I'm in Opium 8 (sorta)

I just got my copy of Opium 8 and it looks fantastic. Hard to tell from the above pic, but the cover design/concept is brilliant (read about it here). I also found, to my surprise, that a piece of simple yet accurate writing advice that Neil Gaiman once gave me was included in Opium's "Network of Writers Experiment," a collection of advice passed from writers to writers. There is also a picture of me on the back alongside Sam Lipsyte, Diane Williams, Ben Greenman, Stephen Elliot and a whole host of other people who have read or judged at Opium events.

Okay, those are just some random things, but the actual content of the issue looks great as does the design. Check it out.


elimae marathon

A late reminder for the elimae reading tonight at KGB Bar. It includes me, Lincoln Michel, two of my Gigantic magazine co-editors (Rozalia Jovanovic and James Yeh), many writing friends (Justin Taylor, Tao Lin, Todd Zuniga, Dennis DiClaudio, Kimberly King Parsons and Sasha Grayboch) and believe it ore not several more people who will surely rock the house. Starts at 7pm.

(That was way too many links...)


Raise those swords

Over at htmlgiant, someone with the Hannahesque name of Michael Bible posts some of Barry Hannah's rules for writing.

This is spot on:

2. When you tell a story think more in terms of yarn, tale, even whopper. Then tell it subtly. DON’T think of nuance or “interior decoration.”


Speaking of Barry Hannah, he sometimes publishes in The Oxford American, a great magazine whose next issue is at the press as we speak. Oh, and it has a story of mine in it.


I wrote a short bit on Donald Antrim over at The Rumpus a few days ago.


Also, in case you missed it, Gigantic magazine has two excerpts from our print issue up online. Three shorts by Shane Jones and the Gigantic interview with Gary Shteyngart.


'09 reading, the first 1/3

Continuing my first successful New Year's Eve resolution of last year, to finish at least 50 books, I'm doing the same this year. The only rule is the book has to finished in this year, meaning half-read books from last year can be finished now and half-read books from this year will be finished next year, and on and on to infinity. Books finished so far (in order):

  1. The Tormented Mirror – Russell Edson
  2. The True History of the Kelly Gang – Peter Carey
  3. The Men Who Stare at Goats – Jon Ronson
  4. Flying to America – Donald Barthelme
  5. How to Sell – Clancy Martin
  6. Retreat Retreat Chapbook – Wells Tower
  7. The Ring of Brightest Angels Around Heaven – Rick Moody
  8. Dreams of a Robot Dancing Bee – James Tate
  9. Farewell Navigator – Leni Zumas
  10. Like You’d Understand Anyway – Jim Shepard
  11. Funny Misshapen Body – Jeffery Brown
  12. NOON 2009
  13. Days Between Stations – Steven Erickson
  14. Autobiography of Red – Anne Carson
  15. Hey Jack! – Barry Hannah
  16. Personal Days – Ed Park
  17. Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World - Donald Antrim
A pretty good run with no real clunkers. Here are the books I rated five stars on Goodreads:

The True History of the Kelly Gang
How to Sell
(I predict this will be the hip book of the summer.)
Like You’d Understand Anyway (H.S. football story was badass.)
NOON 2009
Days Between Stations (An eye-patched man in a blue trench coat who owns an LA club called the Blue Isosceles? How is that not a David Lynch character? But this book came out before even Blue Velvet. Hmm...)
Autobiography of Red (Just fantastic.)
Hey Jack!
Personal Days (I think my current work situation helped.)
Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World (This book might have the sickest, in both senses of the word, ending I've ever read.)