Sunday, March 29, 2009

2009 Million Writers Award Nominations

You have until March 31. (Short notice, I know.)

I nominated Alicia Gifford's amazing story "Back Wash," which appeared in Storyglossia last year.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Some Nice Feedback

So hey:

Short Stories Blog recently posted a nice little write-up about my story "Three," which Wigleaf/Scott Garson published last year.

But wait, there's more...

SSB also posted something (positive as well) about my story "Please Don't Tell Me That," which appeared in Glimmer Train a while back.

I guess you could call it a two-fer. Or not.

This is really nice. You write something. You hope it doesn't suck. You maybe send it out and then hope for the best (I always think of submitting a story as putting a message in a bottle). And if you're lucky and persistent and it turns out that you perhaps don't suck after all, well, that something you wrote gets published somewhere. And then if you're super lucky, people actual read it, think about it, process it, enjoy it, etc.

Please, Not Another Writer in the Family...

Ethan: “When I grow up I want to be…”

Maria: “Lawyer?”

Me: “Doctor? Professional athlete? Acclaimed Nobel Prize-winning physicist?

Ethan: “No no no. When I grow up I want to be a rhymer!”

Me: “Hmm. The pay isn’t so good for rhymers.”

Ethan. “That’s okay.”


Ethan's Nightmare

Ethan: "Daddy, can I tell you about my nightmare?"

Me: "Sure."

Ethan: “I was asleep on my pillow and then it turned into a giraffe, a monster giraffe, and then we got up and I asked him if he wanted to play trains and he said yes and so we played train tracks and we had a very, very, very good time. And then he turned back into a pillow and slept with his mom.”

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

More Bath Talk

Ethan: "Daddy, why are you old?"

Me: "Well, I just am. People get old."

Ethan: "But why?"

Me: "It just happens. Every time you have a birthday you get a little older. And hopefully a little wiser."

Ethan: "Daddy, I'm never going to get old! I'm new!"

Saturday, March 21, 2009

It's a Literary Trivia Showdown

Do you live in New York? Me neither.

But if you did, you could attend Monday night's literary trivia showdown to celebrate the launch of Slice Magazine's fourth issue (I have a story in there somewhere).

Many fine folks will be in attendance, including Jonathan Lethem, A.J. Jacobs, Lorin Stein and Michelle Brower.

The Tragedy of the Caterpillar (2009-2009)

Ethan, double-verbing:

"He got died."

Friday, March 20, 2009

Joy or Chore? You Make the Call

Somewhat related to the previous post I suppose...

A Guardian article, which has received some significant linkage, asks the question: Is writing for a living a joy or a chore?

Here's what Mr. John Banville had to say:

"Whether we are writing a novel or a letter to our bank manager, we have the eerie sensation that we are not so much writing as being written, that language in its insidious way is using us as a medium of expression and not vice versa. The struggle of writing is fraught with a specialised form of anguish, the anguish of knowing one will never get it right, that one will always fail, and that all one can hope to do is 'fail better', as Beckett recommends."

The "never get it right" part: Yeah, that hurts.

And Beckett, too. Yeah, Beckett.

The other day my almost four-year-old son pulled a copy of Endgame from the bookshelf and pretended to read it. Or maybe he did read it, who knows.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


There's a writer I know who has called it a day. He/she has decided to stop writing.

This is someone who has published two books, received glowing reviews, appeared in Best American Short Stories, and last I heard had completed a novel.

Now he/she is done.

And I understand, I do.

There's probably nothing worse than hearing/reading about a writer bitch and moan about how hard it is to be a writer. So I won't. Go. There.

But I will say that I do think of quitting. Frequently. Especially lately.

Despite these bouts, though, I always seem to stumble my way back to that Beckett quote: I can't go on, I will go on. Or something like that.

But it makes me sad that this writer has stopped. The reading world has lost a light. And we need all the light we can get.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Previous Post Now Obsolete


I suppose it was inevitable: I caught this nasty stomach flu bug thing that's visited every member of my family -- well, that is except the cat. He's probably next. No one is immune.

To quote Maria:

"This is epic."

I'll spare you details.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Everyone's Sick Except Daddy

Me: "Ethan, did you know Henry and Celia threw up last night too?"

Ethan: "Yeah, I know."

Me: "Everyone's sick except Daddy. You. Mommy. Henry. Celia. Everyone's sick."

Ethan: "Daddy, if you get sick I'll take really good care of you."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Ethan, as quoted by Maria:

"I want to live far, far away. I want to live away from the babies. I want to live in Alaska... But I still want someone to take care of me."

Sunday, March 8, 2009

New Story in Slice Magazine

Looks like the new issue of Slice Magazine with my story "My Status" is now out.

This is their fourth issue, and the editors always line up some stellar interviews. This time it's Paul Auster,
Aleksandar Hemon, Haven Kimmel, Lisa Lee and Ed White.

The issue can be purchased online, but here's a list of stores where it can be picked up live and in person as well.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

National Grammar Day

Damn, I missed it. One day late.

But at least I know what to ask for this Christmas...