New story “An Immense Desert” in Mojave River Review

July 14th, 2014 — 3:53pm

Excited to have my story “An Immense Desert” in the Summer 2014 issue of Mojave River Review:

“I tried to kill myself,” I told her. We were holding hands drinking expensive juices made with wheatgrass and she didn’t look over at me, just kept sipping hers. “I’m serious.”

“I don’t know what you want me to say to that,” she said. “What can I even say?”

“I just wanted you to know.”

MRR’s a great journal, and this is a jam-packed-full-of-goodness issue. Check it out.

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MG Issue 14 + The Lake Prize

July 2nd, 2014 — 12:57pm

Two cool things:

Midwestern Gothic Issue 14 (Summer 2014) has arrived and it is a cornucopia of goodness. Or whatever the summer equivalent of a cornucopia is. A picnic basket, maybe? Anyway, I’m really proud of this one, and I am madly, deeply in love with the cover.

Next, MG’s next endeavor: The Lake Prize.

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Basically, this is a way for us to give back to everyone who’s supported us. I love the Midwest—like, a lot…I try to champion it wherever I go and I’m sure people get sick of it, but this is who I am—and the idea of supporting writing and writers from the region in this whole other way is electrifying.

Also, some cool prizes: Grand prizes include $500 and publication in Issue 16 of Midwestern Gothic (one grand prize each for fiction and poetry), and runners-up will receive $100 and publication in the same issue (two prizes each for fiction and poetry). On top of that we have some rockstar judges for our inaugural year (Fiction: Ander Monson; Poetry: Mary Biddinger)—and yes, this will be yearly, so lots to be excited about.

We’re looking for the same sorts of things we do for the journal, but one step further: authors need to have a direct (and noticeable) connection to the Midwest, and pieces need to be set here.

Check out the main Lake Prize page for all the info—and please do read all guidelines and whatnot before submitting (just in case).

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Chicago

June 23rd, 2014 — 5:26pm

You know, sometimes I forget how much I love Chicago. Two blocks from Lake Shore Drive and you’d never know it. You’d be hard-pressed to find another city like that.

Plus: Watching rainstorms on a porch in a metropolis? Pretty spectacular.

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New story “Claude” at Luna Luna Magazine

June 19th, 2014 — 12:44pm

I’m delighted to have my story “Claude” up at Luna Luna Magazine as part of their fiction series:

She had a copy of the Paris Review sitting on her coffee table and told me George Plimpton had once tried to pick her mother up in a bar on President’s Day. She had turned him down, of course.

“I mean, she knew who he was,” she said twirling her hair in her fingers, coiling and uncoiling her blonde curls as if they were nothing more than amusements. “She just wasn’t attracted to him.”

A hearty thanks to the edtiors, especially Amanda Miska, for including it. This is a piece I’ve been working on for years, and I have a real soft spot for it. And it really means a lot to be a part of what they’re doing.

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New story “Get Over Here” at Cartridge Lit

June 11th, 2014 — 9:34am

 

Check out my story “Get Over Here”—a nostalgic trip into the golden age of video games—over at the wonderful Cartridge Lit:

“Are you kidding? Have you played Mortal Kombat  without blood? It’s…” I stopped, thought of the right word. “It’s pointless.”

Thanks to the editors of this fine journal for including my piece. Really love what they’re doing. I mean, video games + literature just go together, you know? They have a gorgeous aesthetic and some unbelievably good content, and I’m honored to be a part of it.

Plus: Love this graphic they put together. Yes.

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Momofuku

June 6th, 2014 — 8:03am

I was delighted to to check out Momofuku Noodle Bar in Manhattan recently. It’s been on my list of places to eat at since I first heard about it. Plus: I’m in love with David Chang’s Lucky Peach, which, I think, has some of the consistently best writing out there. So, you know, I was stoked.

Verdict: The pork ramen (below) was incredible. And the Ritz cookie. It was like eating a chewie Ritz cracker coated in sugar (in the best possible way).

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Blue Ruin

May 31st, 2014 — 1:56pm

This movie floored me. A taut revenge thriller the likes of which I haven’t seen in a long, long while (and I watch a lot of revenge thrillers). Also: It was funded on Kickstarter and was actually good. So, you know, it is possible.

Trailer:

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New story “It’s Not Even Past” in Synaesthesia Magazine

May 7th, 2014 — 6:56pm

I’m so, so excited to have my story “It’s Not Even Past” in the Americana issue of Synaesthesia Magazine:

We load the TV in and Caleb rigs it up while I survey the crowd: they’re pasty and cherry-faced and freckled, see more of myself in them than I’d care to. They talk amongst themselves wearing oversized tees and ill-fitting sundresses, lounging and whooping between labored breaths as the sky fires up orange-red in defense of the night.

Synaesthesia Magazine has been one of my favorites for a long while. Each issue is gorgeous, and you can see all the work that went into the design—and I’m a sucker for good design. Even more so, the theme of this issue, Americana, hit home for me, and I was beyond thrilled to learn my story would be included along with so many other talented folks. Definitely worth a flip through, this issue. It’s a good’n.

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Every Kiss A War

April 23rd, 2014 — 12:40pm

every_kiss_FINAL_storeimg_400wEarly this year I was honored to be asked by Leesa Cross-Smith—an author you need to know—if I’d be willing to read and blurb an advanced copy of her debut collection, Every Kiss A War. Already a huge fan of her work, I gladly accepted. And here’s what I said:

“Leesa Cross-Smith’s Every Kiss A War is an emotional battlefield, a perfectly written anatomy of the human condition—the good, the bad, the quiet moments that define our relationships—that you can’t help but pick yourself out in the pages, can’t help but be pulled into her sumptuous writing, her words becoming your favorite quilt to cover you from the cold.”

Leesa’s writing, her use of language, is just astounding. It’s lyrical and raw in the best way and each story in this collection is just perfect—legitimately, there isn’t an ounce of fat to cut here. She has a unique voice, one all her own, and it’s exciting to see her get the attention she so deserves.

You can order a copy of Every Kiss A War from Mojave River Press.

In addition, the fine folks at Red 14 Films made an incredibly beautiful book trailer for her collection, which you can watch below.

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New story “Hungry Ghosts” at Cedars

April 22nd, 2014 — 1:29pm

I’m delighted to have my story “Hungry Ghosts” in Issue 5 (Spring 2014) of the online literary journal Cedars:

I decide after Jill and I have dinner at her flat and smoke an enormous joint that I need to call Tyler, a conversation I’m not particularly looking forward to. I leave and she’s not happy, but I tell her I have homework and we kiss a little bit standing by her door. She tries to grab my crotch to entice me to stay, pleading with that crooked smile. I leave anyway.

And of course, many thanks to everyone at Cedars for publishing this one!

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