Category Archives: Hump Day Hangouts

2014 Reading list (and more)

2014 sets sail, and a New Year fast approaches, it’s always fun to do a book recap. But before I get into that…here are ten other outstanding things about 2014:

* CCM published Addicts & Basements, my first full length collection, and my third book.

* I received my first Kirkus Review, among many fine, insightful, and supportive reviews.

* I’m a Gertrude Stein Award finalist (second year in a row!!!)

* There were over 20 different events in which I read, cities like Seattle, New York (twice), Madison, and Milwaukee. (The list continues with bookings in Santa Fe, Denver, and New York for 2015!)

* I attended a weekend poetry workshop at Omega Institute with Richard Blanco (and my good friends Michael Gillan Maxwell and David Carter!)

* I edited Bud Smith’s Everything Neon, his first stellar full-length poetry collection, from Marginalia Press.

* Grateful for several journals, new to me, that published my work: Everyday Genius, theNewer York, and The Miscreant, among others.

* Two nominations for the Pushcart Prize (added to two former): “Ten Notes to the Guy Studying Jujitsu” (Deadly Press): and “What He Left to Me” (The Miscreant). Thanks editors, Joseph Quintela, and Amanda Harris.

* I’ve started new columns on my writer’s blog to add to HUMP DAY: “Two for Tuesday” and the new monthly book give-away! Both will continue in 2015.

* Recently it was announced that I am one of four new deputy editors for Civil Coping Mechanisms: About CCM-Entropy | ENTROPY. I am truly excited about this opportunity, and look forward to working with new authors. Thanks, CCM Editor-in-chief, Michael Seidlinger.

My Reading List from 2014- (starred books I recommend (*)

You Sang it Back to Me- Amanda Deo (poetry)

Calendar of Regrets- Lance Olsen *

My Ghost in the Bush of Lies- Paul Wessels

Frantic Transmissions to and from Los Angeles- Kate Braverman (memoir) *

White Girls- Hilton Als *

Cunt Norton- Dodie Bellamy

Dreaming My Animal Selves- Helene Cardona (poetry)

The Physics of Imaginary Objects- Tina May Hall (flash fiction)

Watering Heaven by Peter Tieryas- Liu (short stories)

Beautiful Ruins- Jess Walter

Murmuration- Ryan Warner (chapbook)

I Am Not a Pioneer- Adam Fell (poetry)

Call Me Burroughs, A Life- Barry Miles (biography)

Antidotes for an Alibi- Amy King (poetry)

A Life in Men- Gina Frangello

Vow- Kristina Marie Darling (kindle- poetry)

Masters of Sex- Thomas Maier (biography)

Twilight of the Superheroes- Deborah Eisenberg (kindle- poetry)

Zoom- Zoom Room- Penny Goring (poetry)

The Isle of Youth- Laura Vandenberg (stories) *

The Dark Sunshine- Len Kuntz (stories) *

Tollbooth- Bud Smith *

The Motion of Light in Water- Samuel R. Delany (memoir) *

Girls Standing on Lawns- Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman

Misadventure- Nicholas Grider (short stories)

Family Trouble- Joy Castro (memoir anthology) *

Everything Neon- Bud Smith (poetry) *

I Want to Make You Safe- Amy King (poetry)

Kill Marguerite.- Megan Milks (short stories) *

Stories I Only Tell My Friends- Rob Lowe (auto-biography)

Holding on Upside Down: Marianne Moore- Linda Leavell (biography)

Shotgun Lovesongs- Nicholas Butler (fiction)

e.e.cummings: a life- Susan Cheever (biography)

Stone Bride Madrigals- Nicolette Wong (poetry chap)

Hello, The Roses- Mei- mei Berssenbruegger (poetry)

The Poetics of Space- Gaston Bachelard *

The Mourning Diary- Roland Barthes

Blood a Cold Blue- James Claffey (short stories) *

Balefire- Shann Ray (poetry)

Black Cloud- Juliet Escoria *

Steal Me For Your Stories- Robb Todd (flash/ short stories) *

I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying- Matthew Salesses (flash novel) *

The Great Floodgates of the Wonderworld- Justin Hocking (memoir) *

The Mere Weight of Words- Carissa Halston (novella)

flatscreen- Adam Wilson

Tap- Root- Indigo Moor (poetry)

Babel- Patti Smith (poetry) *

Looking For the Gulf Motel- Richard Blanco (poetry)

Deep Ellum- Brandon Hobson *

Spent- Antonia Crane (memoir)

Let Me See It- James Magruder

Burnings- Ocean Vuong (poetry) *

Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry (re-read)

Letters To A Young Poet- Rainer Maria Rilke (re-read)

A Season in Hell and The Drunken Boat- Arthur Rimaud (poetry)

An Untamed State- Roxane Gay

flatscreen- Adam Wilson

F- 250- Bud Smith

David and Goliath- Malcolm Gladwell (essays)

The Sky Conducting- Michael Seidlinger (kindle) *

ghostbread- Sonja Livingston (memoir) *

The Mustache He’s Always Wanted But Could Never Grow- Brian Alan Ellis (stories) *

Bad Feminist- Roxane Gay (essays) *

Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry (essay/ poetry)

Ariel: The Restored Edition- Sylvia Plath (poetry) *

Excavation- Wendy C. Ortiz (memoir) *

The Fun We’ve Had- Michael Seidlinger *

Lost in Space- Ben Tanzer (essay) *

Forest of Fortune- Jim Ruland *

What the Light Reveals- Rachel Heimowitz (poetry) *

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know- John Bradley (poetry)

American Prometheus- Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin (biography)

Sentence #10- ed. by Brian Clements (prose poetry anthology)

Like a Beggar- Ellen Bass (poetry) *

Tender Buttons- Gertrude Stein

Preparation for the Next Life- Atticus Lish *

The Doll Palace- Sara Lippmann (stories) *

BOMB: The Interviews- ed. Betsy Sussler *

nagging wives, foolish husbands- Nate Tower (short stories) *

Calenday- Lauren Haldeman (poetry) *

Our Secret Life in the Movies- Michael McGriff and J.M. Tyree

Clotheslines- Mathieu Cailler (poetry chapbook) *

The Inevitable June- Bob Schofield *

Paul Chan Selected Writings 2000- 2014, ed. by George Baker and Eric Banks

UnAmerica- Momus (a/k/a Nick Currie)

Fourteen Stories: None of Them Are Yours by Luke Goebel *

As you can see, indicated by how many stars, this was an incredible year for books. Here are my favorites by category:

Fiction: three way tie-

Forest of Fortune- Jim Ruland; Preparation for the Next Life- Attticus Lish; Fourteen Stories, None of Them are Yours- Luke B. Goebel

Short Story: two way tie-

Doll Palace Stories- Sara Lippmann; Dark Sunshine- Len Kuntz

Poetry: Like a Beggar- Ellen Bass

Memoir: two-way tie-

ghostbread- Sonja Livingston; Excavation- Wendy C. Ortiz

Essay: Bad Feminist- Roxane Gay

Hybrid: two way tie-

I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying- Matthew Salesses; Black Cloud- Juliet Escoria

And that’s it! Not sure I can choose a best book, but so many great reads. How about you? Did you read any amazing books this year? Please do share them in comments! I’m always looking to buy. Thanks for another amazing year.

 

 

 

HUMP Day Hues

It’s another HUMP Day! Bluer than the tip of an iceberg. Whiter than a march hare. Here are some interesting sites to visit this December:

At Entropy, the best new site of 2014, the Best of Non-Fiction Books: http://entropymag.org/best-of-2014-non-fiction-books/. And while at Entropy, check out the list of our 2014 Literary Advocates: http://entropymag.org/2014-entropy-thanks-the-literary-advocates/

Literary Orphans issue 16: Houdini has arrived: http://www.literaryorphans.org/playdb/issue16-houdini-2/

Sam Snoek-Brown has selected his 2014 book shopping list! Thanks for including Addicts & Basements, buddy: http://snoekbrown.com/2014/12/02/book-shopping-for-the-holidays-the-2014-edition/

Len Kuntz has three new poems at HOUSEFIRE: http://housefirebooks.com/three-poems-by-len-kuntz/

At Book Riot, Margaret Aldrich also compiles a Best Books List: http://bookriot.com/2014/12/02/riot-round-best-books-2014/

Melissa Broder’s “Salt” at Poetry Magazine podcast: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poem/249126

Janice Lee at The Volta’s “In Review”: http://www.thevolta.org/inreview-bestbooks2014-jlee.html

Amber Sparks slays it with her essay, “Melville Never Wrote Me a Choose Your Own Adventure Book” at Electric Literature: http://electricliterature.com/melville-never-wrote-me-a-choose-your-own-adventure-book-writers-on-their-lowbrow-influences2/

At Camroc Press Review, Jim Breslin’s flash fiction, “The Graduate”: http://www.camrocpressreview.com/2014/12/jim-breslin.html

Bree Barton at PANK with “&%@# Me” (warning: graphic content!): http://pankmagazine.com/piece/

And that, my friends, is a HUMP Day wrap. Choose a book (or two) as a great holiday gift.

 

 

HUMP Day: November White-Out

It’s another installment of HUMP day! Jack Frost paints crazy stark art on my studio windows. The landscape is utter white, the fresh snow not yet marred by pollution, cars or other human facets. When the term “winter wonderland” is used, this is what comes to mind. Vast, endless expanse of colorless hues. Sounds of jets zooming overhead to places you’ve never visited. Wind that whispers your name.

Here, from cyberland, another untempered, immense and wild universe, are ten re-posts. Read them and weep:

1) The Bridge Poetry Series lists thirteen poems by Wisconsin poets, inspired by art at The Chazen Museum exhibit, The Human Condition: http://www.chazen.wisc.edu/about/multimedia-center/publications/bridge-poetry-series-11-13-14

2) Rumpus review of Elissa Washuta’s My Body is a Book of Rules: http://therumpus.net/2014/11/my-body-is-a-book-of-rules-by-elissa-washuta/

3) Andrew Stancek has a new story, “Thefts,” up at Revolution John: http://revolutionjohnmagazine.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/thefts-by-andrew-stancek/

4) At Entropy, Juliet Escoria answers “What How & With Whom: Two Questions” by Christopher Higgs: http://entropymag.org/what-how-with-whom-two-questions-for-juliet-escoria/

5) Roxane Gay’s Art or Humanity at The Butter: http://the-toast.net/2014/11/18/need-talk-bill-cosby/

6) The Ploughshares blog has the Round-Down: The Right Way to Write by Tasha Golden: http://blog.pshares.org/index.php/the-ploughshares-round-down/

7) At the New Yorker, Sarah Larson’s “Listen to Sinead O’Connor”: http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/listen-sinead-oconnor

8) Matt Coleman hosts a Tuesday “twitterreview” column at Saybird, this week five questions for Joshua Harmon: http://www.saybird.com/blog/twitterviews-tuesday-joshua-harmon

9) “Megan Daum won’t apologize” at The Salon: http://www.salon.com/2014/11/19/meghan_daum_wont_apologize_how_she_forged_a_new_genre_of_confessional_writing/

10) Pharrell Williams has some of his favorite music at his Tumblr site. C’mon, what’re you waiting for?: http://tumblr.pharrellwilliams.com/

I’m reading this Friday night in Madison, Wisconsin for MONSTERS OF POETRY, hosted by Adam Fell, whose book, I AM NOT A PIONEER – H_NGM_N: an online journal & small press, is wonderful!

1237799_10203471176834427_8316997767999329443_n

We have a Facebook event page here: Lauren Haldeman, Hannah Brooks-Motl, Robert Vaughan, & Caryl Pagel. Please come and support your friendly Midwest poets: fun raffles, strange minced words, bafflement. And warmth. (Friday, November 21, 7:30 p.m. at Dragonfly Cafe in Madison). 

 

HUMP Day: November Nuggets

Hi friends,

I have a strange new fiction trio published today at Revolution John called Pets: Three Vignettes: PETS: THREE VIGNETTES by Robert Vaughan | REVOLUTION JOHN. Thanks editor Sheldon Compton, for your support! And check out the other amazing work at this great website!

Here are ten other places you can click and visit in cyberland:

1) Allie Marini Batts is interviewed by Drunk Monkey’s editor Matthew Guerrucky: http://www.drunkmonkeys.onimpression.com/interview-allie-marini-batts/

2) Janice Lee, co-founder of Entropy, talks about origins and more, “Writers and Creative People are Multi-Faceted” at The Review Review: http://www.thereviewreview.net/interviews/writers-and-creative-people-are-multi-faceted-jan

3) At Gigantic, a conversation about Fairy Tales between Porochista Khakpour and John Dermot Woods: http://thegiganticmag.com/magazine/articleDetail.php?p=articleDetail&id=206

4) Although I typically abhor these sort of “exclusive lists,” at Buzzfeed, this one is pretty damn good: http://www.buzzfeed.com/jarrylee/20-under-40

5) Roxane Gay writes at her blog with “By Way of My Heart”: http://roxanegay.tumblr.com/post/102325291790/by-way-of-my-heart

6) An excerpt of his forthcoming novel, Alice, Sheldon Compton is up at New World Writing: http://newworldwriting.net/fall-2014/sheldon-lee-compton/

7) Downtown Express highlights “Risque Tales from respectable parents,” including a great photo of writer Paula Bomer: http://www.downtownexpress.com/2014/11/06/risque-tales-from-respectable-parents/

8) Adam Robinson at Everyday Genius sums up the Letters Fest in Atlanta 2014: http://www.publishinggenius.com/?p=4536

9) Ryan Bradley’s Pop Cartography is up at Revolution John: http://revolutionjohnmagazine.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/pop-cartography-in-which-i-steal-rock-and-roll-by-ryan-w-bradley/

10) Gabe Durham interviews Maxwell Neely-Cohen about his new book, Echo of the Boom at The Rumpus: http://therumpus.net/2014/11/the-rumpus-interview-with-maxwell-neely-cohen/

My Dad was a veteran of WWII. And so, we toasted to him last night, and thanks, Dad for your service. But today I don’t want to focus on war. I’d like to focus on peace. Have a great HUMP day. Do something nice, unexpected, for someone. Perhaps a stranger.

 

HUMP Day Holla

HUMP Day Holla:

1) Peter Schwartz with 3 poems in PANK: http://pankmagazine.com/piece/three-poems-51/

2) NPR talks about Car Talk’s Tom Magliozzi: http://www.npr.org/2014/11/03/357428287/tom-magliozzi-popular-co-host-of-nprs-car-talk-dies-at-77

3) Meg Tuite, Michelle Reale and Heather Fowler won Artistically Declined’s 2013 Twin Antler’s Prize: http://artisticallydeclined.net/poetry/twin-antlers/bare-bulbs-swinging/

4) Jen Michalski at Nervous Breakdown with ‘Origin Story: Sara Lippman’s Doll Palace’: http://www.thenervousbreakdown.com/jmichalski/2014/10/origin-story-sara-lippmans-doll-palace/ – more-119571

5) Andrew Sullivan’s The Dish re-blogs Ellen Bass’s “Prayer” from her new Like a Beggar collection: http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/10/15/a-poem-for-tuesday-9/

6) Seems fitting for “Democracy” by Dorianne Laux, at Young Chicago Authors: http://youngchicagoauthors.org/blog/artist-feature-dorianne-laux/

7) Ocean Vuong’s “Descent” in Drunken Boat 17: http://www.drunkenboat.com/db17/ocean-vuong

8) BOMB magazine’s editor-in-chief, Betsy Sussler, has published BOMB: The Author Interviews at Soho Press: http://sohopress.com/books/bomb-the-author-interviews/

9) Len Kuntz is straight from the heart at his blog, People You Know By Heart: http://lenkuntz.blogspot.com/

10) If you are near the NYC area on November 16, The Sunday Salon reading series is hosting three Massachusetts writers who are not to be missed: http://www.sundaysalon.com/nyc-november-16-2014.htm.

 

 

HUMP day: leaves

HUMP Day: leaves… a quote from Rilke-

“Deep patience which makes him almost anonymous, a quiet, wise forbearance, something of the great patience and kindness of Nature herself, who traverses silently and seriously the long pathway to abundance. Patience that puts us in touch with all that surpasses us. Practiced in the present, patience is the art of courting the future. It belongs to becoming rather than being, to the unfinished rather than the completed.”

1) Tobias Carroll at Everday Genius with “Some Things I Botched”: http://www.everyday-genius.com/2014/10/tobias-carroll.html

2) Bud Smith’s “Falling Horse, Stacked Demons” at theNewerYork:

http://theneweryork.com/falling-horse-stacked-demons-bud-smith/

3) The Guardian expands its roster of US Opinion Writers: http://www.theguardian.com/guardian-us-press-office/guardian-expands-roster-us-opinion-writers

4) Amber Sparks and Mike Meginnis will be talking books live today, at 6:30 EST here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1iysoAY-uM

5) Tanya Olsen’s “Ain’t I Pretty” at PANK: http://pankmagazine.com/piece/aint-i-pretty/

6) Will Chancellor chats with Sheldon Compton at Revolution John: http://revolutionjohnmagazine.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/lightning-steers-the-world-an-interview-with-author-will-chancellor/

7) Sara Lippmann at David Abrams’ The Quivering Pen talks about “My First Time”: http://www.davidabramsbooks.blogspot.com/2014/10/my-first-time-sara-lippmann.html

8) Matthew Simmons and Litsa Dremousis with “The Challenge” at Hobart: http://www.hobartpulp.com/web_features/the-challenge-an-interview-with-litsa-dremousis-on-writing-about-death-grief-and-getting-better

9) Mallory Ortberg “Talks Shit About Hemingway and Thoreau” at Flavorwire: http://flavorwire.com/485203/talking-shit-about-hemingway-and-thoreau-with-the-toast-founder-and-texts-from-jane-eyre-author-mallory-ortberg

10) Wendy Ortiz’s new memoir, Excavation, in the Los Angeles Times: http://touch.latimes.com/ – section/-1/article/p2p-80884386/

Also, I want to congratulate Kim Suhr, and the Red Oak community for a fantastic, inspiring reading last night at Saz’s. What a superb turnout! Stellar words from Pam Parker, Jonnie Guernsey, Beth Huwiler, Jack Douthitt, Jessi Vertz, Jennifer Vanderheyden, Jo DeMars, Christine Baerbock, Bruce Campbell and Jennifer Rupp. More information about Red Oak Writing.

Please join us this Thursday, October 30th, for our next installment, Middle Coast Poets reading at Riverwest Public House, 815 E. Locust Street, 7 p.m. Frank Berg, Marilyn Windau, Paul Scot August and Robert Vaughan (me). We hope to see you there!

HUMP Day Hangouts

Time for another HUMP Day! I love cows. Enjoy these great reads, selected from around the web:

HUMP Day Hangouts:

1) Jim Ruland discusses his new novel, Forest of Fortune on San Diego’s KPBS: http://www.kpbs.org/news/2014/oct/21/forest-fortune/ – ?utm_source=t.co&utm_medium=social-media&utm_campaign=kpbsnews-twitter

2) At Fictionaut, Writers On Craft column by Heather Fowler, an interview with Sara Lippmann, author of The Doll Palace: http://www.fictionaut.com/wordpress/2014/10/20/writers-on-craft-sara-lippmann/

3) Emily Temple reveals 50 of the Scariest Short Stories of All Time at Flavorwire: http://flavorwire.com/483530/50-of-the-scariest-short-stories-of-all-time?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow&utm_campaign=FlavorwireSocial&utm_content=FaceBook

4) Monica Drake on Modern Love in the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/19/fashion/life-was-a-roving-party-until-i-grew-up.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0

5) Donald Hall reflects on his marriage to Jane Kenyon in Poetry Magazine: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/article/146874?commentsubmit=true – article

6) “Accidents Happen” by Roxane Gay at Tumblr: http://roxanegay.tumblr.com/post/100195578415/accidents-happen

7) Check out the great posts at People You Know By Heart, Len Kuntz’s Blog: http://lenkuntz.blogspot.com/

8) Michelle Elvy’s “Impossible Weather” at Revolution John: http://revolutionjohnmagazine.wordpress.com/2014/10/22/impossible-weather-by-michelle-elvy/

9) Gina Frangello’s essay “This is Happiness” at The Nervous Breakdown: http://www.thenervousbreakdown.com/gfrangello/2013/05/this-is-happiness/

10) The Rumpus Interview with Alex Dimitrov and Kate Durbin: http://therumpus.net/2014/10/the-rumpus-interview-with-alex-dimitrov-and-kate-durbin/

Also, my latest poem, “When He Left it all to Me,” is at Fictionaut: http://fictionaut.com/stories/robert-vaughan/when-he-left-it-all-to-me

And that, my friends, is a wrap. What are you reading?

Hump Day Re-Launch

Welcome to Hump Day! Ten literary sites that might interest you this week, and on every Wednesday:

HUMP DAY RE- LAUNCH:

1) Meg Tuite tells us why she writes flash fiction at Every Day Chronicles (this site also has one of the best resources of flash fiction markets for submissions): http://www.everydayfiction.com/flashfictionblog/why-i-write-flash-fiction-tuite/

2) Roxane Gay (Bad Feminist) delivers with this essay at The New Statesman: http://www.newstatesman.com/2014/10/roxane-gay-i-have-feared-white-men-and-i-have-loved-them

3) Scott Waldyn, of Literary Orphans, reviews ART AND CRAFT at The Tavern Lantern: http://literaryorphans.org/ttl/mastering-art-craft-scott-waldyn-reviews-oscilloscopes-latest/

4) Rachel Heimowitz has a stunning new poetry collection, What the Light Reveals:

http://www.rachelheimowitz.com/

5) Michael Seidlinger of Civil Coping Mechanisms selects a tie for the press’s Mainline writing contest: http://copingmechanisms.net/mainline

6) While in New York City, I had the wonderful fortune to hear poets Ellen Bass and Kevin Simmonds read from their stellar new collections:

http://www.ellenbass.com/

Kevin Simmonds :: musician, writer & artist ::

7) Poet Claudia Rankine waxes and wanes in the Los Angeles Times: http://touch.latimes.com/ – section/-1/article/p2p-81625795/

8) Recently at Boston Review, poet Amy King gives Ocean Vuong a Poet’s Sampler: http://www.bostonreview.net/poetry/amy-king-ocean-vuong-poets-sampler-ocean-vuong

9) Michelle Bailat-Jones talks with Christopher Allen at I Must Be Off!: http://www.imustbeoff.com/2014/10/expat-author-interview-with-michelle.html

10) I love when my path crosses a new (to me) poet, like Neil McCarthy (at Fictionaut):

http://fictionaut.com/stories/neil-mccarthy/criticism-of-the-dead

 

 

 

HUMP day thoughtful

Hi friends!

Today is a day of memory as well as hope. An early text from my favorite New Yorker reminded me to light a candle and feel the pulse of life in all things. That early downpour of rain, the scent of lingering summer, the flickering flame. Our loved ones.

Here is a mix of some interesting reads in cyberland:

Sam Rasnake’s new book, Cinema Verite, is now available from A-Minor Press. This one is a must have:

https://www.createspace.com/4377102

Penny Goring is in the unique author spotlight at HTML Giant: http://htmlgiant.com/author-spotlight/penny-goring/

Len Kuntz’s How We Got Here is up at In Between Altered States:

http://inbetweenalteredstates.wordpress.com/2013/09/01/how-we-got-here-by-len-kuntz/

MaryAnne Kolton interviews Emma Brockes in the Los Angeles Review of Books:

http://lareviewofbooks.org/interview/a-mother-her-daughter-and-an-incestuous-murdering-father

At Fictionaut, Tina Barry rocks on with Three Bedrooms in New Jersey:

http://fictionaut.com/stories/tina-barry/three-bedrooms-in-new-jersey

Two reviews of Pleasure Trout, the new amazing poetry chapbook by Gloria Mindock:

http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2013/09/two-reviews-of-pleasure-trout-by-gloria.html

If you missed this brilliance, check out Seeing by Karen Stefano at Metazen: http://www.metazen.ca/?p=13477

James Claffey brings it at Fictionaut with Lid & Surface: http://fictionaut.com/stories/james-claffey/lid-surface

A treasure-trove of great reading at Gessy Alvarez’s Digging Through The Fat ‘s monthly column, Community: http://diggingthroughthefat.com/2013/09/06/september-2013-community/

Roxane Gay brings us the grim reality of Broader, Better Literary Conversations at The Nation: http://www.thenation.com/blog/176083/broader-better-literary-conversations

Do something nice for someone today, maybe a stranger, a random act of kindness. Let it surprise you, the way an unexpected gift might. Be gentle with yourself. Don different colored shades. Giggle often- laughter truly is the best medicine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HUMP Day writing desks

Hi friends!

When my pal Meg Tuite posted a recent photo of her new writing desk (and what a beauty it is!), it made me think about a book I came across a while back. We were staying at a guest house in New England, in the attic room. Over coffee, I noticed a book under so many other large coffee table-sized books. I can only vaguely recall the contents: famous writers and where they write.

Last night, while watching the PBS Newshour, I was writing notes, and revising the Addicts & Basements book, when a segment came on, hosted by Ray Suarez, to discuss the current state of gay marriage. Ray introduced two gentlemen, and I immediately thought: I know one of these guys! Sure enough, turns out, John Eastman is someone I went to high school with, and I vaguely recall his family moved either during our senior year, or perhaps right after. Ironic it is that Eastman now serves as the Chairman-of-the-Board of the anti-same-sex-marriage group, The National Organization for Marriage. Life is stranger than fiction.

And while speaking of high school, not long ago, my writing desk that I had in my youth returned home to me, and is currently in my office:

childhood desk

It’s an antique beauty, and she has been through everything with me, like a long lost friend.

Now, I do most of my work at the more modern, larger desk I acquired after moving to Wisconsin. I adore being surrounded by my books. Same office, same space. My new and older writing desks are buds:

My writine desk

Where do you write? Where do you get most of your work done?

Here are some of the posts floating around cyberland this week:

At Blaze, a story about Tag (thanks Paul Scot August for the link): http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/03/04/the-awesome-story-about-a-group-of-men-who-have-been-playing-a-single-game-of-tag-for-40-years/

“Brute Dictation” by Jules Gibbs at Verse Daily: http://www.versedaily.org/2013/brutedictation.shtml

Matt Rasmussen is profiled at Poetry by Kathleen Rooney, in “See What You Miss by Being Dead?”: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/article/246196

At Up Poetry, Bob Schofield with “World’s Spookiest Dad”: http://upliterature.com/worlds-spookiest-dad-by-bob-schofield/

Juliet Escoria writes about how to write your first book in 33 easy steps at Electric Literature blog (hers is Black Cloud, forthcoming in June 2014): http://electricliterature.com/blog/2013/08/15/letters-from-a-young-whatever-7-how-to-write-your-first-book-in-33-easy-steps/

Bud Smith debuts his new book, Tollbooth. You just have to check it out to believe me when I say READ THIS: http://theidiommag.com/. And here is Bud’s blog, where you can sample some of Tollbooth: http://budsmithwrites.com/2013/08/19/tollbooth-officially-released-yo/

A funny (ironic?) Onion article, “Teacher Just Hopes They Never Google Him” (Mary Stone Dockery, thanks for link!): http://www.theonion.com/articles/teacher-just-hopes-they-never-google-him,29271/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=SocialMarketing&utm_campaign=LinkPreview:NA:InFocus&recirc=back-to-school

Wayne Kostenbaum does the TNB Self-Interview: http://www.thenervousbreakdown.com/tnbnonfiction/2013/08/wayne-koestenbaum-the-tnb-self-interview/ – more-113156

At the Good Men Project, Matthew Salesses writes 25 Ways Moving is as Stressful as Death: http://goodmenproject.com/families/moving-is-as-stressful-as-death/?fb_action_ids=10151672481218229&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%7B%2210151672481218229%22%3A574371725941776%7D&action_type_map=%7B%2210151672481218229%22%3A%22og.likes%22%7D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

DJ Berndt at Shabby Doll House (Spring) with “Three Decisions”: http://shabbydollhouse.com/Three-Decisions

Take some time before summer ends, to get out and enjoy the smog. Take a drive on the NJ Turnpike, or swim in the brackish waters, the headstreams of the Amazon. I digress- when’s the last time you set an alarm so you could watch sunrise? Or met your best pal at the highest plateau to watch sunset?

P.S. Here’s one fun thing about a writer’s blog…my pal Zach found that writer’s book (about their writing desks) that I referred to at the beginning of this post. Here’s the link:

Amazon.com: The Writer’s Desk (9780679450146): Jill Krementz, John Updike: Books