Wednesday, October 26, 2005

You Will Behave

Hey, gang. Just gonna put a li'l bug in your ear about another book available for pre-order. You Will Behave by Matt Getty will start shipping November 11. I've read it and will review it a little more fully when I get a chance. For now, I'll just drop a brief bit of my own experience with the book on ya:

I have a short attention span. Really short. Especially when it comes to reading stuff on a monitor. So I thought I'd have to print out the PDF proof I was sent in order to read the damned thing. But once I started reading, I didn't stop until I was done. Now, this isn't a 400-page novel, so that probably doesn't sound like a big deal. But for me, reading a novella online in one sitting is akin to reading the aforementioned 400-pages of paper in one sitting. It's absolutely absorbing. And better still, some people are just going to hate it. Better still? Why, yes. Because anything written that can evoke an emotion as strong as hatred is a-okay in my book. (I did not hate it, by the way.)

I'll hammer out a more complete review soonish (I hope). Here's the promotional blurb for Matt's very fine book:

You Will Behave begins with a mother reprimanding her son for raping his sister's Barbie Doll with Darth Vader's light-saber. She tells him that he will apologize, that he will bury the doll, that Darth will look Ken in the eye and confess his crime.

Only she doesn't stop there.

In this same tone, she proceeds to tell her son his entire life story. The result is a dark and uproarious tale of love, violence, and what little difference there is between the two. Told entirely in the second person future, You Will Behave is at once a heart-felt coming of age story and a send up of the very idea of coming of age at all.

Sounds kinda cutesy. But it's not. Really. More later.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

FRiGG and NOÖ Journal

I'm a little bit late with the news, but a couple mags I dig both had new issues go live last week.

FRiGG features writing by Lou Amodeo, Smith Browne, Kim Chinquee, Jai Clare, Martin Galvin, Elizabeth Glixman, Meredith Gresher, Brian Howell, Mark Lipowicz, Dennis Mahagin, Mike Markel, P.L. Mosher, Dan Nowak, Brian Reynolds, Sarah Sarai, and Jamie Zerndt.

NOÖ features Terry R. Banks, Steven J. Dines, Patry Francis, Jean Hendrickson, Oswald LeWinter, Mitzi McMahon, Rich Murphy, Lance Nalley, Carol Novack, Gwyn O'Brian, Grant Perry, Kyle Peterson, Megan Peterson, Thomas Reynolds, Walter Williams, and Kingston Wormwood.

Go read!

pre-order Ellen Meister's book!

Secret Confessions of the Applewood PTA is already available for pre-order on Amazon! (No pic of the cover available for public consumption yet, so y'all can gaze on the lovely author herself for a while.)

Friday, October 21, 2005

what the hell am I thinking?

If I am a writer at all, I am a writer of flash. And not just flash as often defined by a thousand word count. Shorter. Much shorter. When I looked for stuff to submit to that contest a month ago, the only pieces I had of which I was somewhat proud were under four hundred words. One of them was barely over 200. And I'm going to attempt to write 50,000 words in a month? Insane. So I'm breaking it down and trying to think how I can make this work.

50,000 words means 1,667 words per day. So let's say that my ideal average length of a piece is about 300 words. Actually, to make the math work, let's say 333. That's five pieces a day. Every day. No breaks. Five pieces surrounding the same general cast of characters, situation, plot, etc. Insane.

But I'm going to try. I think there may be just enough diversity to let my mind leap from place to place. Maybe. And I think I'm going to go into it without worrying about whether the pieces I write make sequential sense in the form of a novel. I can move the puzzle pieces around later.

Of course, five pieces a day while dealing with kids, work, etc. is a challenge in and of itself, even without considering the mental gymnastics necessary. But what the hell. Why not?

So how are other NaNo'ers feeling about things right about now?

(The image, incidentally, is relevant to the idea I have in mind.)

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Monday, October 17, 2005


Because it just came on my LaunchCast and because it reminds me of high school with Harry and late night code launches with Digital Sherpas.

One Step Beyond

Hey You!
Don’t watch that! Watch this!
This is the heavy, heavy monster sound,
The nuttiest sound around.
So if you’ve come in off the street,
And you’re beginning to feel the heat,
Well, listen, Buster, you better start to move your feet
To the rockin'est, rock-steady beat of Madness!

One step beyond!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

I have a new favorite website.

I don't talk much about politics here, and for the moment at least, I'm gonna mostly keep it that way. But I stumbled across a site that I absolutely LOVE: Crooks and Liars. (And if anyone had any questions about my political leanings, this should probably answer 'em.)

Saturday, October 08, 2005

an intriguing new market

Passing along a press release for a friend. While I won't reveal the identities of any of the editors involved with this, I will attest that they're terrific writers and bring solid experience to the project.

Innovative Lit Zine Launches on October 15
TQR Makes the Editorial Process Visible
to Readers and Submitters

Albuquerque, New Mexico (October 5, 2005) — The pilot issue of TQR, an online literary magazine whose motto is Stories Are Our Business™, will go online October 15. TQR will be different from other online literary magazines and aims to embrace the strengths of the Internet—its transparency, fluidity, immediacy and intimacy—and use them to create an entirely new e-zine experience.

“Unlike most other online magazines, TQR is not a print-magazine wannabe. We are an online magazine that will take advantage of the unique features of the Internet in a way that has never been seen before,” said TQR Chairman Theodore Q. Rorschalk (a pseudonym for an experienced fiction writer and editor whose writing has appeared in well-known literary magazines online).

Behind the TQR Motto: Stories Are Our Business™
TQR borrows its structure and jargon from the world of big business. There are several reasons for this approach, according to Mr. Rorschalk. First, TQR believes that stories should be viewed as being real, essential capital that stands the test of time; thus editors are called "capital managers" and readers are called "investors" because by reading TQR they are investing their valuable time. Second, TQR’s persona-based, meta-drama aspect mirrors the corporate environment with its soap opera of dirty tricks, backstabbing, and power plays. Lastly, the business model allows TQR to jettison the tiresome, indistinct notion of “art for art’s sake,” and show story vetting as a specific, repeatable, step-by-step process that invites debate among staff on what elements make a good story.

TQR’s Unique Editorial Process
At the start of each quarter, all submitted stories begin on the Floor where the first team of editors, called “capital managers,” either reject the stories (known at TQR as “capital”) or pass them along to the next level, the Terminal.

At the Terminal level, the “capital managers” may mention the specific titles of the works being judged in editorial meetings in the Conference Room, or discussions in the Terminal’s Free Market office. All discussions will remain positive, concentrating on stories’ “capital successes” instead of their failures. A rejection gmail from The Terminal will tell the writer what it was about that particular piece that kept it from being passed on to the next level.

The works that survive the Terminal will go on to one of two TQR departments, depending on whether the Terminal deems the story to be “genre” or “spec lit fic.” The former group will go on to The Quarterly Report; the latter to The Quarterly Revolution. The respective department heads (Tessa Quinlan-Renaud and T. Quincy Rockefeller—again, pseudonyms for two highly skilled fiction writers) will then winnow their “capital” down to two or, at most, three pieces. The rejected works will get a personal gmail from Tessa or T. giving the reasons the piece didn’t make the final cut.

The last stage takes place in the Conference Room where the capital-cognizant Theodore Q. Rorschalk hosts T. and Tessa for a no-holds-barred, real-time confab (open to the public, of course), wherein each department head makes his or her case for the works that he or she has chosen. At this point, not only will the works’ titles be cited, but the authors’ names will be used as well, owing to the fact that who wrote a piece might be just as much of a “selling point” as the piece itself.

TQR, where Stories Are Our Business™, is a quarterly online literary magazine at TQR features fiction in any genre from 4,000 to 12,000 words in length. TQR publishes three works per quarter and pays $50 per published piece. Submitters are warned that their stories may be discussed in detail, during a process that is visible to the reading public, at the later stages of the editorial process. Go to for detailed information about submitting stories and TQR’s unique evaluation process.

Friday, October 07, 2005


So I've decided to take a stab at NaNoWriMo again this year. Considering I haven't written anything of substance in months, this is probably insane, but my hope is that it'll get my ass in gear again. My goal is to write without much thought for polish--just slam the words out there as fast as I can. If whatever comes of it is worthwhile, I can go back and edit later. I think, in the past few years, I've worried too much about whether what I was writing was any good or not. So this year, I'm giving my permission to suck. And suck bad.

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Sunday, October 02, 2005

I'm just a little black rain cloud.

Cute quiz, found through Sharon Hurlbut's blog. I was afraid I'd be Rabbit, but I'm not! I'm a bear of little thought! Yay!

Take the 100 Acre Personality Quiz!