Monday, June 16, 2008

SmokeLong Quarterly's 5th Birthday!

SmokeLong 21 and I'm in it!The new issue of SmokeLong Quarterly is up, and it's a big, fat beauty! Hearty congratulations to SmokeLong, Dave Clapper, its superfine editor, and to all the staff for this glorious 5th Anniversary issue.

Click on the cover to see the writers gracing this issue (okay, I'm in it), then pour yourself a cuppa Joe, a tumbler of scotch, put your feet up and dig in!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Five Star Literary Stories

It's new and it's swell. T. J. Forrester has put together this new and unique literary site and what I'm sayin is you should check it out.

New Short Fiction Series

I'm up. May 9 at the Beverly Hills Public Library. I'm having nightmares. I dreamt I was dressed in rags and had to borrow the BF's sweater. I dreamt that I looked at my watch and realized I'd missed the whole thing.

The actors are reading 4 of my short stories: "You Go", "Birds, Bees", "Wreckers", and "Toggling the Switch".

Pray for me.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Well Blow Me Down

I just found out today that my story "Desilu, Three Cameras" published in FRiGG has been chosen as a Notable Story of 2007 in storySouth's Million Writers Award, 2008! And this makes me very happy! And it even got an asterisk, meaning more than one preliminary judge nominated it! Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel!

Is it too narcissistic to mention I won this award back in 2005 for "Toggling the Switch"?

Because I did!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Tobias Wolff at Word Theater

Saturday night I hauled the BF kicking and screaming to see and hear Tobias Wolff read from his new collection Our Story Begins: New and Selected Stories at M-Bar in Hollywood where Word Theater hosts many of its events. The book contains "selected stories", including my all time favorite "Bullet in the Brain" ("Short's the best position they is" ... ), and 10 new stories. The readings were of 4 of the new stories.

David Clennon (Miles Drentell in thirtysomething) read "That Room", a short, powerful story where tragedy is avoided via a well-timed puke. It sounds funny, but it opens a door to "that room"—like the Hotel California, once you enter it, you can never leave.

Wendy Makkena (Sister Act) read "The White Bible", a story of an immigrant man who kidnaps his son's teacher because she has caught the son cheating on an exam and has promised he will be expelled. The kidnapper admonishes her not to report his boy because he has dreams of his son becoming a doctor like he was in his native country (somewhere where they name their boys "Hassan"). The shift of power comes soon, and then she's in charge, and yes, she will report the son, who's been cheating all year. She dashes the dreams of the kidnapper:
"Wait—just listen. Honestly, now, can you picture Hassan in medical shcool? Even supposing he could get in? Even supposing he can get through college at all? Think about it—Hassan in medical school. What an idea! You could make a comedy—Hassan Goes to Medical School. No, Hassan will not be a doctor. And you know it. You have always known it."
I mean, girl don't flinch! Then she asks him, "Suppose I'd promised not to report Hassan. Whatever made you think I'd keep my word?"

And he pulls out a little, white, girl's Bible.

Imitation leather. With gilt letters on the cover.

That he got at Goodwill.

"You would swear," he said. "Like in court, to the judge."

Aaaaaaahhhhhh. And by then, you know, Wolff has you. He's reeled you in and you're happy to be flopping on the bottom of his boat. Wendy Makenna did an awesome reading of it.

Robert Forster (Jackie Brown, Mulholland Drive) read "Down to Bone" about a son and his dying mother. It's funny, wry, bawdy, and then, when you least expect it, your heart breaks as the man who no longer knows how to be a son, becomes a father to the dying woman, because that's something he still knows how to do.

And then Wolff read "Her Dog" to completely annihilate and exhilarate. Oh it was a grand night.

I ran into my friend Scott Doyle there, and also one of my early writing teachers from UCLA Extension, Lou Mathews, so that was cool. And I didn't prostrate, fawn and gush even though I wanted to hug Wolff's legs. I wanted to go all Mary Magdalene on his ass, but I didn't. I didn't even get my book signed because of the throng thing. We left and I retold the stories to my darling who hasn't much of an attention span for these kinds of things but whom I cherish for his good sportsmanship and love and who honors me with his company and support.

That's the Tobias Wolff report.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Some Writing News

A couple of nice things to usher in 2008, the first being that my short story "Wreckers" was a finalist in the StoryQuarterly Fiction Contest, and it won a tidy $100 (thank you); and my story "Back Wash" was given a loverly acceptance by StoryGlossia. And a rejection from Ninth Letter, the swankiest literary rag evah, said they were VERY impressed with my writing. VERY.

Happy New Year, by the way. I say this like I have a readerhood. Blogging is so bizarre.

Lorrie Moore Gets Political

My heroine short story writer Lorrie Moore has written an Op-Ed for the New York Times where she asserts that electing a woman is last year's role model. It seems she's making a case for Obama because he'd be a better role model for today's Lost Boys, who are sadly lacking vibrant men to look up to. She says girls have a whole slew of erstwhile role models, that womenfolk have arrived. We're done.