I spent a lot of time listening to Teenage Fanclub in 2007 and became convinced that four chords and nice harmonies were about the only necessities in life.
I've got Stories In the Worst Way by Gary Lutz out on inter-library loan and it's overdue. Do libraries still charge fees for overdue books? "Things happen when you are younger and have it in you to pinpoint your satisfactions." I wish I would have written that sentence.
There are going to be a lot of blog posts coming up in the next month or so. About thirty of them. The plan is to do one a day starting on the 25th of this month. Thirty days, thirty stories, thirty explanations. Because of that, I'll keep this short.
My chapbook, Murmuration, is almost done. I've got one story left to finish, and, with apologies to the band Police Teeth, it'll be called "Pyramid Scheme." It's about rock & roll and being 25 and realizing that one of those things will win and one of those things will lose and that you won't be able to tell which one it was until it doesn't even matter anymore. After this, the book is done. I'll have some tweaking and revising to do to a couple of the stories, but I'm expecting to be able to send this thing out by the fall and recieve some rejections by winter and eventually get pissed and self-publish it by the spring.
Sam Snoek-Brown is on vacation right now and taking the entire collection. We're like the mortal enemies in comic books who need each other to exist. But we're pals, too, and I trust him to make some good edits/comments on my stuff because he's completely addicted to fiction. (He's pretty good at it sometimes, too. His newest prose poem up on the ridiculously-named online journal Visceral Uterus is called "Duel." What a doozie.) Also, he recently turned an age I won't reveal, though I will say that he should be gearing up for some prostate exams.*
In an attempt to keep my author brand fresh and interesting, I'm going to be branching out onto a few more social networking mediums. Never mind I don't really know what an "author brand" is ad that I just wanted to sound official.
So, I'm on Twitter now/again. Follow me. RyanWerner and pretty much every variation--except possibly XxRyanWernerxX, but I'm not a goddamn dickhead, so I didn't even bother trying--were taken. So, @YeahWerner it is. Chelsea Peretti and I already shared a brief moment concerning cats and fingerless gloves. The internet is a wonderful place.
And I'm officially a Goodreads author. Become a fan of me and give my book five stars even if you don't mean it. The page for the book, Shake Away These Constant Days, is here. It's not out yet but you can add it to your "to read" shelf and become a fan of me, of which I have two at the moment. At practice last night, our drummer replaced various lyrics of the song "Sara" by Jefferson Starship with the title of the book, and I can't unhear it.
The first blurb for SATCD has come in, and I'm already loving this whole idea of people I love and respect saying nice things about me for free. This one is by the incredible Sarah Rose Etter, author of Tongue Party, one of the best short story chapbooks I've read in the past few years:
"Each of the stories in Ryan Werner’s Shake Away These Constant Days ends with a sentence that’s a fist to the ribs. The collection builds into repeated shots to the soft part of your guts, a beautiful pummeling. By the end of Shake Away These Constant Days, you won’t even notice the bruises, the missing teeth, the pain. You’ll only want to go another round."
Of course my natural reaction to anyone complimenting me is to adamantly deny it, but I'm trying to be a better person. THank you, Sarah. May the Flyers win lots of hockey games I most likely won't watch.
I recently learned how to do laundry because my mom got headbutted by a horse. She was riding in South Dakota and a hailstorm spooked her horse, who, while being corralled into the trailer, flipped his shit and hit her in the face with his face. His face was significantly larger and harder. Tough break, ma.
bitched at me about a parking ticket I recently got. Then she made me lunch, because my mom is the best mom.
I'm still plugging the writing contest over at HAL Literature that is free to enter and comes with a sweet prize. Here are the details:
"The theme is open to interpretation and can center around China, the history of China, life in China, life after China, life without China, fortune cookies (which actually are not Chinese, but whatever, we don’t care, we are open to anything), grandma’s china plates, Chinese take-out, Shanghai, being shanghaied, stuff for sale at Target, trade deficits, foreign affairs, NAFTA, firecrackers or gunpowder, silk dresses, opium dens or railroads in the American wild west, the struggle of Chinese immigrants to the West, Richard Nixon, Chinatown, or any other conceivable application of the theme ”China.” We might not be ready to read Deadhead stories about China Cat Sunflower, but if that’s what you’ve got, send it in."
Three finalists will be chosen, with first place winner receiving
1) $50 USD, or the converted equivalent to US dollars at the time the award is made
2) publication in Shanghai at www.haliterature.com
3) One copy each of HAL’s Party like it’s 1984: stories from the people’s republic of; and Middle Kingdom Underground: stories from the people’s republic of, as well as a copy, upon publication, of HAL’s forthcoming book I Am Barbie by HAL author W.M. Butler.
4) winning story will be read live, in whole or in part, at a H.A.L. Lit event in Shanghai, China by a regular contributor to HAL residing in Shanghai at the time of the event. Alternately, the winner may travel at his or her expense to perform the piece in person, or send an audio or video recording of the piece along like a literary postcard of freedom and joy.
Second and third place winners will be published online by HAL.
Deadline for entry is September 15, 2012 at midnight Pacific Standard Time. Winners will be announced by October 15, 2012.
Okay, that's it for me. Look for several upcoming book reviews on [PANK], including glowing praise of Sara Levine's Short Dark Oracles and Gregory Sherl's Heavy Petting.