Wednesday, August 31, 2005

That Gladrag Razzmatazz

It's here! It's here! A book many of us have been awaiting for some time (and doing our best to keep super-secret) is now available! Quantities, as they say, are limited. I've blogged about Bob Arter before and just how brilliant he is. Well, now you can hold a collection of his stories in a beautiful little volume. Editors from many terrific lit mags introduced each of their favorite pieces with a few words about the work and about Bob (I was especially excited to be allowed to introduce Remembering Elizabeth). Order yours now!

US orders 12.00
Foreign orders 15.00

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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

how precarious things really were

Some of you may remember me blogging about a woman whose husband was dying of cancer a while back. His struggle recently ended. I wish I'd kept up better with what was happening in their lives. The blogosphere responded to their story and people made enough donations for them to afford hospice care so that he could die at home. That fund is continuing--she's a single mom and a graduate student, not a financially great situation. If anyone would like to contribute to the fund or even to send her a card, the blogger Academic Coach can provide more info on the fund and is also forwarding along cards and letters.

When I originally posted about Badger and her husband, I spoke in fairly political terms. I felt comfortable doing so, because I knew from her postings that we shared similar frustrations regarding the way things are going (and, of course, in her case, those frustrations hit much, much closer to home). I'll refrain from diatribes about how her husband should have been treated by the government at the end of his life. Rather, I'd like to smile, if ever so bittersweetly, at how good people are and can be, and how that was amply demonstrated by numerous people who came to the aid of strangers in need.

And now, after having paused while writing this to read a bit of her blog, I've run out of words.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Ellen Meister

Susan DiPlacido is at it again, interviewing another of my favorite writers/people. Check out her interview with Ellen Meister.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

another new market

P.H. Madore was good enough to point out another new flash market that I hadn't yet seen. Looks pretty slick. Edited by Stacy Taylor, whose Microsecond we published back in issue four. Definitely worth checking out: HeavyGlow.

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Monday, August 22, 2005

Issue Ten

We're full! First time we've had a full pack in a bit (20 pieces). And it's a tasty and robust pack o' smokes indeed. Joe Young is some kind of wonderful. Here are the folks who'll be appearing in Issue Ten:

Bob Arter
Edgar Omar Avilés (translated by Toshiya A. Kamei)
Robert Bradley
Otis Brown
Alan Girling
William Reese Hamilton
Joshua Hampel
Anne Marie Jackson
Patti Jazanoski
Nance Knauer
Suzanne Lafetra
Jeff Landon
Nathan Leslie
Antonios Maltezos
Kuzhali Manickavel
Laura Stallard Petza
Bruce Holland Rogers
Tom Saunders
Astrid Schott
Cally Taylor

Y'all are going to be blown away by this issue. I know I've been.

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a flashy new place

Well, this is pretty exciting news! There's a new site dedicated to flash fiction, Quiction Online, run by Ray Collins. From the word of mouth that I've heard, pieces will be featured for a week and then gone, replaced by new works. So ya gotta get 'em while they're hot. (And if I'm wrong about that, my apologies.) Currently running are "Does It Please You?" by Ellen Meister (which originally appeared in SLQ), "The Mud Hen" by Beverly Jackson, "Proof" by Kathy Fish, and "Mierkat, Mierkat in the Stall" by Steve Hansen. Go check 'em out!

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

another one bites the dust

This makes me sad. To the best of my knowledge, never wound up publishing in print as they'd planned. Online, there were a total of four pieces posted, if I remember correctly. I had very high hopes for this pub when I first heard of it coming into being. Bob Thurber is a very talented guy, and something of a flash specialist, so it looked like it had the potential to be a truly great pub. And I really want to see more and more publications that are dedicated to the art of flash fiction, because it's still a form that most folks don't know exist. So the more places there are like, insolent rudder, Vestal Review, etc., the happier I am. I'm definitely sad to see this one go.

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Monday, August 15, 2005

David James Duncan

I am deeply in love with the writings of one David James Duncan. I found his first novel, "The River Why," entirely by accident at a Crown Books in Seattle something like fifteen years ago. Not long after reading it, I somehow found myself on the phone with my godsister, with whom I hadn't spoken in probably five years. To her "how are you," I replied that I was great, but that I had the most intense desire to go stand in the middle of a river, in spite of having never been fly-fishing in my life. She said, "Ah, you just read 'The River Why.'"

(One of these days, I owe him a letter. I tracked him down (sorta) through an interview he did with Smokebox. I wanted to solicit something from him for our second anniversary issue of SmokeLong, and contacted the editor at Smokebox (so much smoke in this paragraph!). Through him, I learned that David doesn't use this here internet thing, preferring immensely the world of pen and paper. Which I'm not so good at. So I haven't written him yet.)

Anyway... go read that interview in Smokebox. Good stuff. And then read this article in Weber Studies (which Nance Knauer, bless her, pointed out to me, and was the impetus for this post). I'd be interested to know how many folks, particularly writers, delve beyond the "quit lit" portion of the article. Because the gems, I assure you, come later. A very odd little sampling:

Flannery O'Connor and Franz Kafka both wrote unquestionably artful, though grisly, fictions about Southern K-Mart shoppers and de-egoed East Europeans of various shapes and sizes encountering sudden violence, violation, senseless persecution, random and obscene transformation, pain, agonized death. Ms. O'Connor and Mr. Kafka also shared a problem: both could hardly read their stories in public. Why? They found their stories hilarious, and would whoop with laughter at the very climaxes at which their audience recoiled. O'Connor and Kafka had discovered their own peculiar "f-u-n."

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Thursday, August 11, 2005

How F**king American Are You?

order your copy yet?

Good to see folks ordering the Annual. I just realized that in my previous post, I didn't mention whose work appears in the book, and it's a pretty amazing list. So here ya go:

Steve Almond
Bob Arter
Stephen Ausherman
Grant Bailie
Rusty Barnes
Christian Bell
Andrew Bomback
Randall Brown
Lisa K. Buchanan
Daphne Buter
Gary Cadwallader
Kim Chinquee
Jai Clare
Myfanwy Collins
Terry DeHart
Angela Delarmente
James Devitt
Katrina Denza
Spencer Dew
Steve Dunn
Stuart Dybek
Pia Z. Ehrhardt
Michelle Garren Flye
Scott Ford
Alexandra Fox
Avital Gad-Cykman
Donna Gagnon
Alicia Gifford
Elspeth Graty
Steven Gullion
Frank Haberle
Judd Hampton
Susan Henderson
Tiff Holland
David H. S. Hubert
Richard Hulse
Beverly Jackson
Tom Jackson
Robert S. Jersak
Liesl Jobson
Roy Kesey
Ian Kita
Miriam N. Kotzin
Roderick Leyland
Pasha Malla
John McCaffrey
Saundra Mitchell
Karen Simpson Nikakis
Carol Novack
Bea Pantoja
Cami Park
Ellen Parker
Patricia Parkinson
Henry Presente
Peggy M. Price
M. Lynx Qualey
Brian Reynolds
Ellen M. Rhudy
Jordan E. Rosenfeld
Max Ruback
Astrid Schott
Kay Sexton
Tomi Shaw
Maggie Shearon
Robin Slick
Claudia Smith
Ira Socol
Henry Stanton
Bob Thurber
Andrew Tibbetts
Paul A. Toth
Sam Vaknin
Peter Vaudry-Brown
Ann Walters
Lesley C. Weston
Jensen Whelan
Joseph Young
Mike Young

Not bad for fifteen bucks, huh? If you haven't ordered a copy yet, what are you waiting for?

easy clicky linky thingy to order

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Beverly Jackson

Check out Susan DiPlacido's terrific interview with Bev Jackson here. Here's a small sampling of Bev's words:

"Well, see, I think that most of ‘real life’ is a lie, and that fiction is where we find the ‘real truth.’ That’s why I love writing and writers, and all art for that matter, because it is where truth lives, from my point of view. I mean, in life, don’t we all feel like frauds? Or is that only me? If you read physics or quantum mechanics, you know that what we ‘see’ isn’t real; you know from psychology that we all wear masks and are different personalities depending on who we’re with; we know from history and economics that society is fraught with misinformation, spin, advertising, propaganda, myth, and lies. But somehow when you read and write good fiction, an authentic self leaps out of the bullshit, to deliver the real goods. That’s how I see it anyway, which is why good art is so hard to find and so hard to do. So the biggest lie I ever told is ‘my whole life’ in one way or another. All the posturing, pretending, and civilized intercourse that one does to keep from screaming and biting off the faces of the people who don’t ‘get’ who you are. But then if they read a good story . . . suddenly they see something they never saw in you before. It’s magical."

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My pirate name is:

Mad Davy Bonney

Every pirate is a little bit crazy. You, though, are more than just a little bit. You can be a little bit unpredictable, but a pirate's life is far from full of certainties, so that fits in pretty well. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

SmokeLong Annual 2004-2005

Just got my proof copy in the mail yesterday, and it's purrrrrrrrty. For now, we're making it available at cost (well, at CafePress's cost), which is $15.04. We may raise the prices of both Annuals after writers have had a chance to get a copy.

There are 89 stories by (and interviews with) 78 writers in this year's edition. 268 perfect-bound pages. Cover features miniature versions of each of Marty Ison's covers from the past year.

I'm really proud of this book. The content inside is amazing, which is all due to some truly amazing writers. Many thanks to all of them and to an incredible staff.

Click on the pic for ordering info.

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Monday, August 08, 2005


Crazy the things you find when you do a little searching. Every once in a while, I hit various search engines to see how folks are getting to this blog, to see where (or if) my name is cropping up, and to see where SmokeLong is turning up. The latest search turned up this strange little thing called Blogshares, where each blog is assessed a value and people can buy and sell shares of it (with pretend money). I was surprised to find that this blog was already a listed commodity. Weird!

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Technorati tags

So I started added Technorati tags to my posts recently. But when I click on 'em, my stuff never shows up in the links lists. Clearly, I'm doing something wrong, but as far as I can tell, I'm following Technorati's instructions to the letter. Any Technorati pros out there with advice? Thanks!

Edit: Of course, the moment I post that, my links start showing up. Several days of no-show and they finally show up after I post stating that I'm as clueless about Technorati as I am about poetry. Ah, well.

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Friday, August 05, 2005


I've never really compiled reports on what our page views were like for SmokeLong from issue to issue, and it seems like that'd be a good thing to know. Unfortunately, it looks like I can only go back a year, so stats prior to Issue Six are lost to us now. Bleah. But, for my own edification, and in case some folks are actually interested in this stuff, I'm gonna throw the stats up here now for issues six through eight, and will put up stats for nine about a week after ten goes live (and then for ten after eleven goes live, etc.). I want to get a handle on what our growth looks like. So... here goes.

Issue Six (live from 10/15/04-12/14/04, last of bi-monthly issues)
10/15-10/31: 9520 page views
11/1-11/30: 14718 page views
12/1-12/14: 8991 page views
Total Issue 6: 33229 page views
Issue Seven (live from 12/15/04-3/14/05)
12/15-12/31: 12211 page views
1/1-1/31: 24961 page views
2/1-2/28: 24718 page views
3/1-3/14: 16483 page views
Total Issue 7: 78373 page views
Issue Eight (live from 3/15/05-6/14/05)
3/15-3/31: 20670 page views
4/1-4/30: 34006 page views
5/1-5/31: 33949 page views
6/1-6/14: 14872 page views
Total Issue 8: 103497 page views

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Thursday, August 04, 2005

a tease

A few days back, I mentioned that I'd have some exciting news on the editorial front soon. Just got word that my proof copy of SmokeLong Annual 2004-2005 is on its way. It should arrive next week (I hope). Assuming everything looks good, it'll be available for sale to everyone the same day I receive the proof. Yay!

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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Lenny Bruce

I believe I mentioned earlier that one of my college roommates created a one-man show in which he essentially was Lenny Bruce. For about three months, I very much felt like Lenny Bruce was my roommate. Today is the 39th anniversary of Lenny's death. Matt St. Armand and Beverly Jackson both have lovely tributes to Lenny up on their blogs. I'll add, briefly, an odd little anecdote about Second City that I love.

For all of its early history, the members of Second City refrained from cursing on stage. Until the night Lenny was first arrested for obscenity. Del Close was delivering an improvised monologue when one of the other members of the troupe rushed onstage, saying, "Del! Del! Lenny Bruce was just arrested for obsenity!" To which, Del replied, "No shit." Blackout.

Rest in peace, Lenny.

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Jordis Unga

I'm gonna let you in on a little secret. I love reality TV. Yes, yes, I know, it puts writers out of work. But I can't help it. My latest dirty secret may be my favorite so far in terms of pure enjoyment. RockStar:INXS. Shut up! I know that nobody can replace Hutchence. Fine. Whatever. I know it's sort of morbid to find a new front for the band this way. But! Some of the talent on this show is simply amazing. One in particular. Remember this name.

Jordis Unga.

Okay. Now. Go to You want to be in the Week 4 Performance section. You want to watch #7: Jordis: "The Man Who Sold the World." Really. You do.

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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

time for a meme

Because I haven't had much to say about writing or editing lately, it's time for a meme. On the editorial front, I should have a pretty exciting announcement soonish.

the Wit
(56% dark, 30% spontaneous, 22% vulgar)
your humor style:

You like things edgy, subtle, and smart. I guess that means you're probably an intellectual, but don't take that to mean you're pretentious. You realize 'dumb' can be witty--after all isn't that the Simpsons' philosophy?--but rudeness for its own sake, 'gross-out' humor and most other things found in a fraternity leave you totally flat.

I guess you just have a more cerebral approach than most. You have the perfect mindset for a joke writer or staff writer. Your sense of humor takes the most effort to appreciate, but it's also the best, in my opinion.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: Jon Stewart - Woody Allen - Ricky Gervais

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 83% on dark
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 0% on spontaneous
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 33% on vulgar

Link: The 3 Variable Funny Test written by jason_bateman on Ok Cupid