Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Coming Sun. Mon. Tues.

And speaking of the Kenyon Review, they recently put an early (1966) DeLillo story on their website. 

The story is called "Coming Sun. Mon. Tues" and it's one paragraph and there's a kind of manic energy to it that I really like. 

Here's a sample:

"The boy runs from one end of Chicago to the other. Then he looks for a job to get the money for the abortion. He is interviewed by a series of tall men with elegant fingers and they all tell him that they’ll let him know if anything turns up. He insults one of the men, an old school chum of his father’s who is the president of a management consultant firm and cannot understand why the boy did not finish college. The boy insults him beautifully. The man is so out of it that he is not even sure he has been insulted. Then the boy and girl go to a store in San Francisco or Toronto or Liverpool. They steal some groceries. They leave the store laughing with the groceries under their heavy sweaters. Then the boy stops at a flower stand and steals a flower for the girl. Then they go home and she cries. Then they go to a party. Everybody at the party is a phony except for one guy who’s a West Indian or an American Negro or a French Canadian. This guy tells them that they don’t know the first thing about being bitter. They have no right to be bitter. He tells them a thing or two about life and death. Everybody else is doing the freddy and this guy is telling them about real suffering, real pain. Telling it like it is. Then he rolls up his sleeve and shows them how he was wounded in Vietnam or Mississippi. Meanwhile everybody is doing the freddy and talking about Andy Warhol or the Animals. The boy and girl go home again."

And here's where you can read the entire story (it's fairly short).

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Person Who Can Write a Good Story

I really like this from One Story's interview with Tom Paine...

One Story: What is the best bit of advice about writing you have ever received?

Tom Paine: That you can't write a good story until you become the person who can write a good story. I mean a change in your soul, not your sentence structure.

The Riot and Rage That Love Brings

I have a new short story that was recently published by the Kenyon Review Online.

There's also audio of me reading the story, if you dare.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


The sun slips into the blank sky, asserting itself like a flame sparking to life, just as the bus climbs and then descends a hill, also revealing the city spread out below. It’s a beautiful thing, coming upon this sight in such a dramatic fashion. She is either half-awake or half-asleep. But there is definitely some level of consciousness, an understanding of the moment. The bus driver gasses it to ensure they cross the next intersection in time. And they do, they beat the yellow, barreling forward. And it’s as if they’re heading straight for the light ahead and nothing will stop them. The driver is drinking coffee from a giant Thermos. The same driver who was eating the sandwich last night. Now chugging the caffeine with one hand and navigating the steering wheel with the other. How much longer before they change shifts and it’s another driver? Then he slows it down, breaking the spell of speed and momentum, and pulls over at the next stop. People are waiting there. He opens the door, and she watches the passengers silently board, the bus resumes its journey, the sunlight continues to color the sky, the day begins, and there is no other way.

Friday, November 1, 2013

A Good Week

Last Monday I woke up with a feeling. A writerly feeling. It's a feeling I get from time to time. 

The feeling was this: I'm going to get some good writing-related news today.

Now, usually (that is, 99.9 percent of the time) the feeling doesn't equate to something actually happening. The feeling and the day passes.

But on this particular Monday, I got a phone call from Glimmer Train in the afternoon. The magazine accepted my short story "A Matter of Twenty-Four Hours" (a story, by the way, that had been rejected by multiple magazines).

Then, on Friday, I wrapped up the final edits for BELIEVERS. And damn, that felt good.

A good week indeed.