My field guide to uncommon punctuation, an addendum to my piece, “A Field Guide to Common Punctuation,” is up at McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Thanks to McSweeney’s for the honor and to The New York Daily News for featuring the piece and to The Paris Review for recommending it. I’m basically an authority on punctuation, guys. And I’m writing humor regularly now, too, which is, like, fun.
In other news, I’ve moved to Bloomington, IN, which–I’m pretty sure–has a gay population that exceeds its deer population. Which is new for me. And which I love. I’ve been hanging out with the talented Doug Paul Case, whose work you should go read. Keep a finger on the pulse of this program. These folks are hugely talented; I’m lucky to be around them!
McSweeney’s Internet Tendency recently ran my piece, “Emerging Writers Emerge from Their Cocoons” and they’ve accepted another, “Monologue: Your First Short Story Speaks” (which will run sometime next week). Feeling lucky. Thanks to Chris Monks and the great folks at McSweeney’s. They’ve decided they love me, and I’ve decided to love them back. We’re in a committed relationship. It’s kind of a thing.
The great Lee Ann Roripaugh recently accepted my short story, “Slow Exposure,” for publication in South Dakota Review. I’m honored to have the story forthcoming in SDR’s 50th anniversary issue. The piece has been in the works for just over two years and is a conflation of many things: my interest in the preservation of memory (or the forms that preservation takes), the Maine wilderness my grandfather loved, the piercing regret of having forgotten to tend to relationships that matter most. Light stuff. But in any case, I’m very happy for it to have found a home in SDR’s pages and look forward to what I’m sure will be a stellar issue.
I’m very excited to be headed to Indiana University this fall to start work toward my MFA in fiction writing. I once heard Bloomington is the Oz of Indiana. So expectations are admittedly high. The decision was a difficult one; saying no to Columbia and Notre Dame was especially hard. I was fortunate to have great options.
McSweeney’s Internet Tendency recently ran one of my pieces; thanks to Chris Monks for the honor. The site is updated daily with new (and hilarious) content. One of my favorites from the archive, “It’s Not You, It’s Quantatitive Cost-Benefit Analysis,” can be found here. I have also vowed never to become one of those people who ambiguously writes “McSweeney’s” into their bios, as if to suggest they’ve maybe been published in the Quarterly (which is also great and recently featured the brilliant story “Dog Bites” by Ricardo Nuila. Which you should find a copy of and read.)
If you’re reading this, and you write stories, and you’re looking to submit a story to a magazine that routinely publishes astonishing fiction: consider sending to Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading before the May first deadline. Recent stories in EL were written by such literary lights as Kevin Brockmeier, Rick Moody, and Aimee Bender. I’m a reader for the journal but read blind. Which means no names. Not that I can’t see.
I have a story in the new issue of SmokeLong Quarterly. So honored to have the piece selected for inclusion in SmokeLong‘s 10th anniversary anthology alongside stories by Steve Almond, Matt Bell, Dan Chaon, Stuart Dybek, Kathy Fish (writers who have produced some of my favorite work), and others. Talk about exciting. I’m also looking forward to guest editing for SmokeLong in early July.
In other news, Slice Magazine‘s new issue looks downright gorgeous. This really shouldn’t come as a surprise, as all their issues are beautiful. I was thrilled to have a short story appear in issue 11, and meeting the editors at AWP was such a highlight. Behold, and subscribe!
Other writing-related news to speak of: Many kind personal rejections from some of my favorite journals, like Guernica and Memorious. I hope to someday place stories with these magazines. They both publish such compelling fiction. Memorious even said they’ll “talk to me soon,” but I’m not sure what that means. I’m hoping it means they’re sending a consolatory Edible Arrangement, waiting a bit to get in touch for my address. What else could that mean?
Here’s some required reading. It’s a story I return to regularly. An astonishing portrait of a character examined in the act of becoming alone, “M & M World” is one of those stories that must be experienced. Brace for impact. It’s a marvel.