This year has been a new experience for me. After nearly a decade of staring at the screen filled with angst, sending out work, getting some pieces taken and more than most rejected dozens of time before finding a home, I have books coming out. Everything in my life seems to come in waves, and instead of having one book coming out after all that time I’m lucky enough to have three out this year. Now all its all first-day-of-school jitters, that familiar “Will they like me?” pang, and driving forward.
The chapbook is finished, copy-edited, and in the process of being formatted as I write this. While it’s probably best to refer to it as a chapbook, I called it a ‘micro-novel in stories’ since that term feels more appropriate for what the work is. I’ll write more about the whole process of writing it later, but one week from today Bad Kids from Good Schools will be out in the word in both ebook and print format.
Last night I had an hour long conference call will my editor from Foxhead Books about the short story collection. I always thought of the collection as one composed of love stories, but after reading it my editor felt that the theme of work was maybe stronger in the collection and served as the context for all the love stories I wrote. With that in mind we’re tearing the walls out a little, removing the structure, and spending a week considering the order in which the stories should appear in the book. Once we know what order the stories should appear in the collection we will move on to the hard work of cutting them down to bare bones and building them back up. The title might change, but in the end I’m sure the book will be stronger for all our efforts. The publication date for the collection will be set soon, and once it is we will have a better idea as to what time frame we’ll be working under.
Edits for my novel begin in March and April, and I’m eager to get into that project when the time comes.
With all this going on I’m going to spend most of the year working on edits and focusing on smaller projects like short stories and brief essays. I have the start of my next novel underway, and an idea for a YA book, but those will have to wait until I have longer stretches of time to dedicate to them.
I’ll keep you posted.
It’s official. I signed the contract today. My short story collection The Geography of Love will be published this year by Foxhead Books, and I couldn’t be happier. I’ll keep everyone posted as the process goes on, and let you know when it’s out!
Thanks to this great flash fiction piece by Steve Almond I had a legitimate reason to play Tesla in class today.
A nice quote from Tom Waits. One of my favorite songs here.
Nano Fiction’s homepage had a picture of The Flash. I wrote flash about The Flash. It came out in Wrong Tree Review awhile back, but here it is again.
SUPER HERO SUICIDE NOTES
To the Citizens of Central City,
That red glare who pushed you to the sidewalk when the taxi missed you by inches, that streak who moved the revolver’s barrel up as it fired, that stoplight smear of motion who raced all the children through the fire to safety, has to admit that he can’t hack it anymore. The world is slow and I am tired.
Imagine this. You’re stuck in a traffic jam and all the off-ramps are closed. You’re late for a meeting and dying to pee. All the cars ahead crawl. Break light. Inch. Break light. Inches. Break light. You’re built to bolt, and nothing moves. This is every second of my life.
Your world is meant for people who read menus one letter at a time. I can’t save you anymore. Tonight when killers fire their guns in the street, I will not run. I will knock you out of the way and stand my ground. I will freeze still, and be one of you.
Since I wanted to do more this year to support indie lit, and be more active in the community, here’s what I’ve done so far this week:
Bought The Last Repatriate from Nouvella Books;
Subscribed to Nano Fiction (third lit mag subscription so far this year so one resolution checked off the list);
Listened to at least three interviews of small press authors on the Other People podcast (I listen to every show); and
Read “Going Down Like Little Jesus in Sun Hole” in the newest issue of The Collagist (one of the best lit mags on the web).
Also nearly done with the chapbook. More on that to follow.
The University of Cincinnati has a wonderful reading series. For a list of upcoming authors check out this link. Charles Baxter is coming in February!
Check out Vern Lott’s documentary Bad Writing for free this month on Vimeo. It features writers like David Sedaris, George Saunders, Margaret Atwood, and more!
Start your year off right by reading more journals. Blood Lotus issue 26 is now out here! They were kind enough to publish my work a few years ago in issue 10. Great journal.