We have two invasive plants that grow on our five acres of mostly woods. One is garlic mustard, a biennial that sounds like it would make a great culinary addition to any meal. This one we have mostly under control, thanks to our friend, Jay, who sprays non-invasive chemicals throughout the growing season. It doesn’t kill our lovely woodland flowers: sweet william, lupine, phlox, Turk’s Cap lillies and many other varieties. But if we don’t manage the garlic mustard, it does attempt to take over; it is prolific and highly pervasive.

Our other species of concern is common and glossy buckthorn. It is able to spread aggressively because it thrives in habitats ranging from full sun to shaded, and is an abundant seed grower. There is also speculation that they are allelopathic, using toxins to outcompete other vegetation. Well, you can imagine how relieved I feel to have had a team of landscapers working on removing our buckthorn completely. It was not an easy project, but so necessary. To have those sight lines opened up again, and to spot even more woodland creatures: fox, deer, coyote. Oh boy!

In getting ready for my upcoming Flash in the Pan course that I will be teaching at Redbird- Redoak on October 30th, I made a list of writers and artists whose work had, continue to have, an impact on my short fiction: William Vollman, Anais Nin, Donald Barthelme, Rumi, e.e. cumings, Hafiz, Jayne Bowles, Joseph Campbell, Jamaica Kincaid, Barry Yourgrau, Margaret Atwood, Rimbaud, Kenneth Patchen, Jack Kerouac, Patti Smith, Laurie Anderson. Maybe take a moment to create a short list of those artists whose lives or work have impacted yours?

Here are the places you can find my work published this past month:

Cowboys & Indians « Clutching at Straws

Fill the Void « Clutching at Straws

“Semaphores” at 2010 September 15 |

“Zasu Pitts” at: The Camel Saloon: Zasu Pitts

“Test” at Indigo Rising:Indigo Rising Magazine. Also inclusion of “Box Elders” in Indigo Rising Print Edition #3.

“Harley Heaven” at Orion headless:Harley Heaven | Orion headless

“Pool Hall” at Girls with Insurance: Pool Hall | GwI

“Salt” at Magnolia’s Press: “Salt,” Robert Vaughan | Magnolia’s Press

A thousand thanks to editors: Shawn, Shannon, Russell, Tannen and Michael, Sara, Dawn, and Will. Behind every amazing web or print zine is a person or a staff that makes tough decisions. I am so honored to be found among these pages.

I also want to give a huge shout to my girl, Amanda Deo, for honoring me with editor credit on the latest Thunderclap! Press, Numero Tres: The Femme Fatale issue! I was so excited to find this all female issue chock full of inspirational points of view, and the gamut of  female experiences. You can order that here, and please do!

Thunderclap! Special Edition – Femme Fatal by thunderclappress in Poetry

Also, Amanda and I are looking forward to reading submissions for the upcoming Thunderclap! Magazine Numero Quatro issue. Theme? LOVE! Send us your LOVE poems and LOVE flash pieces. Today! Here is the place to mail them:

SUBMIT! « Thunderclap Press

Last Friday I was able to scoot over to Madison to take in the Wisconsin People & Ideas book fest reading at Avol’s. This was to honor the winners’ of their 2009 annual Wisconsin People & Ideas contest. The top three poets read (keep an eye out for the first place winner, Austin Smith, who’s first book “in the silence of the migrated birds” is out by Parallel Press). And the top three fiction readers read, topped off by dear friend and bottomless talent, Sheila Hanrahan. She read her 1st place winner, “Anything that Sticks” which was included in the Summer 2010 Wisconsin People & Ideas magazine.  Sheila was fantastic, and her story held me on the verge of tears numerous times. Here is more information about the contest winners, and also a link to this year’s contest:

Wisconsin Academy : 2010 Short Story Contest

Wisconsin Academy : Writing Contests

In closing, I was surprised to see a friend make a recent comment on my blog. She and I met briefly the first morning of the Iowa Summer Writing Festival in July. We were early birds, eagerly among the first to check in that morning, and fell easily into chatting about our craft, lives, and the world-at-large. After we attended the massive “welcome” session for all writers, all workshops, we departed to our separate writing worlds, never to see one another again. And yet…this is one of those fantastic things about the internet! She tracked me down through my blog! Yes, I know, I could delve into the darker realms of the internet, and I might wait to do so, as I am seeing “The Social Network” movie today. Instead I’ll just say, thanks, Nancy, for finding me!

13 thoughts on “Autumn

  1. Cynthia

    Robert, you are hitting it out of the ball park (how’s that for a sports analogy, one of your favorites I know!) with all of your acceptances. I just left a comment at the latest site, “Salt.” Loved it! I hope you take time to be really proud of what you are creating here. Quite a writing legacy.

  2. gregory

    It is nice to get a glimpse of life in Milwaukee in the early fall and your little slice of heaven.
    Your writing seems to keep you busy and energized.

    Keep it coming!

  3. Dex

    I enjoyed this blog and the different aspects of your life you touch on, especially your writing links. Any closer to that book I know is in your future? It’s got to be coming soon!

  4. Jeffrey

    I would like to ditto the sentiments and comments already expressed here.

    You’ve been busy recently with all the flash you have published and as you know, it’s always a pleasure and a treat to read your latest flash fiction stylings.

    Good luck with that writer’s workshop!

    The weather back in the Midwest must be lovely about right now. This is the time of the year–from October-December–that I miss the most. Even though Korea has four seasons, the seasons here, especially autumn, pale in comparison to the autumns back home.

    Looking forward to reading your upcoming flash pieces at Eunoia. I just sent off a piece to Cave Scribbles–it’s a new ezine that publishes every Monday like A-Minor. Thank God for Duotrope’s Digest, for keeping us in the loop of all these new markets, right?

  5. Yasmine

    To chime in with the others, I am amazed at the pace in which you seem to be placing all of your flash fiction. And how hard you are working at this new part of your writing career. All I can say is it’s about time! And it goes without saying, I am a huge fan!

  6. Theo

    Party on, Garth! You got it happening, don’t stop! Those invasive plants are removed like any obstacle standing between you and your literary goals. You are an inspiration!

  7. JR Price

    I just saw that movie, “The Social Network.” It really makes one think what exactly am I putting out there on the net. As it ought to. I like the angle that you are using the internet for (or from my limited perspective, what it seems you are doing): creating art, and sharing your words. Powerful intention. I appreciate you posting your fiction on your Facebook page. So we both have Mark Zuckerberg to thank for that!

  8. Claudia Nash

    You have such a wide variety of writing styles in these short little gems. I have no idea how you do it. I wish I lived in Milwaukee so I could come to your workshop for Flash Fiction. I had so little knowledge of it before I started reading your blog, and finding your work at these great literary websites. Keep on keepin on!

  9. Pete

    I was tipped to your blog by your fantastic piece, A, B, C on Fictionaut. So happy to see that your writing is having such success. You deserve it. What is it like to live in Milwaukee? You sound as if you are carving out a good writing life there. I just wonder about the artistic stimulation. Then again, it is what it is, right?

  10. Katherine Trider

    It was very interesting for me to read the blog. Thanks for it. I like such topics and everything connected to them. I would like to read more on that site soon. BTW, pretty good design that site has, but don’t you think design should be changed every few months?

    Katherine Trider
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