Story Acceptance, SmokeLong Guest Editing

I’m honored to have had my story, “Aim for the Heart,” accepted for publication with the brilliant Slice Magazine. The piece is about a pathological liar who lies about being an avid hunter, is coaxed into hunting with his boyfriend, gets a clear shot at a buck and kills it. This news means a lot: I love Slice; this is a longer story; my grandfather loved deer and I’ve been trying to write an impelling story with deer in it for a long time; I feel inexplicably attached to its characters, Bo and Neil. Thrilled! Many thanks to editors Celia and Maria, who are just the best.

I’m now an editorial assistant with Electric Literature‘s Recommended Reading. If you’re not already reading the fantastic work published there weekly, here, let me fix that.

I guest-edited for SmokeLong Quarterly a few months ago and selected Karen Dietrich‘s astonishing “Pierce to Vent.” It’s stunning. Check it out!

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Gargoyle Magazine, NY Daily News, and, like, Other News

My short story, “Things I Do for Leila Stryker,” appears in the new issue of Gargoyle Magazine. There’s a lot of great writing to be found here: Brandi Wells, Rae Bryant, Matthew Burnside, and Christopher Linforth (among others) have astonishing work in these pages. An honor to have my story in this 60th anniversary issue! Thanks to Richard Peabody for accepting the piece.

I have a brief humor piece, “I’m a Comma Splice, Cut Me Some Slack,” up at The New York Daily News. The great Margaret Eby is to thank for this. Thanks, Margaret!

Other fun news: I’ve been buying a lot of shirts. I’m pretty sure I’m becoming allergic to melon. I continue to self-diagnose on WedMD though this has proven to be, without fail, a poor choice. My creative writing students are incredibly talented. I still don’t know how people live without the ocean.

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New McSweeney’s Piece, New City, and Just, like, a Lot of New Things

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!

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Very Exciting News!

A few hours ago I almost fell while running down the stairs in my apartment. This after learning The New Yorker recommended my McSweeney’s piece, “Monologue: Your First Short Story Speaks.” Many thanks to Chris Monks for publishing the piece and to Andrea Denhoed for including it in her literary round-up. What an honor!

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New McSweeney’s IT Piece & Some Other News

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.

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MFA News and Other Things

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.

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SmokeLong Anthology & Other News

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?

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The Inimitable Walbert

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.

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MFA Applications Are In

Preparations were made. Stories were written and rewritten and discarded and rewritten. I had a fever-induced dream about one of my characters. Money was spent. Lots of money was spent. It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. It was the worst of times. Many hours went into the process. But now, I’ve finished. All my transcripts and GRE scores have been sent. All my MFA applications have been submitted.

I applied to programs that genuinely excite me, helmed by faculty whose work I admire. I would be fortunate to attend any of them. The anxiety and trepidation of this process have been negated only by the hour(s) of writing I’ve been managing each night. And the time spent reading each day.

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“Off Trajectory,” Swarm Quarterly

I’m very happy to have my story, “Off Trajectory,” published in The Baltimore Review‘s Fall 2012 issue! Thanks again to Barbara Westwood Diehl, Elise Burke, and the rest of the BR crew for their time with the piece.

In other news: I now have a Twitter handle.

In other news: Swarm‘s site is live! Our inaugural issue is kind of great, and we’ll be unveiling each of our (killer) contributors in the weeks prior to the issue’s release. Check us out!

I’ve been doing a lot of reading. And I typically praise what moves me. But this story arrives with a crescendo; Carol Anshaw’s “The Last Speaker of the Language,” moved me deeply. Find it in BASS 2012. I admire the honesty and resonance, the quiet but forceful way in which Anshaw realizes her protagonist, Darlyn–a woman who must navigate complex relationships with her alcoholic mother, her precocious daughter, and the married woman with whom she wishes to have a lasting relationship. It is a story with a thematic most easily captured by its final bit of dialogue: “The idea is to go higher than the dealer without going over twenty-one.” Finding balance, maintaining balance. These pages are quite the masterpiece.

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