Exactly a year after the last time, I’m joining the The Disagreement again for their third anniversary. I’ll be reading a brand new piece about extinct megafauna alongside Erin Swan, Elizabeth Clark Wessel, and Ron Kolm.
The Disagreement presents: “It’s like being told you’re obsolete.”
Wednesday, January 13th
I’ve been invited to read “Antarctica”
for The Disagreement
, a curated reading series here in New York. I’ll be reading alongside some other great writers – Alexandra Kleeman, Rumaan Alam, and Marianne Mckey – on the theme of denial.
The Disagreement presents: “I kept telling myself you’re ok; you’re not that bad.”
Tuesday, January 13th
I give a reading about once every five years, but I’m told I’m pretty okay at it. If you’d like to hear a pretty okay reading about lonely research stations, I hope you’ll come by.
Right now the weather forecast predicts ice pellets.
Remember that Antarctica story I was working on? It was picked up by Hobart, and you can now read it here. It’s one of the longer pieces I’ve written lately, but you can probably still read it in under half an hour.
Hobart is a journal I have like liked ever since I spent hours at an old internship reading back issues and looking for authors to solicit. I’m really happy to be a part of it.
I have a very short story in the latest issue of Corium. It’s called “Werewolf”.
I finally sent out that Antarctica story. It’s one of the longer things I’ve worked on lately. I am crossing my fingers and toes that it finds a home.
Sometimes in my job I spend a lot of time playing with numbers and listening to music in a haunted mansion. I bought a notebook and started writing longhand again. I have more space in my life to write than I did when I was juggling three jobs, but I’m still learning how to carve out time for myself. I keep taking on freelance projects and side jobs. I spend some nights and weekends writing things for some people and teaching things to other people. It’s difficult to unlearn the perma-hustle.
In between work and work and running around Brooklyn, I’ve been thinking about comic books. I started listening to Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men on my way to and from work. The X-Men are one of my favorite superhero teams of all time, and I am a sucker for completely bonkers continuity. Comics are a huge influence on how I think about fiction, and I am itching to write some superhero fiction after I get done with the tiny haunted house piece I’m working on.
Dear reader, let me tell you about some excellent happenings.
First and foremost, Unstuck #3 is out in the world and available for purchase. It is an absolutely killer issue full of weird fiction, nonfiction, interviews, and poetry. I’m really excited to see so many returning contributors in this issue, as well as brand new names. There’s one story in particular that really grabbed me when I was reading submissions last year, and I’m super happy that it made it all the way into print.
I’ve got a very short story forthcoming in Corium. It’s a little bit about lycanthropes and a lot about the anxiety of hereditary illnesses. Corium is a journal I’ve long admired. I’m looking forward to being part of one their future issues.
Also, I got myself a full-time job doing something I actually want to do. I started this week. I like it a lot. I don’t talk a lot about my working life in this space, though I did write that one semi-satirical piece about job applications for The Billfold. I’ve been cobbling together temp jobs, contract jobs, and part-time work for the last four years. I think that working one job, as opposed to working 2-4 jobs, is going to leave me with a lot more space in my life to do the things I enjoy doing. I am looking forward to dental insurance and writing on my lunch break.
I spend a lot of time thinking about video game narrative. So as soon as I found out that I would be writing regularly for the Unstuck blog, I knew that I wanted to interview the person who made A Dark Room. That person is Michael Townsend, and you can read our conversation here. The interview is spoiler-free, but I still recommend playing through the game before reading the interview. It’s a great game for a wintery day.
I am snowed in today, so I’m going to spend the afternoon reading for Interfictions, which is open for submissions for the next few days. Later, I’ll send out some of my own work. Later still? Well, probably some video games. I’m working my way through Closure right and thinking about light instead of narrative.
Sometimes I stand in front of words and make wild-eyed faces while visiting friends take my picture.
Sometimes I write words down.
I signed on to be a staff writer for Unstuck’s shiny new blog. My first assignment was “art”, so I wrote about my experience going to Kaiju Big Battel with my apartment’s resident wrestling expert. If giant monster wrestling and narratology are things you like, you may enjoy reading “Real People in Fake Monster Costumes”.
I’ll be writing about a different topic once a month. Non-fiction isn’t something I feel super comfortable with. That’s one of the many reasons this blog tends to languish for months at a time. I do, however, love deadlines. I think this will be a nice way to dragging me away from my comfort zone while getting me to actually write about all those neat things I’ve been meaning to write about.
It’s that time again. I’m participating in this year’s Clarion West Write-a-thon. The Write-a-thon runs for six weeks: June 23rd through August 3rd. My goal this year is the same modest goal I had last year: complete and polish a story. Maybe two, if I press my nose to the grindstone. In the spirit of Clarion West, I’m working on something science fictional. My secondary goal is to form some better writing habits. I’m going to try to work for an hour a day, five days a week. By the end of the six weeks, hopefully I’ll have made working on my own projects a solid part of my workweek.
I’ll be posting here about my progress and process.
You can sponsor me, if you like. Proceeds benefit the Clarion Foundation.
I just found out via the ever wonderful and supportive NANO Fiction that “Mars” was selected for the Wigleaf Top 50. From a longlist of 200 short short stories, Wigleaf and a selecting editor sifted out their favorite 50 stories from 2012. “Mars” is on that list.
I started reading Wigleaf back in the winter of 2011. I’d recently moved to Austin, TX, and was interning at American Short Fiction, where Callie Collins and Jill Meyers (now of A Strange Object) introduced me to a thousand great sources of new fiction, including Wigleaf. Wigleaf was my introduction to contemporary microfiction, and it’s what sparked my interest in experimenting with very, very short stories.
I’m pleasantly stunned that my story about Mars and not-Mars is included on this list. Many thanks to Wigleaf, to selecting editor Danielle Evans, and to NANO Fiction for taking a chance on this piece in the first place.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have 49 other great stories to read.
Much like a small rodent hoards nuts and seeds for the long winter, I tend to stash away lit journals for a rainy day. My unread journal hoard is starting to outgrow my bedside table, however, and winter is definitely here. I spent the last six years in the mild climes of Oregon and Texas. I left my Brooklyn apartment this afternoon to get groceries and I don’t think I will be leaving my apartment again until the sleet decides to stop doing whatever it is that it thinks it’s doing. Snow does not charm me. It just makes me want to huddle indoors. Good thing I have a bedside table full of lit journals and a cupboard full of tea. Here’s what I’ll be reading this week.
I’ve moved three times in the last six months, so my contributor’s copy of NANO Fiction 6.1 only just reached me. This is the first time I’ve seen my fiction in print outside of college art and lit mags. I’m a feckless youth who cut my writing teeth in undergraduate workshops, and it’s always wonderful to get positive feedback from people who’ve never met me and aren’t socially required to be nice and encouraging. NANO has given this story a lot of support, including making it one of their weekly features. Thanks, NANites.
I got a copy of PEN’s journal when I visited their offices recently, and I’m looking forward to reading some great fiction, essays, and interviews this week.
I’ve been carting my copy of Hobart #13 around for a while, saving it for a special occasion. As Hobart #14 has been out since December, I think it’s time to finally crack it open so that I can order the next issue.
I also received my editor’s copy of Unstuck #2, and I am very excited to curl up with this weighty collection of short fiction and read a journal I’m proud to have helped produced.
What journals are you reading right now?