One Day, Something Happened

I keep forgetting I started this new blog to talk about publishing and upcoming publications. There’s a lot of stuff that just came out but I can’t link to it because it came out only on paper, perfectbound in a journal. It is telling that this is starting to seem strange to me.

I have a “collage essay” (? loosely termed), “Ars Romantica” out in the Fall 2010 issue of Hotel Amerika. Sidenote: I was reading Robert Alter’s translation of Genesis the other day and was reminded that collage is at least as old as the Bible. My piece has more Ben Affleck than the Bible, which I am stating as a selling point.

There’s this beautiful new journal called Parcel out of sweet sweet Lawrence, Kansas and I have short thing in there too–“The Escape Artist.” I hesitate to call it an essay or a story. I think I actually said “Here’s some prose,” when I sent it to the Parcel editor, Kate Lorenz.

West Branch is coming out soon and there will be a story (whew, finally) I wrote many years ago in there. That was back when I could say things like, “This is a story. That is an essay,” with confidence. I’m not going to tell you the title because I don’t like it.

It is a tough thing, to title. Especially when a story has been knocking around your brain for something like 7 years with it’s one title. The editors at West Branch had good reason for wanting a new title, but it was hard. My brain kept snapping back to the thing the story had been called for seven years OR (even worse) the working title from eight years ago that I hadn’t even remembered until I tried to get my stupid brain to do something useful and productive for once and whip me up a hot new title for my story. I’m currently retitling a couple of the stories in my collection but I feel that I’ve lost perspective. Some of the titles were not-so-great, but all my brain wants to do is replace them with worse ones. Like, “One Day, Something Happened.” I thought of that title when I was an MFA student, as a dumb little joke to myself, and to this day, whenever I need to title a piece, my brain has to go there, like a tic, even though it’s not funny at all and this has been going on for a decade now. It’s like my version of Michael Scott’s “That’s what she said.”

Another thing that is neither a story nor an essay nor not (?) either of those things is “Anamnesis” which is coming out really soon in Tarpaulin Sky and also won’t be available online, I don’t think. And the current issue of Barrelhouse (which looks so hot, btw), has a story of mine in it–“Kindness.” It’s about a male escort, fwiw.

And that’s the happy news round these parts.

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