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. 

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Oh, "this old thing."---A Pushcart Nomination

My story Death Pool, published in March 2018 by Ink In Thirds was nominated for a Pushcart Award. I originally posted about it HERE. Yes, I've had a lot of reprints or progressions from previously written about work.

Since March 2018 we lost:

Verne Troyer

Verne Troyer
 · 49

January 1st, 1969 - April 21st, 2018

Needed help with depression and alcohol abuse. Came up a little short.







This little nugget and pun is from the website STIFFS. Verne would have been worth 41 points in a death pool---the top point man and money maker for most 2018 pools.

Death Pool is my fifteenth Pushcart Nomination, and my first for 2018. Very grateful to Editor Grace Black for publishing this piece, and then nominating it along with these folks! Good luck to all.

Our Nominations for 2019 – PP
Issue: V2-1
Haiku (poetry)
by Norman Wm. Muise
Issue: V2-2
Golden Hour (prose)
by Shawn McClure
Issue: V2-6
Liza with a “Thank You for Restoring my Sanity” (poetry)
by Steven Crimaldi
Issue: V2-6
Lost (poetry)
by Joseph Murphy
Issue: V2-6
A Sound Like Falling Snow (prose)
by Cathy Ulrich
Issue: V2-6
Helen Shapiro (prose)
by David McVey

Best Small Fiction  (BSF)

Our Nominations for 2019 – BSF
Issue: V2-1
The Fury of the Filament
by Michael Patrick Brady
Issue: V2-2
Death Pool
by Timothy Gager
Issue: V2-3
Music Absorbs What the Body Can’t
by Meg Tuite
Issue: V2-4
Death in the Afternoon
by Adam Lock
Issue: V2-6
Ryan Gosling’s Heartstrings
by Marisa Crane


Black Friday exclusive----Every Day is Black Friday

Side Note: Have you notices Black Friday seemed to be on every day in November? No need to fight about it 



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Editor of Flash Boulevard Francine Witt wrote, Nancy Stohlman, Meg Pokrass, Paul Beckman, and myself for a special feature in FLASH BOULEVARD, since we all had had books published this year. 

Each week, for four weeks, Flash Boulevard will run a few  stories (author selection) from our books. The stories should total 1200 words, but no less than 800. 

Today, November 24, my stories ran. I picked After the Afterlife, A Modern Form of Disorderly Conduct (both previously on Right Hand Pointing), and Touching All The Bases (from Breakwater Review)

Please enjoy them here and consider purchasing Every Day There is Something About Elephants (since you've just read between 2-3% of the book. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Updated Massachusetts readings 2018-2019--One comes with dinner!





November 26, 2018 Plymouth, MA

Author Read Thon, 7:00 PM

Plymouth Public Library
132 South St,
Plymouth, Ma


Reading and discussion with authors

Terry Kole, illustrator of The Tales of Alex the Cape Cod Ant
and The First Day of School by W. M. Burnett

and Jonathan Villaire, author of The Stepford Employee Fallacy




February 6, 2019 South Weymouth, Ma

Speaking appearance at Writers' Work, 6-9 PM

Hearth n' Kettle Restaurant
Route 18
Weymouth, Ma

$25 which includes
Dinner buffet, salad, rolls, non-alcoholic beverages, dessert

Books will be available



February 27, 2019 Lynn, MA

Speak Up at the Walnut Street Cafe, 7:30 PM

Walnut Street Cafe
157 Walnut St,
Lynn, Ma



May 26, 2019 Marshfield, MA

North River Arts Festival, 1:00 PM

Walnut Street Cafe
157 Old Main St,
Marshfield Hills, Ma


Reading with Dana Rowe, Gloria Mindock and Patricia Gomes

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Review of "Elephants" by Leah Brundige reprinted in Somerville Times


To read or re-read it go to their online link
or read it here below...

‘Every Day There Is Something about Elephants’ by Timothy Gager

On October 24, 2018, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times
*
Here is a review of Somerville writer Timothy Gager’s latest collection of flash fiction: Every Day There Is Something About Elephants (Big Table Publishing)
Review by Leah Brundige
     Timothy Gager’s engaging new collection of flash fiction, Every Day There Is Something about Elephants, shows a novelist’s interest in human interactions and vivid details coupled with a poet’s gifts for compression and figurative language. The book’s 107 stories vary in tone, scope, and length, but none is longer than four pages. Some – such as The Lottery Winner, a tour de force at just a page in a half – deploy and develop an extraordinary number of characters relative to their size, while others navigate the constraints on their length by more poetic means, turning on a single pun (Chiller) or extended metaphor (How penguins break). The reader is carried along by their expert pacing and, in many cases, by their sheer shock value. Gager is a master of the twist ending.

     The subject matter of these short-shorts is often harrowing, and the author is unafraid to write with sympathy, if not approval, of the seedier sides of human nature and society. Abused or addicted, homicidal or lecherous, his characters command our attention as they grope through their flawed lives toward connection or transcendence. Gager is frugal with his imagery, but he knows how to illuminate a character’s plight with a painful, well-chosen detail when the story calls for it: You burned your lips on a crack pipe, without the warning: The glass on this pipe reaches extreme temperatures. Handle with care. You didn’t care. The blisters popped and fused your lips together.
    
     The gritty realism of that terrible last sentence might seem at first glance to be at odds with another strain that runs through Gager’s work: a domestic surrealism that at times borders on whimsy. The elephant-haunted narrator of the collection’s title story recounts details that at first seem merely absurd (“How did I know an elephant had been in the refrigerator? He left his footprint in the cheesecake”) but become more disquieting as the narrative progresses, until we realize that the “elephants” are manifestations of the character’s mental disturbance. The conclusion brings the elephant metaphor to chilling culmination and unsettles the reader with all that it leaves unsaid. The story recalls Ernest Hemingway’s famous Hills like White Elephants, another piece of short fiction animated by its pachydermal symbolism, though the judicious silences in Gager’s narrative threaten to make Hemingway’s measured withholding of information look like a parlor trick.

     If the familiar concerns of Gager’s fiction – domestic violence, firearms, and drinking among them – recur frequently in these stories, they never feel repetitive. Gager’s imaginative resources are considerable, and imbue each piece with its own freshness of character or circumstance. They are stories that, however grim on the surface, rejoice in their own brevity and technique. This immensely readable book affirms the prolific Gager’s literary gifts, and showcases a kind of short story that seems, by the collection’s end, entirely his own.
 
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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

I dissect the poem "Sobriety" in Chris Rice Cooper's Art and Humanity Blog

CHRIS RICE COOPER is a newspaper writer, feature stories writer, poet, fiction writer, photographer, and painter. She has a Bachelor's in Criminal Justice and completed all of her poetry and fiction workshops required for her Master’s in Creative Writing with a focus on poetry. She, her husband Wayne, sons Nicholas and Caleb, cats Nation and Alaska reside in the St. Louis area.

In her blog she has a segment called Backstory of a Poem, in which she and I discuss my poem Sobriety. 

It's pretty cool, to be honest, to talk about a single poem, so check the link and read the words. Chris in her blog has included some photos from my Facebook archives, which is a strange thing to say-Facebook archives.  This one was from my unloading my dinner from the microwave series. I was starving, as documented by the hidden camera. 



Oh, and when she contacted she was kind enough to include this:


Dear Timothy The piece is all set to go. I'll wait to hear from you about the photo and then post. And if the photo doesn't work out that's okay too. I admire you for overcoming alcohol addiction. There are so many good people that fall into that addiction. So I applaud you!
Christal Ann Rice Cooper

Cheers (with coffee or Dr. pepper of course) To you Chris


Here's the poem Chris and I discussed


Sunday, October 7, 2018

The Final Dire Lineup. I hate long goodbyes and also long blogs, but I love these people

On Friday October 12, at 7 PM, I will host my final Dire Literary Series. It's at the cafe within The Center for the Arts at the Armory in Somerville. It's also at the Cervena Barva studio in the basement at the Armory if there is an overflow crowd. I'm not sure if I should count these as two events.

So the readers will read twice, once upstairs once downstairs switching at the break. You, the wonderful audience DOES NOT GET TO SEE YOUR FAVORITE AUTHOR TWICE, because that will fuck up the room capacity and someone else will be displaced.

So come early. No open mic and don't be a fucker


Originally at the series I didn't read bios. I gave impressions. Good idea but I did many of these drunk. Bad idea. In the spirit of that (impressions, not being drunk) here are the bios for my final edition of the Dire Literary Series.

UPSTAIRS at 7 PM and downstairs after the break are

 Amy Dresner, author of the memoir, My Fair Junkie,  which chronicles her addictions and recovery from various substances. It was named one of the best memoirs about addiction of all time. Also soon it will be a television series. I did a reading with her in Los Angeles. She is the real deal, and a superstar in the recovery world. This is her debut Dire reading.

 Doug Holder. My partner in the Somerville News Writers Festival, and the boss of everything Ibbetson. Doug published two of my poetry books, but first and foremost he is a wonderful poet. I wouldn't do this event without him!  This is his third Dire reading.

 Elizabeth Graver read from The Honey Thief at one of the early Dire series events, at least fifteen years ago . Her work has been anthologized in Best American Short Stories (1991, 2001); Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards (1994, 1996, 2001); The Pushcart Prize Anthology (2001), and Best American Essays (1998). Her story "The Mourning Door" was awarded the Cohen Prize from Ploughshares Magazine.



Hannah Larrabee is a self-admitted science geek, so being one of 22 artists selected by NASA to see the James Webb Space Telescope, and having her JWST poems were displayed at Goddard Space Center is right up her alley. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of New Hampshire. Hannah is a two time Dire reader. 

DOWNSTAIRS at 7 PM and upstairs after the break are



 Nadine Darling and I wrote in an on-line group about as long as the Dire Series has existed. She featured twice at the Dire Series, the last time was for the release of her book, She Came From Beyond! We are both pop culture freaks and fans of The Match Game and The Gong Show. The night of her book party we played The Match Game live at the Out of the Blue. You can watch that right HERE It's sort of hilarious.

 Renuka Raghaven is a poet who shares a publisher with me. She is part of Big Table and is the fiction review editor for Cervena Barva Press. He young daughter will steal the show if you allow her to read. This is her first Dire feature.

Rusty Barnes is such a great guy and good friend. Our publishing careers have followed similar paths, but he seems that he always got there before I did. He has had his hand in Night Train, Fried Chicken and Coffee, Live Nude Poems, and Tough. He has written seven books and he has featured at Dire four times. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Grateful to the Northern New England Review from Franklin Pierce University for publishing a poem of mine.


The Northern New England Review edited by Margot Douaihy, with assistants Joseph Lehmann and John Schwaikert, under the advisement of Donna Decker, Sarah Dangelantonio and Alan Shulte accepted Concerto for their 38th Volume.  Thanks to all!



Fun fact: In a shout out to that school,  Hawkeye Pierce from M*A*S*H*'s  birth name was taken from a member of writer Richard Hooker's own family named Franklin Pierce, who was named after the same person the college named itself after. Hawkeye fictionally attended Androscoggin College.



Thursday, September 13, 2018

Happy to be the guest on the Additionary Podcast: Episode 61, with Maegan , Bobby

I'm pretty non-anonymous regarding my own Twelve Step Program. My feeling is that it puts me in a position to help others. Today The Addictionary Podcast released their interview with me. It features Maegan and Bobby, a father and daughter, who also remain non-anomymous. They are Massachusetts folks but they have featured writers, musicians, Ph D psychologists on addiction studies etc.. There are some great episodes all available Google Play and the Apple App Store. Listen to them all!

Here's their description: Boston’s own father-daughter recovery team bring it to you straight, no chaser! Maegan and Bobby give an uncensored, open-minded and personal take on all things addiction, recovery and beyond. They share their opinions and embrace differing perspectives because there is room for everyone. The show demonstrates the vitality of different pathways to recovery!


Click this link and listen for free. I'm on at about the 39 minute mark. It was surprising how easy it was talking to Maegan as well. She and Bobby are awesome. Recorded during dinner, at the 56 minute mark you can hear me chewing 

Here's some of the other greatest hits of the podcast:

"Twenty - Six Pack was a cluster fuck of short stories..."

"She was like 'oh no.' when she figured out I was not a social drinker." 

"I lost my friends figuratively, metaphorically and they were gone physically."


"I'm really attracted to the"fun" drama"
"In the back of my head I'm thinking, "What's up, fuckface?"
"Take your Joan Baez and blow it in the wind."