Sunday, February 28, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Two readers were kind enough to nominate work of mine, "The Long Grass" from Word Riot and "Soft Drugs" from Emprise Review. I am humbled. I made my nomination for "Second Son" a brilliant story that appeared in PANK, by my good friend and partner in publishing crime, Paula Bomer, whose first collection will arrive this fall from Word Riot!!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
This issue is chock-full of goodness, but some highlights for me were "Aubade With No Regrets" by Elisa Gabbert & Kathleen Rooney, "Mantodea" by Matt Bell, "Skunk" by Kyle Minor, "Fallen" by Alicia Gifford, "The Rental Heart" by Kristy Logan, "The Difference" by Meg Pokrass, "Babies on the Shore" by Ethel Rohan, "But You Don't Really Care For Music, Do You?" by Angi Becker Stevens, "Instructional" by Brandi Wells, "Sunday at 3:17" by David Erlewine, "Careful" by Lauren Becker, "Neighbors" by Jen Michalski, and "The Lawn Guard" by Tim Jones-Yelvington
Run, don't walk, to secure your copy of PANK 4, it's more than worth it.
Monday, February 15, 2010
My "high score" continues to grow and is up to 570 days out. Currently I have 39 fiction subs outstanding. 18 of those have been out under 100 days.
As for the job search, I have now applied for 40 jobs. Ranging from more retail stuff like I'm doing now, to editing and technical writing gigs. If I can get anyone at my alma mater to answer me regarding transcripts I'll be applying for a cool-sounding community college gig. Haven't heard word about anything yet.
I can't believe we're into the second half of the month.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
A writer who I think shares my spirit of romanticism is Ted Kooser. For over 20 years he's been writing a Valentine's poem and mailing it to women who sign up to receive it. You can read more about his amazing Valentine's project HERE.
Last year I wrote a Valentine's poem in the spirit of Kooser, and emailed it to every woman in my email address book. I love the idea, I love the spirit of it. Everybody deserves to know they are in the thoughts of another, and that's why this year I've decided that I'm not going to limit it to women. And I'm taking it beyond that. Not only will I be sending a new Valentine's poem to every one in my personal email address and to everyone on my Facebook friends list, but to everyone who emails email@example.com with their email address. All you have to do is send me an email at that address. I will keep this email address going, so people can add their name to the list throughout the year, and only use it once a year to send out the Valentine poem. I encourage you to share this with anybody and everybody. And then when your Valentine arrives in your inbox, know I was thinking of you, that I appreciate you.READ THE FULL POST HERE
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – ANNALEMMA ANNOUNCES THE PUBLICATION OF “HOLIDAY IN CAMBODIA”1.5.10, BROOKLYN, NY - Annalemma Magazine is pleased to announce the release of “Holiday in Cambodia: A Collection of Holiday Stories for a Good Cause.”In the winter of 2007 editor, author, and activist Anne Elizabeth Moore was invited to live to Phnom Penh to teach young Cambodian women how to make zines. She decided make this an ongoing project wherein she returns periodically, meeting with these young women, helping them tell their stories and find their place in country struggling to define itself in the wake of genocide.We thought she had an awesome idea on her hands and we wanted to help her out as much as we could. We put the call out to writers to send us their true stories of holiday drama. Why holiday stories? We felt they reflected the essence of what Anne is trying to accomplish in Cambodia. What better way to let the scars of the past heal than to write about them? What better way to move on than to share your story with the world? Also, “Holiday in Cambodia” made for a catchy title.Talented doesn’t begin to describe the group of writers that occupy the pages of this zine. We were lucky enough to round up Al Burian of Burn Collector fame, playwright Cassandra Lewis, activist and aid worker Liz Grover, Artistically Declined Press editor Ryan W. Bradley and editor of THE2NDHAND, Todd Dills. To read excerpts of their work click here.“Holiday in Cambodia” is currently shipping here. All proceeds from the sale will go directly to Anne’s work. If you’d like more information on Anne’s project click here.This is a limited press. Only 100 will be made. This zine was edited by Chris Heavener, typset by Jen O’Malley and printed in Brooklyn, NY. ANNALEMMA.NET
It is an amazing honor to be a part of this select group of contributors. But better than that, this thing is for a great cause. Go get you some!
(also, thanks to everyone for their kind comments, messages, and emails regarding my last post. the amount of love out there astounds me, and I appreciate it more than you'll ever know.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
This job fell in my lap, too. The store I manage is my mother-in-law's, and before it was hers she worked for the previous owner. This store has been a fixture in the lives of my wife's family. The store has existed for 32 years, and while it won't be closing at the end of this month, its time is coming to an end as well.
Like any job there have been good things and bad. It's the first indoor, non-manual labor job I've had. I had time to read and write, which was invaluable, seeing as it's hard to find the time for such things at home where my first priority is as a father. There were also countless stressful times where I was butting heads with my boss, who I refer to as such in terms of the job, because it wouldn't be fair to lump her roles in my life together. She is a wonderful mother-in-law, and a tolerant, flexible boss. Unfortunately she's also a person who shouldn't be allowed to run a business. Money has been tight for all of my two years running the store, I was only at the job a few months when we started feeling the onset of the recession. In many ways we saw it coming before a lot of businesses. Unfortunately a lot of money has been wasted in these tight times, because my boss refused to change her practices, or listen to my pleas or ideas.
I'll be honest, whatever is ahead scares me. Living in one of the worst states for unemployment, in one of the worst counties for unemployment in that state, is a daunting thing to face. Essentially being stuck in that place only makes it more frustrating. In some ways I am less scared of NOT finding a job at all, than I am of what kind of job I am likely to end up with. Whatever it is will change a lot about my life. I have a small, but happy life. I don't make a lot of money, my family resides well under the poverty line for a family of four, but we make it work (my wife is a genius with a budget). I worry because I can foresee the kind of effect a new job that doesn't have the sort of flexibility working at the bookstore comes with will have on my time to write, to read, and to do the other things I enjoy doing as part of my daily routine.
It's hard to look at myself and realize I've made it to my mid-to-late 20's without any marketable skills, despite having a master's degree. Sometimes it's hard not to think that if I had decided not to go back to college after getting kicked out, that at least I'd probably have a nice desk job by now with the company for whom I pumped gas. I was once told by one of the suits at that company that I was one of their "rising stars." I found that insulting back then. Some people call me cynical, but I'm realistic. My chances of ending up with the kind of job I want (dream job: full time writer (like all of us); slightly more realistic dream job: professor (like a lot of us)) is low. My chance of spending my life working benign jobs in retail, sales, manual labor, etc. are high.
So, now I start the search for that next job. Who knows where it'll lead, who knows what it will mean for anything. It's the great unknowns. It's life. And I'm sorry if all this sounds whiny. I'm still trying to make sense of it.