Thursday, January 17, 2019

"Jack," Nominated for Best Small Fictions Anthology



 Do you know Jack? Jack is a story from Every Day There is Something About Elephants. I'm honored to announce that Big Table Publishing's boss Robin Stratton has nominated Jack to be considered for The Sonder Press/Sonder Review's Best Small Fiction Anthology.

The other nominees are:
Meg Tuite: Today Her Legs Gave Out
Nancy Stohlman: My Past Life Self Won't Stop Following Me Around the Museum
Jane Banning: Asparagus Roots.



Monday, January 7, 2019

A poem in Nixes Mate Review, an ode to University of Delaware food service.

         First read the poem HERE.



and below: The Story Behind the Poem
Russell Dining Hall-open until 2 PM for lunch or upon waking 

          When I attended the University of Delaware, I have to admit, the food was pretty good, plus you could have all the milk you could drink. They, at food services, used to trick us; it was always good-good (choice of london broil or shrimp newburg) or bad-bad (fried fish or cheesy spinach squares). This way there wouldn't be a run on the one good choice, leaving only the bad choice for the late-comer. Lucky for me---I loved cheesy spinach squares, simply adored them, but there was a lot of groaning and complaining on that particular night.

Cheesy Spinach Square
          There was also a lot of dining hall high-jinks we were involved in. First of all, who said there is no free lunch. We pulled it off all the time.  To enter a dining hall, you had to show your meal plan card to the person sitting at a small desk at the entrance. We found if we surrounded the desk with legit paying students, your friend without a plan, and shit-house broke,  could sweep on in, behind the screen. (see diagram below---you and your friends are numbers 66, 70, and 15. The nonpaying guest is number 45. Where CB is, and for simplicity, let's call it Cheese Burger,  is where the food line was located.

   
          The Student Center Dining Hall, my favorite hang, was decorated with large black-and-white foam core posters of Hollywood Stars of yesteryear on the wall. You know, Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Errol Flynn, Dean Martin, Bob Hope and of course, Rin-Tin-Tin.
          Rin-Tin-Tin?
          Yeah, the amazing dog hero. In his poster, Rin-Tin-Tin's  photo had his mouth hanging wide open, and we found if we launched butter pats toward the target, if you were lucky, they would stick to the poster. It was kind of like darts---and we would keep score for the pats in or closest to Rin-Tin-Tin's mouth.

This may be the actual image used in the poster

Stock photo of basic salt-shaker
          Other ways we would keep ourselves amused was to deliver coffee to all our friends, which evolved to asking strangers, on our way up, if they too, would like a cup. The hot coffee would be stacked--cup, saucer, cup, saucer etc. and we got very competitive about the number of cups we could deliver.  Joe Kostecke stacked and delivered twenty-two cups at one time, which was, and is probably the world record. Even more outstanding was he had to dodge balled-up napkins that people were throwing at him. The next day, he dropped twenty-three and we were forced to stop by the authorities.
          Less dangerous pranks involved salt-shakers. If you dumped out the salt and filled the unit with milk, well, milk would pour out, right on someone's fried fish. Also, if you made a little pouch from a napkin, beneath the shaker top, and filled it with hidden pepper---then, surprise, pepper would come out instead.
          Another less dangerous prank involved always buying helium balloons (sold conveniently at  the Student Center) on fried chicken night. Then we would tie pieces of chicken to the balloon's strings and float them around the dining hall. The air-vents above the diners would sometimes force the balloon/chicken to dive bomb an unsuspecting student.
          Perhaps we were a bit of a menace, and the more serious students would be annoyed by us, but the bottom line was that we were very typically immature students having fun,  and  perhaps we were on something, but to me, it was all damn hilarious.


       

Friday, December 28, 2018

2018's Top Ten Blog Posts

          A few years ago the end of the year Top Ten of anything was pretty much named for nearly anything. Cars, movies, songs, and even the worst Top Ten lists get a list. (but it's a video with really annoying Muppet-like characters which are unknown muppets. Hint: If something isn't funny, making it come out of a Muppet's mouth makes it still, not funny. To avoid pain and suffering the picture below doesn't link to the actual video.)

       
          Blogger has an option where I can see the most viewed posts by week, month, year, and all-time.    I don't take it too seriously but here's the Top Ten, from most the most popular, on down, with a little comment about each one. You can also click the red links to read the original post in its entirety.




TOP TEN MOST VIEWED blog posts from 2018. 

Saturday, December 22, 2018

2018- My Year in Publishing




          Much has happened in the past year. 2018 was chaotic, disruptive, and hypocritical, but lets leave politics and socially unacceptable behavior, past and present, out of it. Then again, why would you put "sexually assaulted someone" on a summer calendar anywho, Mr. Kavanaugh? 
          
          Below is a list of what I published and links to various interviews and podcasts from 2018. I also wrote a novel and spent a lot of time this year searching for an agent to represent it. Overall, though the list is small, my acceptance rate was high as the total number of submissions, was rather low. 
          
          There were also readings in Los Angeles, New York, Leicester, Yale University, Worcester, Newton and ten readings in Cambridge and Somerville to close out the Dire Literary Series. 



          For 2019, I have a lot of hope for the future, and I wish the best for my writer friends that they feel progress toward their writing and publishing goals, and most of all, so that they continue to plug away.



BOOKS

Every Day There is Something About Elephants,, March 2018, Big Table Publishing


SHORT, FLASH, AND MICRO FICTION
"After the Afterlife", November 24, 2018 Flash Boulevard
"A Modern Form of Disorderly Conduct"
"Touching All the Bases"

“What Kids Are Scared Of" August 16, 2018 Crack The Spine Print Anthology XVII

"Every Day There Is Something About Elephants", April 7, 2018 Flash Boulevard
"Continuum"
"Simplicity is Beautiful"

"Historic Men Talking By a Fire" March 7, 2018 Oddball Magazine

"Death Pool" March 1, 2018 Ink In Thirds



POETRY
"Concerto"
September 4, 2018 Northern New England Review

"I Remember, August 1967"
"Fear, God Bless My Soul"
September 3, 2018 Anti-Heroin Chic

"Untitled"
May 1, 2018 Ink in Thirds, Vol 2, Issue 3

"My Name is Paul (after Trouble Boys)"
April 1, 2018 Nourish-Poetry, Issue 1

"Concerto"
January 25, 2018 The Long-Islander News 



INTERVIEWS AND PODCASTS

September 13, 2018
August 15, 2018

April 27, 2018

 April 1, 2018

March 11, 2018







Friday, December 7, 2018

Best Books I read in 2018


Hosting the Dire Literary Series and having my own readings puts me in touch with other great writers with great books. Time constraints didn't allow much other outside reading but year I'll have time to actually shop, pick and choose!

Anna Ross 
Figuring

TG-Moving poetry at the micro and macro level









Laura Van Den Berg 
The Third Hotel

 TG-A loss and grief paranormal mystery (would make a great screen series)








Mark Saba
Ghost Tracks 

TG-Short fiction not about paranormal ghosts but the ghosts of a city (Pittsburgh)






 
 Joan Wilking
Mycology

TG-If a tree falls in a forest what happens? Life, death, humor and sadness.







 
 Erica Garza 
Getting Off

 TG-An honest, vulnerable memoir about sex addiction. 








Amy Dresner  
My Fair Junkie

 TG-Funny, gritty, honest. I loved this one.









 

J. D. Scrimgeour
 Themes for English B: A Professor's Education In and Out of Class


 TG-Memoir essays which I bought for it's signature essay about basketball, but remaining essays are just as good.





 
  David Atkinson 

Roses Are Red, Violets Are Stealing Loose Change from My Pockets While I Sleep
 TG-Flash fiction which covered surreal, real and otherwise






 
 Rusty Barnes 
On Broad Sound

TG-Poetry, Revere, Massachusetts themed. The man amazes me with his talent.