Thursday, May 29, 2008

Reading: The Sun, the Iowa Review, Farallon Review

I'm reading my copy of the Iowa Review, where my story "Dry and Yellow" appears and really like all of the writing in it. I'm not much of a critic, but I do find the essays intriguing. Eula Biss's "Time and Distance Overcome" has an interesting take. She (he?) writes about the history of telephone poles and then morphs into some history around the use of telephone poles for lynchings. The stuff you find out on Google! Definitely a disturbing and need-to-know topic. Patricia Hampl's "The Dark Art of Description" looks like a great essay to use with creative writing students. I am also reading a couple of stories from the Sun magazine--comments later because I don't have my copy in front of me. I feel remiss that I haven't ordered a subscription to the Iowa Review before this; it's a solidly good read. Sounds funny when I say that. Getting together a collection of stories centered around the place (IOWA!!!), but don't feel like going back for the all-school reunion. Don't want to spend the money for plane fare for one thing, but I would like to see my folks and the landscape. Oh well. If you are a student taking my class this summer at the writing salon, feel free to drop me a line about questions or concerns you have regarding the class. It starts in July.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Yeah, Finalist for the HUdson Prize

Yeah, I'm a finalist for the Hudson Prize. This is short story collection or poetry collection prize. There are quite a few finalists, but keep your fingers crossed for me. Don't be a hater. My collection is called Still Slipping on the Ice. If you want to know more about Black Lawrence Press and their other contests go to--

Sunday, May 11, 2008

May 2oth at the BAZAAR CAFE: FARALLON REVIEW Reading at seven

Dear Friends,

Come to the Bazaar Cafe on California Street in SF for a reading on the 20th. We'll be reading selections from the new Farallon Review ( It's a new SF magazine that has some very interesting stories in it. My story is called "A Good Swim." And I'll be giving a little teaser from that story.

I'm waiting anxiously for my copy of the Iowa Review to see my story "Dry and Yellow" in print.

As for what I'm reading--I got a free copy of the most recent Glimmertrain and was impressed once again by the quality writing in that mag. "The Closer You Were The Less You Knew" is an interesting 9/11 story. (At times, I did feel it was a little too novelistic, as if trying to shove too much into a short story, but I ended up liking it.) I also have a copy of Georgetown Review, which I think really suits my tastes--lots of stories about real people. I like Brady Rhoades's story "Home Inspection"--a realistic/sci-fiish story that blends fantasy and reality really well. Read Neil Crabtree's story (sorry, I forget the name of it at the moment) on VerbSap. It was nominated for the StorySouth's notables list and I recall enjoying it when I read it. I don't want to switch over and find it--I lose my post too easily. All right, I'm going to go look for it right now.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Keep reading about publishing this morning and feeling that familiar anxiety that comes up after investigating lit mags and venues for publishing collections. It gets so bad I don't feel like writing. I need to break my morning routine of looking at on Saturday and Sunday mornings. I get super-discouraged about writing. Life was better when I wrote and wrote stories, but wasn't trying to get anything published. I had no knowledge of publishers, lit mags, on-line venues, e-books. I wrote for the love of it. I guess I'm too far gone to go back to those days: the pre-publishing days. I wouldn't want to wrote those stories again, but there was something about just writing for the love of it. Even this self-reflexive writing on-line is replacing the private and somehow magical journal writing I did in the morning. Are you feeling this?

Friday, May 2, 2008

Back pain and Literature

Okay, so I go to get an injection in my back and the doctor says that I have arthritis in my L4 joint. What exactly does that mean? I say. She says, you have no cartilage left between these two bones. I can't see any. OUCH! So she gives me an injection there to see if that's the spot and now we wait. The funny thing is--people respond to my back pain entry, but not to comments about writing. This is what's happening to us--we're getting older. The problem is, all the doctors kept saying, but you're not old enough to have arthritis. I keep telling them--aerobics! I taught aerobics for twenty years: high-impact, step, low-impact, you name it. I ran for so long, I broke my foot in two places. Now, all I can do is walk. I guess I'm going to have to switch to swimming or yoga.