Monday, November 28, 2011

I actually do know who you are, and where you are from.

My flash piece, I Don't Know Who You Are, appears today in In Between Altered States-19, (the theme of which was denial).

Aleathia Drehmer runs the show both there and at Durable Goods,a printed micro-zine. My story is an excerpt of my unsigned novel, An Angry Therapist's Thursday Appointments. Ethan is one of the characters found within, whose struggles are met often with denial. All I can say about Ethan is this: The kid is going to be a real heartbreaker.

If you are interested in the background of The Who in Cincinnati tragedy, check the link out HERE. Check out the other fine and dark work of Len Kuntz, Shawn Misener, Kevin Ridgeway, Michael Goscinski, Cheryl Ann Gardner, Josh Olsen and Calvin Fantone in this issue.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

At, A Holiday Book List with some great unsung authors

Jon Konrath, author of A Fistful of Pizza, and editor/publisher at Air in the Paragraph Line, offers up a list of books for the Holidays, which includes Treating a Sick Animal: Flash and Micro Fictions.  So, ho, ho, ho....

I've copied and pasted his text below but if you care for his posting, it is found HERE
Your Holiday Shopping List, Should You Choose To Accept It
It’s almost Christmas!  Or it’s almost Hanukkah, and maybe it’s almost Kwanzaa (not sure), and it’s definitely almost the Firestorm, if you worship Satan.  But it’s definitely that time of year where you spend your hard earned money on carefully thought-out presents for all of your family, and maybe get a fruit basket in return.  And a week from today, the criminally insane will converge on local big box stores to beat the shit out of each other to get a crappy DVD player made by slave labor in China out of toxic plastic, that will work for roughly 37 minutes before exploding.
So, you looking for some gifts that aren’t made by children in sweatshops that might actually promote an artist and maybe make a person think?  How about some books?  Here’s my list of books I’ve read lately that aren’t big-6 published, written by people without a massive marketing budget:

  • Small Town Punk by John Sheppard – This is probably one of the best self-published books I’ve ever read.  All of John’s stuff is awesome, and maybe I’m biased because I published Tales of the Peacetime Army.  Make sure to get the original 2002 edition, and not the 1997 abortion. (It’s not in print, but there are many copies floating around for $5, which is the best five bucks you could possibly spend.)

  • Mostly Redneck by Rusty Barnes – I only know him as a friend-of-friend through Timothy Gager, which was enough for me to put down the cash.  This is 18 short stories of hard living in rural Appalachia, and each one is so precisely crafted, with absolutely no waste.  He’s got a way of really haunting you, getting something wedged very deep in your head in a thousand words.  Great stuff.

  • Treating a Sick Animal by Timothy Gager – Speaking of, check out Gager’s latest collection of flash fiction.  It contains 40-some shorter pieces, each just as lethal as the last.  What’s even more amazing than the quality of his writing is the tremendous speed at which he turns out this precision work.  He’s probably written four stories better than anything I’ve ever done in the time it takes me to finish this post.

  • How Some People Like Their Eggs by Sean Lovelace – Lovelace is a writer in Indiana (he teaches at my sister’s alma mater of Ball State) and he has a blog that almost entirely talks about nachos.  There’s two things I like about this chapbook, aside from the quality of the prose.  One is that Lovelace has a way of coming up with very unique forms, twisting and clever structures that make me think, “god DAMN why didn’t I do that?”  (Example: the titular piece is a list of how famous people like their eggs.)  The other thing I like is that this is a real damn chapbook: a carefully designed, really printed on quality paper chapbook.  It’s not just a POD 6×9 trade paperback, which is awesome.

  • Between Panic and Desire by Dinty W. Moore – This is truly awesome creative nonfiction, the telling of a person’s life in hilarious autobiographical sketches, knitted together in a way that tells more than the whole story, and then breaks to throw in some quiz questions or go off on a different tangent.  It’s like a mix of Vonnegut at his best, but replace the aliens with tripping acid at the top of the World Trade Center.

  • Tomorrowland by Grant Bailie – The UPS guy literally showed up with this one as I was typing this post.  It’s a collection of interwoven stories, and looks promising.  I loved his books Cloud 8 and Mortarville, so this looks awesome.

  • Fistful of Pizza by Jon Konrath – Most importantly, buy my damn book!  Nine twisted stories, and it’s only 99 cents on the kindle.  Break in that new Kindle Fire by reading about a parody of the Ben Hur chariot race, filmed with small breed dogs around a set designed like a 1970s Times Square filled with heroin addicts and pornographers.  Also available in print for you luddites.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Certainly not dead....three poems at Dead Mule School of Southern Literature

I'm pleased to find three poems of mine today in the Dead Mule School of Southern Literature.

Dead Mule School of Southern Literature has been around for fifteen years. It started in 1996 and if you observe the comings and goings of literary journals, both in print and on-line, you'll know that they are one of the longest running shows out there. In Dead Mule, each poet and writer writes a southern legacy statement which I fine much more interesting than writing a bio and in some cases more interesting than the actual work. I hope this was not the case for me, as I anticipated this and made my legacy statement very thin in content.

In their 15th Anniversary Issue, Dead Mule features three of my poems: often they fall from the sky, Exposed and Salmon Fishing in Alaska. The first one is about the angels on this earth. The second is about having feelings and emotions, that leave your inner-most self exposed and the last is a really old poem that has finally seen the light of day which I will dedicate to my friends that fished one summer from the University of Delaware.

Monday, November 14, 2011

"Disconcertingly Sexual Writing" but of course there was an update

Heard from Editor, Zachary Block of Squawk Back and my piece, Fireworks, which he called "A disconcertingly sexual prose poem" is in their issue 31.  Then he took it all back, which is a strange thing to do.

You can't read about it HERE--find out why

"Home Invasion" is fifth piece of mine in November to invade your home.

The journal, Fried Chicken and Coffee is not named after Red Sox pitchers Lester, Lackey and Beckett's locker room habits. Just to be clear,  is named after a song by the band Nashville Pussy. and it does my heart good to mention that.

My story, "Home Invasion", which appears in Fried Chicken and Coffee, is a  bit of a leap for me in subject matter, but I blame this on my writing group and a series of writing prompts from "news stories". Siegfried and Roy were in the news that day, as was Dwight Gooden, but when you read this they're not exactly in the story. Instead, it involves a squatter, a mountain lion, a small dog and a woman, who is the dog's owner--so, check it out! (My animal, pie, and sports obsession manage to find their way into this piece.)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Three in

Besides the story in The Midway Journal, more of my work appears today.  U.M.Ph. published a flash piece, "Shooting Them Out" plus two poems, "Back In Boston" and "Her Car is Officially Dead".  Now that's some oomph!

Multiplicity published on Midway Journal today/

Multiplicity is my first piece of flash that has been published since June. For me, that is a long dry spell but things have happened, such as novel writing through April-early July. I did not submit much of anything during that time, unless by request and as they say, "nothing leads to nothing".

Ralph Pennel

Sometimes things fall into place, as I'll tell you about this piece and how it ended up in the hands of the editor. Every Saturday in Somerville, a group of poets nicknamed The Bagel Bards meet, talk writing, and drink lots of coffee. It's a great social/poetry group where everyone is invited. One Saturday in June, Ralph Pennel dropped by to promote The Midway Journal and tell folks that they are open for submissions. Here it is November and Multiplicity is now up and ready to be read. It  features works by Ray Gonzalez,  Elizabeth Aoki, Drew Jennings, Richard Lovejoy, Sarah Katherine McCann, Lucas Pingle, and Phillip Sterling.

This week is big for me. My son is in his High School production of Hairspray , I host my monthly Dire Literary Series, I'm having a birthday and perhaps the most unbelievable event: my one year anniversary of my last drink. At first I worried how my sobriety would effect my writing narrative, plot, or even in my darkest of thoughts, effect my willingness  to write at all?

Multiplicity was one of my earliest flash pieces in my sobriety and I found it interesting how all of the above came together. Keep checking back...the dry spell is over.

P.S.-The kids really own and love rabbits