) I revisited the story, coming away from the experience with all the enthusiasm I had after the original read.Extinction Journals cover

Extinction Journals manages the high-concept, visceral storytelling consistent with Bizarro literature, but delivers in addition, literary quality unfortunately uncommon with a lot of work in the same genre. The literal tale is of a man, the sole survivor of a nuclear cataclysm, searching the country for survivors in a suit made of cockroaches. The deeper tale explores survivor’s will, collective consciousness, and how the two working together can be an apt gateway to the primal instincts forgotten in a world that would destroy itself with it’s own creations (while also managing to touch on snark-less political commentary).… Read the rest

Via the work of Stephen Graham Jones, author of tomes and short stories alike, I came upon Word Riot, an online literary magazine showcasing some of the best short fiction around. Diving further I came upon former fiction co-editor of Word Riot, David Barringer’s story collection “We Were Ugly So We Made Beautiful Things.” This brief work (68 pages) absolutely below me away. I knew, after reading that collection, that I had to be a part of whatever Barringer had his hands in.

 

Luckily, Word Riot considered my words suitable. Appearing now is my short fiction piece, “Our Guy.” Skim it, then immediately buy “We Were Ugly…” (if not for the stories, do it for purposes of understanding what the title of this post means).

 

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Word Riot is a Monthly online literary magazine with a notable book catalog under the Word Riot Press imprint.


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The interview is a rare opportunity to experience the inner workings of a person. Unless that person likes to call himself a writer, then the interview is just old news to those who’ve read his stories. Fiction can be the ultimate autobiography, though a structured and controlled autobiography it is. Fiction is makeup.So what’s a writer to do when he wants to wash away the mascara? He answers some questions in an attempt to categorize his life, similar to the desires of the protagonist in Jean-Paul Sartre’s Nausea:

I wanted the moments of my life to follow and order themselves like those of a life remembered.

And like this protagonist the writer understands that “You might as well try and catch time by the tail.”
Oxyfication LinkJason Kane and Justin Holt, both writers themselves, were kind enough to pretend I had interesting things to say, to pretend I had a some thoughts worth organizing.… Read the rest

Flash fiction: feeding a demographic composed of people without much time to read but with plenty of time to think. I used to think of flash fiction as a pompous intellectual commercial; there is something buried in there, but more often than not it doesn’t want you to know what it is. The burden lay with the critic. But then I happened upon a little thing called the internet, where flash fiction has been allow to flourish outside—and even influence—academe. Amy Hempel, an author who writes in a very flash-fiction, minimalist style uses the following lines in her story “The Man in Bogotá,” which textualizes my eventual change nicely:

“It took months. The man had a heart condition, and the kidnappers had to keep the man alive […] He wondered how we know that what happens to us isn’t good.”

The internet has without a doubt promoted the art of flash fiction more than any other medium.… Read the rest

Reaching for conversation I once said to Ron Carlson, author of many short story collections including The Hotel Eden and At the Jim Bridger, after his book reading in Emporia, KS (USA) that touring has got to be one of the best things about being a writer.“No,” he said. “It’s all about the writing.” Yeah, I said, but knowing that people actually want to hear you read has got to stroke your ego just a bit. He insisted still that “it’s all about the writing.”

Okay, so it’s all about the writing, but the occasional piece of fan mail must help push through the days, weeks, months of solitude as the writer writes what he can later claim it was all about. Can I say this from experience? Yes and no.

Last month I received a couple pieces of fan mail. How, I thought, do I have a single fan, let alone a group whose tensions might provoke one member to single him-or-herself out to make such boisterous claim?… Read the rest

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