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Friday, February 19, 2010

More publication!

The kind folks at Full of Crow have picked up my flash fiction piece "MemScape, 3rd Generation" for their winter MiCrow supplement. If you've read "The First Word" you might notice some similarities in the beginnings of these two stories. That's because in order to create "MemScape" I took "The First Word" and pared it down by about 500 words, and totally changed the ending to produce an entirely different effect. Think of these two stories as the yin and yang of fatherhood.

You can read the story here.

Word of the Day!

dissimulate [dih-sim-yuh-layt]
-transitive verb
To conceal under a false appearance.
-intransitive verb
To hide one's feelings or intentions; to put on a false appearance; to feign; to pretend.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Love, Your Copyeditor

Writers like to write. Oftentimes we also like the mechanics of writing, the grammar, the rules, the subtle ways sentences can wholly change meaning by the substitution of a word or a comma. But no one likes grammar and rules quite like copyeditors, the often unsung but crazy helpful and indispensible members of any author's publication team. Copyeditors keep the writing clean, clear, and on track and for that they should be praised and far more respected than they currently are.

Ray Gunn, the author of the blog Love, Your Copyeditor has been blogging about the travails of the average copyeditor at a big publishing house in New York since January, 2009. I started following the blog during Infinite Summer, where she was a Guest Blogger a couple of times. I found her insights into the grammatical quirks of DFW's writing hilarious and incisive and have been following her ever since.

If you consider yourself a writer or just find grammar interesting you should check out this blog. It can be viewed here.

Word of the Day!

maelstrom [mayl-struhm]
1. A large, powerful, or destructive whirlpool.
2. Something resembling a maelstrom; a violent, disordered, or turbulent state of affairs.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

And in the end...

Alright, here’s the deal. Most people may not know this but somewhere between The White Album and Abbey Road things got really dicey for The Beatles. Timelines seem to shift; relationships fracture, and John Lennon, in the end, just stopped trying.

For starters by early 1969 Lennon was fully ensconced in his relationship with Yoko Ono and the two of them had released two controversial and enigmatic albums. The first, and most troublesome for The Beatles, was Two Virgins, on the cover of which John and Yoko appeared completely naked. The album, also, was nothing the likes of which Beatles fans had come to expect from Lennon and co. It was noises and bits of conversation, and to many, seemed like a practical joke played at the expense of Lennon’s vast fan base. Ono continued to appear at all studio sessions, and was becoming more and more vocal about The Beatles', and John’s, music. From all perspectives it seemed like Lennon was intentionally p**sing off the people closest to him. To combat this interference McCartney married Linda Eastman, an American photographer who, by all accounts, bugged the s**t out of John as much as Yoko bothered Paul*.

Word of the Day!

hortatory [hor-tuh-tor-ee]
Marked by strong urging; serving to encourage or incite; as, "a hortatory speech."

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


My story "The First Word" was recently accepted and posted on the Bright Light Cafe website. This publication is especially awesome because not only does Bright Light Cafe post authors' stories, but they also have an actor read the story so visitors can both read and listen to the story. In my case, "The First Word" got an awesome Australian actor named Rod Kirkham who gives the story an Aussie flavor I didn't quite intend when I wrote it. It's awesome though, so make sure to check out story and crack open a Fosters for the occasion. Cheers!

You can check out the story here.

Word of the Day!

cerebration [ser-uh-bray-shuhn]
The act or product of thinking; the use of the power of reason; mental activity; thought.

Monday, February 15, 2010

David McCullough: The Art of Fictionalized Historicity

Since the 1960s historians have been having a field day revisiting well-worn historical mythologies and revising how we view major historical figures and the times that they inhabited. But in the last decade or so a new strain of revisionism has cropped up that has breathed new and vibrant life into the genre of biography and historical essay. Taking cues from the epics of James Michener these neo-historians are mixing two parts hard academic study with one part storytelling and a dash of speculation to create a potent mix of slightly fictionalized biographical novels.

At the vanguard of this new type of biography is David McCullough, the bestselling author of 1776, John Adams, Truman, etc. McCullough combines the best of both worlds; he's an incisive and exhaustive researcher who immerses himself in the minutiae of his subject's daily lives but he is also a gifted storyteller with a knack for the dramatic. I particularly enjoyed John Adams since it built an incredibly believable case for Adams'--who is more often than not confused with his beer-brewing cousin Samuel Adams--inestimable importance in the formation of the United States.

Since this day is set aside to celebrate the birthdays of two of our greatest presidents* I figured I would lift a glass** to one of the best contemporary biographers. Here's to you Dave, and keep up the good work!

*Neither of which, strangely, has McCullough done a proper biography on.
**Of, what else? Sam Adams.

Word of the Day!

valetudinarian [val-uh-too-din-air-ee-un; -tyoo-]
A weak or sickly person, especially one morbidly concerned with his or her health.
1. Sickly; weak; infirm.
2. Morbidly concerned with one's health.