Ritchie's important, but it ain't Deep Purple without Jon Lord. It's incredible that he survived rock & roll culture in the 60s and 70s, let alone lived to be 71. A Hammond B3 has never sounded sweeter than when it was in the hands of Jon Lord. (Fuck Rick Wakeman.)
I've got a couple new publications up, one a review for J.A. Tyler's newest book Variations of a Brother War and the other a piece of flash fiction that will be in my upcoming short story collection.
Excerpt from my review of Variations of a Brother War (at [PANK]):
This stacking of dualities—of trialities, really, with each character being part fairness and part love and part war—allows Tyler to create depth in small pieces. By cutting up the story and characters into three 100-word sections each on multiple topics and then pasting them back together in the vicinity of their congruent parts, a straightforward love triangle set against the backdrop of the American Civil War gains a certain spongy quality that allow it to breathe and contract and, most importantly, wander.
Excerpt from my short short story "Wide Right Game" (at Jersey Devil Press):
There’s an apartment building I used to steal from when I was old enough to know better but young enough to be forgiven. The people who lived there were described as lower middle class, but bullshit aside they were poor people who owned a few small things like CD players and deep fryers. Often enough they hoarded comic books and sports memorabilia that they refused to part with. Mostly they just buried all their stuff in a pile somewhere and forgot about it.
I'm currently stuck in the hell of asking people who are more known and more talented than I am to blurb my book. I feel like a dickhead writing to people and essentially saying, "Hey, I know you don't know me, but will you read my book--for free--and then think of two sentences worth of really nice things to say about it/me--also for free?" I'm only asking people whose writing I respect, so buttering them up with praise is effortless--I've sent e-mails to people before simply to tell them I admire their work, not even asking for a reply--but I feel like I'm taking advantage of an unspoken fan/artist relationship. I don't have a problem counting on the goodwill of people, especially writers, since we all started at about the same level of not know shit about fuck and we've all had to ask people to blurb our books, but there's a nagging sense of entitlement that I can't seem to get rid of whenever I send an e-mail for a blurb request. I deserve this because I like your work. I know that's not true, and I know I don't feel that way, but I don't want the authors I ask to think I feel that way, either. It's like subtle Midwestern racism: I hope this black person I'm talking to doesn't think I'm racist. Guess what? That's fucking racist.
That said, I'm lucky enough to have three incredible writers already agree to blurb Shake Away These Constant Days. I don't know if it's in good taste to say who it they are--I don't know the social constructs of the indie lit community, the same one that most likely doesn't read my blog and probably doesn't care about me anyways--so to play it safe I'll just say that I've loved and respected their work for a long time, knew immediately upon reading them that they would become an inspiration to me in many forms.
W.P. Kinsella hasn't gotten back to me yet, though. I will say that.
I'm ready to move onto the fourth story in my chapbook, Murmuration. I nailed down a solid first draft of "Cool Tits, Moxie" and I've got my first and last story set in stone. I also decided to pitch this thing as "A Midwest Story Cycle" when it's all complete. Shit like that's important to not exactly creating a mythos, but in rounding out the edges of a persona. I would love to be known as a Midwest writer, someone who writes the sort of stories that the fly-over states can hang their collective hat on, and I think it's my responsibility to plant that seed. It's possible that people would pick up on that right away upon reading the work--the inadvertent celebration of ennui and the prolonged unfulfilled desires are obvious--but I want to write my own history.
You think Bob Dylan is an accident? Come on.
The cover for my book has gone past the "talking about how my book needs a cover" stage to the "Duff started working on the cover for my book" stage. We've decided on a sort of washed-out, layered photograph look, similar to the cover for Elliott Smith's album XO. (Which I like, but didn't really realize they were the same until after we had already decided on the theme.) She's taking the pictures for it this week, and the only thing I told her was to get different shots of people in different states of interaction as well as pictures of people by themselves, all from different distances and angles. I'd also like it to have a cut-out/pasted-on look when it's done, too. Mostly what I want is for it to not look like like some butthole made it in five minutes with stock photos. Really, though, I've got total faith in Duff, despite how often she tells me to fuck off.
Okay, I've got Ted Nugent records to listen to.