Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My Writing Soundtrack

I'm interested in how other people write, what kind of conditions are needed to bring a story to life from an initial image or opening line or character they've thought of. I like to write in public spaces but often find myself writing at home, listening to Josh Rouse. Seems like most of my writing time has been scored by Josh Rouse since I first discovered him when I was a freshman in college (99/00). Lately, though, I've been listening to Lewis & Clarke when I write, a band my friend Artist/Musician Caleb Engstrom introduced me to at a very intimate show here in Iowa City. I am most drawn to the atmosphere they create with their music and the folksy lyrics, which lend themselves to the sense of place I try to create in my fiction. Though I've found few videos of Lewis & Clarke on the net, here is a clip of them performing "Before It Breaks You," a personal favorite; this video should give you an idea of what I am talking about. Enjoy.

Friday, October 9, 2009

"Little Man" in Short FICTION

In November my story “Little Man” will be published in the British literary journal Short FICTION. I am really excited about this because I think “Little Man” is one of my best stories and also because my work will be featured with American authors Brad Watson (whose excellent story “Visitation” was in The New Yorker earlier this year) and Benjamin Percy, winner of the Whiting Award and the Plimpton Prize. I am happy to be the newbie in such a great international literary journal. You can pre-order your copy of Short FICTION Issue 3 here.

Encounters Magazine

“The Kramers” will be published in the first issue of Encounters Magazine next month. I wrote this story as a fiction resident at the Vermont Studio Center in January 2008 and have been looking for a home for it ever since. There is a genre, paranormal feel to the story that made it hard to place in most literary journals. Needless to say, I am excited Encounters believes in this story and is putting it in their inaugural issue. I’ll post a link when the issue is available to order in November.

George Saunders

I look forward to a George Saunders story the way a breast-feeding child nips at the air, hungry for mama’s milk. I just finished “Victory Lap” in the latest New Yorker. My new favorite. Reading Saunders gives me the same feeling each time: guess I can't write this story, since he just did. But a story like "Victory Lap" makes me want to sit at the keyboard and write, and that is just as good.