Wednesday, December 2, 2009

New Project

I'm going to write various prose poem-like things. The protagonist of each one will be a different author. It will be written in his/her style, but only somewhat, because I will put very little effort into doing this. I have already finished a piece with Cormac McCarthy.

To everyone who is reading this: Please tell me one author who you would like me to work with.

In other news: It's the last couple of weeks of the semester and shit is busy. Slowly working my way through essays and final portfolios. Only two more essays to go. Due next week. It sometimes feels like I'm getting a Master's in English rather than Creative Writing, which is a cruel fate because it's easier to find a job teaching literature than teaching writing, but I guess I don't really want to teach literature. But it would still beat working overnights at a gas station like I used to do.

Seasonal Affective Disorder has been getting me down lately. Might ask my mother to ship me my light box. One of the perks of working overnights is I didn't really suffer from S.A.D. I think what I found depressing is darkness early in the day. When I used to go to sleep in the light, I never had to experience this darkness. I just woke up in it. And for some reason, sleeping during the day is a lot more restful for me. I would never wake up and yell, "No!" because I didn't want to get out of bed. This now happens to me whenever I get up early for class.

Temporarily abandoned a novella. Going to start outlining another one soon.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Story-Interruptus

I have always been frustrated by non-endings in literary fiction stories. They are such a convention in lit journals (and a few collections that I'm read for school). Maybe MFA programs teach their students to do them? This would explain why it occurs so often.

I feel so unsatisfied by these things whenever I read them. They come out of nowhere and it's like a punch to the gut. What is slight becomes dramatic. The author tries to force into finding meaning in the meaningless. What I feel is lazy writing is supposed to sound profound.

A reader develops an emotional detachment to a novel. The reader must be satisfied or the book will be considered a failure. All the time spent reading will be considered a waste of time. So an author must put in a lot of effort into creating their ending. But with a story, endings aren't as important. And considering the state of literary short fiction, I assume most readers don't care about the ending. They only care about what has come before it. So they give the writers permission to be lazy and write lackluster endings.

Have realized that I hate reading stories online but enjoy novels. It's more difficult for me to get into a piece of writing when it's on a computer monitor, but once that happens, it's smooth sailing from there. With stories, I'm usually unable to get into them before the story ends. I think Noah Cicero is probably my favorite writer to read online.

Once I went half deaf after trying to wax my ear out my a tube of ear wax removal stuff that I bought in the grocery store. My hearing isn't the greatest, so I wanted to see if it would improve it. And then I had swimmer's ear for a couple of days until it got so annoying that I went to the doctor and they flushed out my ear and it was wonderful. So I didn't have anything to read for those couple of days and felt too crappy to leave the house, so I bought a few ebooks from Raw Dog Screaming Press. I think they were all short story collections. Two books by Harold Jaffe, which were easy to get into because of his clear writing style. And one book by Darren Speegle, which I really should have been reading in print. His style was way too rich and baroque to be read on a computer screen. And years before this, I bought a couple of ebooks by Carlton Mellick III books and one by Kevin Donihe because they were cheaper than the physical books and was not sure they would be good. That's my origin as far as getting into bizarro fiction.

Right now I'm at my job in my college's computer lab. Part of my job seems to be spelling the word "boredom" for a woman and telling her what the glass is called at the front of a car: "windshield."

Also, five bizarro books are now available for download as free PDFs until Thanksgiving: Ass Goblins of Auschwitz, Super Fetus, Sausagey Santa, and both volumes of The Bizarro Starter Kit. I have a novella that appears in the "blue" edition. It is called Cheesequake Smash-up. It concerns a city-wide demolition derby between levitating buildings. Winner gets total supremacy over the fast food industry.

Carlton Mellick III wrote Sausagey Santa and it's a really good time. A light read so it's friendlier on-screen reading. The two Starter Kits also have a lot of good stuff, although each page consists of two columns of text, so the reading isn't as friendly. Here is the link:

www.jeffburk.wordpress.com/free-books

Monday, November 16, 2009

Spiritual Cramp

How come I can never go to sleep at the same time each night? How come when I wake up by alarm I always feel miserable and exhausted? It wasn't like this back when I was doing overnights, sleeping during the day, and waking up at ten pm for work. That was the one benefit of working graveyards.

You can now pre-order my short story collection, My Heart Said No, But the Camera Crew Said Yes! Do it here: www.rawdogscreaming.com/myheart.html

Here are some descriptions of haunted houses:

From The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson-

Chapter 1 (omnipresent POV)

No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.

Chapter 2 (third person limited POV)

No human eye can isolate the unhappy coincidence of line and place which suggests evil in the face of a house, and yet somehow a maniac juxtaposition, a badly turned angle, some chance meeting of roof and sky, turned Hill House into a place of despair, more frightening because the face of Hill House seemed awake, with a watchfulness from the blank windows and a touch of glee in the eyebrow of a cornice. Almost any house, caught unexpectedly or at an odd angle, can turn a deeply humorous look on a watching person; even a mischievous little chimney, or a dormer like a dimple, can catch up a beholder with a sense of fellowship; but a house arrogant and hating, never off guard, can only be evil. This house, which seemed somehow to have formed itself, flying together into its own powerful pattern under the hands of its builders, fitting itself into its own construction of lines and angles, reared its great head back against the sky without concession to humanity. It was a house without kindness, never meant to be lived in, not a fit place for people or for love or for hope. Exorcism cannot alter the countenance of a house; Hill House would stay as it was until it was destroyed.

From Hell House by Richard Matheson:

It stood before them in the fog, a massive, looming specter of a house.

From "Terror in the Haunted House" by Bradley Sands (from My Heart Said No, But the Camera Crew Said Yes!)

Black-wearing men wheel out a house that is just a little too large for a miniature and just a little too small to be a house. Six stories of pure trial and error, an ungainly spire growing out of its roof that really should be checked out by a doctor, a fog machine that won the Regional Spelling Bee with “doom for asthmatics,” grass that has been overgrown ever since accepting a contract put out on the readers of Better Homes and Gardens―this is what awaits Crispin on The Price Is An Unspeakable Agony.

Also, I have been having trouble connecting with experimental poetry lately. I take a class where it is often workshopped. It is tough on me. This is my theory of experimental poetry:

1: It is not narrative-based. Instead, it is written with the intention that the language/words/rhythm will trigger emotions and memories in the reader. Unfortunately, it does not work like this for me.

2: There is no clear POV. No protagonist or multi-protagonist. No I, you, he, she, the man, the woman, the mongoose. I feel like a POV is a key that opens a door for me. Without POV, a poem remains inaccessible to me.

3: It is often entirely composed of predicates and devoid of subjects.

Also, I came up with a phrase while revising a particular letter entirely too many times: "Revision is the most essential nutrient for typos." Eh...something like that. It was better when I came up with it. Now I'm paraphrasing.

Also, The &Now Awards Anthology came in the mail today. Looks good. I have a story in it. You can buy it here: www.lakeforest.edu/press/lfcp/&now/awards.html. Or here: www.amazon.com/Now-Awards-Best-Innovative-Writing/dp/0982315600

And this just in! Mel Bosworth reads things. This time, he reads my prose poem, "The Time Traveling Giraffe is on Fire."



Thanks, Mel!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Here's the back cover text my publisher wrote for my story collection, My Heart Said No, But the Camera Crew Said Yes! I like it:

"Have you ever had one of those nights when you could swear in front of a court of law that you haven’t had a wink of sleep, but the prosecutor would have a field day with details concerning your alarm clock going off after what seemed like only an hour and your lingering memories of mischievous lawn furniture?"

Forget everything you know about life, the world and all the objects in it. Bradley Sands can bend them to his will with a frightening disregard for reality. You never know who, or what, is lying in wait behind the next comma. Whether it's Super Noxious Air Man and his sidekick, Kid Centrifugal Force, or the next episode of Teddy the Rottweiler Spayer, Sands keeps you off-balance with laughter and astonishment. These stories are crammed with the delightfully odd and the scurrilously silly. From moment to moment My Heart Said No requires the most unexpected, perplexing and hilarious leaps of faith. But you'll be glad you took this exhilarating jump into uncharted territory.

------------------------------

Have been in a creative funk lately. Feel like I do not have the capability to write well at the moment.

What do you do when this happens to you? Do you keep pushing on?

Working on a novella. Really like the concept. Feel like it is wasted because my writing is not up to snuff. Should I continue, hoping things will change? I feel like it doesn't matter what I work on. It's not the novella that isn't working. It's my writing that isn't working. If I switched to another book, I would probably have the same problem. And I would probably be working with a concept that was as dear to me as the current one. So another one would be wasted.

Maybe I should go back to prose poems for a while. Those are fun, easy. Focus on language. No concern about the plot. Little investment in each piece. Maybe I'll solicit titles like I did a while back.

How do you guys feel about writing when you're tired? I have trouble with it because it cuts down on my confidence. But if I motivated myself to write when tired, I would have a lot more time to write.

I think the main thing about the writing process is whether or not you are confident in what you're doing. It doesn't matter how good it is as long as you're confident. If you feel this way, writing is easy and pleasurable. You can lack confidence and think what you're doing sucks, but end up writing something fantastic even though the process was pure torture. And vice versa. The process may be enjoyable, but the end product may suck, and I don't think that's such a big deal because you had a swell time and at least got some practice out of it. I hate perceptions.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hate Mail to Someone Who Isn't Me

Just spent an hour looking for this. It's hate mail to my friend's zine. It was accompanied by a few poetry submissions. Here it is:

Editors, Chiaroscuro:

I'm stymied as to how you could even name a magazine a word you doubtless can't pronounce, and it's a miracle you spell it right, since you're all obviously demented and ignoramic orangutans.

It's beyond my ken that grown American men, ostensibly holding the high-school diploma or beyond, could found a magazine so blatantly and unabashedly vile and rotten and illiterate as this Chiaroscuro debacle, which if I had founded or put out monthly wouldn't have the nerve or the gall to show my face outside a black paper bag.

How is it possible for grown American men to be so downright and outright stupid as to produce this thing--without being so ashamed as to want to kill yourselves?

You make an apology for typos! Hell, typos are the least of your worries. You can't even pick the right words you mean from the English language! You're masters of malopropism. It isn't even that, it's outright ignorance! Done with pride, yet!

When I saw "uncomprehendable" I thought, is that misspelled? Hell, misspelled? It isn't even the word. The word you want is incomprehensible. In the adjacent column you've got "compliments," meaning "complements." In the swatch above that (they're not really columns--your format stinks) you've got "temporally," meaning "temporarily." Do you engage your brains at all before you start writing? On p. 7 of August issue you've got "who's" meaning "whose," "tradition" meaning "traditional," and you think it's spelled "cubical." Could you have less gray matter? I think not.

The verb is "outdid," one word, not "out did"--what puerility!

Last page: only an ass thinks the word is "alright." "Others opinions" is senseless--do you think you want to make it possessive somehow instead of plural? Would you even know how to begin? You don't use "etc." in formal prose. You say "and so on." "Was is possible"? Could it be "it"? Do you use your eyes there, or are they on vacation along with your brains?

Whom do you think you're kidding with this whole vile, rotten, putrid, disgusting piece of dried-up, stinking, caked-white little dog turd each month? Do you have some notion you're "literary," or have the vaguest inkling about English or how to write? What a crock if you do! You're frauds! I wouldn't want a butterfingers doing either my piano-concertizing or my neurosurgery, and that's how you equate, you complete charlatans and stupid asses, having no shame about it!

Whom do you think you're kidding tossing around extreme vulgarities totally extraneously and gratuitously with no meaning to them but to display that you think you're smart? You don't approach the ability to apply to be smart. The f-word as you pepper it is not smart, not funny, not cute, not interesting, and a crashing bore. If you think you're coming off smart by "insulting" readers with it, calling them by it every few lines, you're mistaken. All you're doing is displaying your idiocy and the nearly complete absence of any kind of heart, brain, or soul--as writers. You're not writers, you're frauds, and stupid frauds, at that!

If you think that boring, asinine, monotonous and illiterate elephant diarrhea you print each month and call "fiction" is fiction, you need brain burial. Nothing could be a bigger bore than these maggotty slices of tripe you serve up as "literature." You're the laughing stock of the nation, and all you're doing with Chiaroscuro is blatantly and shamelessly advertising ignorance. Why do you wish to do that? I can't predict anything but failure for all of you if you continue to support this vile, deteriorating form of social anarchy and chaos--failure as writers, but most of all, failure as souls. Right now, you're asses--and I'm flummoxed that you could even come up with the word "chiaroscuro." Is there one staff member who can pronounce or spell it or know what it means? If you want a chiaroscuronic magazine, then learn to write chiaroscuronically. Judging from the last two issues, you're writing with your anuses--and the earth would be better off you were on Uranus.

A Real Winner / Salt Lake City

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

gasoline

Feeling kind of depressed. Trying to write a shitty story for class that's keeping me from writing a novella that I actually want to work on. So I thought, Hell, I should write a blog entry instead even though I don't have the goddam internet at my house. Blog entries don't matter, unless they do and I am unaware. I am not obsessing over every little keystroke. It does not take me ten minutes to compose a sentence. I am typing without thinking about what I am typing. It is like someone saying, "Think before you speak." "Think before you type." I am not thinking before I type. I think if I put much thought into my words before I speak, it would take a very long time to have a conversation with me. I think I can be pretty awkward to have a conversation with. Sometimes I say things that don't make sense and use awkward phrases. When I am responding to someone's email, my answers are succulent, well thought out. Two things are bothering me but I will not discuss them because this is blogspot not livejournal.

I've been reading a lot of Stephen Dixon lately. I just finished Frog and it was fantastic. Probably one of my favorite books now. I've always been obsessed with writing and reading about a character's entire life and the novel satisfied me in this aspect. It was super-long.

Listening Nick Cave's soundtrack to The Assassination of Jesse James. Really like it. Didn't start listening to it until recently because I had previously tried doing it on my laptop and it sounded like shit on the speakers, so I had assumed the audio quality was bad. But I tried it on my desktop a few days ago and I was wrong.

When I visited my parents in NY before moving to Colorado, I had a lot of free time and nothing to read. So I looked in my brother's bookcase. Found an uncorrected proof of Stephen Dixon's Old Friends. I must have been really desperate to have read it considering how dull the title was, but it was really great. Especially liked the narrator talking about all the horrible things that happened to his family, and then matter of factly mentioning it was just him worrying + his imagination. It tricked me every time. My brother probably got the book from the newspaper that he edits.

Then I spent must of the summer reading Dixon. I realize the summer is a memorable time when it comes to reading. I will look back at this summer as the summer of Dixon. Last summer, I read The Dark Tower series. The summer of 2000 was Infinite Jest.

I can't understand why I like Dixon so much. His is the sort of writing that I should hate. Mundane, dull. But he's not dull for some inexplicable reason. His books excite me. I think he's sort of like a minimalist in form and a maximalist in content and I found that pretty intriguing.

I just ordered a big book of his short stories. They have it at the library, but it's too long to read before the due date and the stories are too same-y to plow through. I've probably read a tenth of it.

The impression I get from Dixon's protagonists is that he always uses himself as a template and the characters are different variations of himself. And different books tell the same stories in various ways. The man seems to be extremely obsessed with certain events in his life, as I suppose we all are.

I think I want to read his book, Gould, too. I've read maybe six of his books since the summer. He has so many I feel like I'll be reading him for the rest of my life and this excites me. I usually find an author that I like a lot and read everything they have written and have to wait five years for another book and it is never worth the wait. I wonder if I will get burnt out on Dixon.

I've noticed picking up some writing habits from him lately. Like putting exchanges of dialogue in one paragraph rather than many. Gonna make it harder to get to desired page lengths this way.

I saw Christian Bok perform on Saturday. There's two dots over the o in his last name, but I don't know how to type that. His last name is pronounced "book." I do not know why. He was entertaining. I've never heard anyone do sound poetry before. I only went to meet Daniel Bailey. We went to a bar afterward where they try to trick you into going into the wrong gendered bathroom. I ate a peanut butter burger. That's the second peanut butter burger I've had there. They are good.

Going to Portland tomorrow to attend Bizarro Con. Doing a reading and a panel on humor writing. Participating in a workshop. Also did it last year. The exercise this time and last time was to come up with a conceptual book: title, pitch line, back cover synopsis. I like this exercise, which is the reason why I'm doing the workshop again. Forces me to come up with a great concept for a book, and I need to be forced.

Started working with recovering drug addicts and alcoholics Went great. Doing a writing workshop. In class exercises.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

oh

Started writing this as a goodreads comment, then realized I hadn't written a blog in ages.

I only seem to get into Dennis Cooper’s books when I’m a college student. Now I’m back after eight years. I always find a lot of his books in city and college libraries. Was really into him when I was a young undergrad. Until, Period, which really put me off. Found it to be too experimental or something. Grew out of all the gruesomeness.

A few month’s back, I read, God Jr. Stumbled across the premise somewhere and it sounded intriguing. Was a wonderful book. Then I went back and read Period. Loved it, particularly because of its experimental nature. Cooper’s how deal with the concepts of identity is intriguing. It made me want to go back to read Frisk assuming that’s his “My name is Dennis Cooper and I am a serial killer” sort of book. Loved that one. Haven’t reread it yet. But I reread Closer because that was one of the handful of novels the library had. It was pretty alright. Not as good as the first time I read it. Lacked the intriguing innovations or whatever you want to call them of Period. Now I’m about to read Try because it’s the only other book the library has that I haven’t reread. Will probably feel the same way about it. I put in an inter-library loan for The Sluts. Looking forward to that.

Here’s some newly published stuff. I usually like to link to them at the end, but this blog entry seems pretty tedious and I don’t know if people will get that far.

New publications

A House” at Word Riot

mud luscious issue nine is up & frantic including the work of kate wyer, peter schwartz, christina farella, meg pokrass, bradley sands, mel bosworth, andrea deangelis, zachary tyler vickers, cortney mclellan, richard osgood, david peak, roxane gay, gregory sherl, steven j. mcdermott, & kimberly e. ruth alongside reviews of ANTHEM by c. l. bledsoe, DAYS OF DESTRUCTION by gary beck, & BIG AMERICAN TRIP by christian peet.

Here's Brandon Duncan’s cover art for my upcoming short story collection through Raw Dog Screaming Press: My Heart Said No, but the Camera Crew Said Yes!


Strange how it's not showing the colored bars and my name at the bottom right corner.

Do people actually use Myspace anymore? Wondering if it's worth promoting the new Bust on it. Usually takes a while, but I might buy an evil program to save myself the time. If it's worth the cash. If people still use Myspace.

In my garage, door open. The people in my neighborhood love to wonder around after dark and chant the names of their pets.

In other news, recently I have been able to determine when I will be waking up with TMJ pain beforehand. When I experience a feeling in my brain around bedtime—stress, anxiety, whatever—I know I will be waking up in pain. But I also know there are techniques I can use to eliminate or reduce this pain such as trying to relax, meditation, showering, drinking calming teas, and going to sleep a little later than usual to broaden the time between weird brain activity and sleep. Whenever this happens, I also take a particular pill that I can only buy from Whole Foods which I do not take every night because it is a little expensive and I develop a tolerance to it if I take it a bunch of times in a row each night.

So last night I got all riled up by a piece a student turned in for workshop. Had to write a letter to them about it. Caused me anxiety because every little thing in this world causes me stress and anxiety. The trick is to avoid every little thing before bedtime. Unfortunately, there are not enough hours in the day and sometimes I need to do school work at night. Stress was so much easier when it did not cause me physical pain.

So I took a shower, drank soothing tea, swallowed a Whole Foods pill, stayed up a bit later, and went to sleep. Woke up in pain, although not agonizing pain like I used to. Haven’t had that in a while, perhaps due to the techniques I mentioned earlier and this magical juice thing that my parents send me. It is nice not to experience agonizing pain. I once had that for three months straight. It ended once I figured out what was wrong with me and took precautions.

So I woke up with pain, but not agonizing. When this happens, I am able to read and do other stuff, but not write. I hate it when this happens when I had planned to write. When I am in pain, the music, the rhythm of language is missing from my head. I am tone deaf. I do not have very high self-esteem, but when in reference to my writing, I think, “I am the shit.” I believe thinking this way is necessary to write well, to have the confidence to write well. When I am in pain, I lack this confidence.

Today I had intended to start a novella. It will combine a getaway story with a haunted house story in a manner that is totally ridiculous, illogical, and AWESOME. I have been meaning to start this for a while. I have not done any work on it. I had planned to write the outline first, but I was motivated to start on the actual prose (and will probably only write a few pages before pausing to outline) because one of my professor’s assignments was to bring in ANY piece of creative writing for next week, and I jumped at the opportunity because I have done very little writing since the semester started late last month. Besides a few short assignments—nada. Oh, and the thing I did this weekend. Contacted about writing a proposal for a YA horror novel. Wrote the plot summary and the first 500 words. Hope I get the gig. Because I have no source of income.

So back to this morning. Really frustrated that I wasn’t able to write, which makes the pain worse, probably more so psychologically than physically. So instead, I finished reading Home Land by Sam Lipsyte, which was excellent. Read The Subject Steve a while back and found it incredibly annoying. Wonder if Lipsyte has come far as a writer or I have come far as a reader. I also read a few stories in Donald Ray Pollock’s Knockemstiff, which were pretty alright. And then I took a nap, because TMJ pain often induces napping. And fifty percent of the time, I will wake up from a nap and it will be gone. So I woke up and it was gone (although it is back now to a mild extent). Then I took a bus and ate at Quiznos. Drank a bunch of Dr. Pepper because I wanted to get caffeinated up to start on the novella. Probably a bad idea because caffeine has a tendency to cause pain the next morning. Better to drink it in the morning rather than afternoon/evening. Coffee is out of the question.

Went back home. Tried to write. Had one of those days where it doesn’t come easy. When everything is a struggle. When everything seems to suck. Hate days like this. But at least I got it started. Maybe tomorrow I will read it and think it’s good. Think days like this may have more to do with my perception than my ability to write well. So we’ll see. Glad I didn’t have one of these days on Sunday when I wrote the first 500 words for the YA novel. Everything seemed to go right that day. It was easy. Wrote it in no time. Today, seemed to take me forever to get all this crap into my computer. Suppose that sort of thing is much more likely to happen at the beginning of something new rather than when I’m in the meat of it.

So I wrote a page of possible crap, then used my caffeine high to finish a five page paper that’s due on Friday which I’ve been putting off. Think it’s a piece of shit also, but I don’t care. Haven’t written a paper in eight years, so I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. Sure I will figure out along the way. There’s something about my grad school workload that seems so overwhelming, until I finish it. Which always takes very little time. I guess I have no conception of how long something will take. Just see all the stuff I need to do and mildly freak out.

Now I’m going to stay up late, because of this goddam caffeine and the desire to resist pain when I wake up tomorrow. Read some more of Knockemstiff. Maybe start Try. Tomorrow, I have to fill out some paper work and take a tuberculosis test. It’s for a volunteer job I’m doing: teaching recovering alcoholics and drug addicts how to write. Looking forward to it. It’s for a particular class that I’m taking.

Might go see Brian Evenson and Joanna Howard read this weekend, assuming I can get a ride to Denver. Will hopefully meet Daniel Bailey. Write something that I need to get done and keep putting off. It’s non-creative and semi-super secret.

Think maybe going back to school has made me boring blog-wise.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Brain frazzled. Using free wireless in supermarket.

Started classes last week. Taking three. Two on the same day: noir and experimental fiction. Three hour break between. Polar opposites. Noir is pretty conventional. Nuts and bolts-y. Experimental is like whoa.

Also doing a class where I'm supposed to volunteer to teach writing in the community. Might be a library or a mental health place or something. Will be nice to get teaching experience. The reason why I was turned down by the college's writing center for a position. Was bummed. Figured going to college is about getting the opportunity to gain experience without first having the experience. The old catch 22. But I guess only to a small extent.

Still looking for work. Have only done so on campus for work study stuff. Did five interviews. Turned down by all. Tired of interviews. Driving me insane.

Now I need to start looking for off-campus employment. Whole Foods or some shit.

Finished editing another novelette today.

Figured out the Yerba Mate on campus gives me terrible gas, unlike the store-bought kind.

Think I want a smoothie.

Crazy busy last week. This week, not so much. Not at all since I only go to school two days a week.

Next week, two of my classes fall on memorial day, so it's like a one week vacation except for one class. Too bad it isn't more middle of the semester.

Going to bizarro con in October, Portland. Will sleep on a floor.

Got first bad review of It Came from Below the Belt on Amazon. Surprised it didn't happen earlier. Wonder why the person bought it. Assume the synopsis or look inside feature would have been a major turn off.

Gonna go back and space this out so it's easier to read.

Monday, August 17, 2009

New Noo

Rushed for time, so copy and paste:

You can check out the latest issue of NOÖ Journal today! Work from such beauties as Matt Bell, Mary Hamilton, Ari Field, Bradley Sands, Bonnie Zobell, Loren Goodman, and many more. Stuff about the age of the ebook; The Greying Ghost; chapbooks/books by Dobby Gibson, Carrie Hunter, Jon Leon; a time machine; lots of babies; a spittle bug; a painful breakfast; a billboard of thanks; and more.

Friday, August 14, 2009

A blog entry!

First things first:

The new issue of Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens is out.



Includes stories by Shane Jones, Steve Aylett, D. Harlan Wilson, Christopher Higgs, Sean Casey, Ben Stein, Katy Wimhurst, and Ryan W. Bradley.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, werewolves, transsexuals, and Frankenstein monsters, step right up and see curiosities and monstrosities, wonders and horrors like you've never seen before! See the terror of the Antipodes, the ferocious platypus! Behold the dark, twisted longings of the Satanic progeny of the magus Joseph Smith! For the first time anywhere see the elusive metaphor in captivity! And see the most rare and shy of entities, here for your amusement is the good life! Step right up and break through the barriers set up to protect the tender juicy white meat of your fragile mind, step right up and watch as we BUST DOWN THE DOOR AND EAT ALL THE CHICKENS!

Buy it here: www.absurdistjournal.com/current.htm

Personal things:

My new house doesn’t really have an internet connection. It’s been nice. I’ve been a lot more productive. I’m writing this blog entry in a Microsoft Word document.

When I first moved here, my housemate, who is another MFA student, told me the only way I could get an internet connection is to steal someone’s wifi by going into the upstairs bathroom and standing in the shower with my laptop resting on the window sill. But my battery only lasts for three minutes, so I would only have time to download my email. I did this a few times, feeling totally ridiculous, afraid I would drop my laptop on the shower floor.

Later, I was told by another housemate that I could get a connection from the garage, so that’s what I do these days, although it is not very dependable.

The semester starts in ten days. Have been looking forward to it. It will be a nice, relaxing change from the intensive summer program. One of the classes I’m taking is on reading and writing noir. It’s cool because Will Christopher Baer used to be the professor’s student and Will Christopher Baer is one of my favorite authors.

Have been looking for a work study/on campus job like crazy. Nervous about that. Need money to pay rent. Did a few interviews. One was at the Allen Ginsberg Library. Didn’t get that one. Bummed about it. Suspect cute girls were hired over me. Have always wanted to work at a library. Usually when I apply, I get a “Do you have any library experience?” response. Would have been nice to have gotten some library experience.

Still waiting to hear back about a position in the writing center.

Have also been reading and writing like crazy. Spent a couple of weeks reading like three books a day. They were usually pretty short. It was the opposite of my book depression-affliction that I suffered about a year ago where I didn’t like anything/couldn’t finish anything. I liked nearly everything. Went back to some of the books that “defeated” me during my book depression and flew through them.

Everything I write these days seems to be novelette-sized. I wrote the first draft of one in four days. Now working on another about a ninja. It’s going great. Hoping to be finished before school starts. If not, no big deal.

Looking forward to meeting Daniel Bailey and another writer who I like who emailed me about getting a beer. I like his stuff and had no idea he lived in the area.

My story, In the Restaurant, won a &Now award (subtitled: The Best Innovative Writing. It’s described as “Your friendly neighborhood anti-Pushcart Prize collection.” The story will be reprinted in their anthology, which is coming out in a couple of months.

Found out my cousin who I haven’t seen in maybe ten years is getting her Masters in psychology at the same school as me and just moved here. Big coincidence. Met her a couple of days ago. It was nice.

Things are really good, except for the dire financial situation. Have been living off credit for the past couple of weeks.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

boo

I want to go into a bar and go up to lots of people and say, "Hello, I am a ghost." I hope people will buy me drinks.

ffffffffffffvvffff. My f key is not working very well.

I read a story in Laird Hunt's Paris Stories that made me want to be a ghost when I die. I read it after my urge to impersonate a ghost at a bar.

I think maybe I don't really want to DIE, and ghosts only die, so I'm ok with that. You don't have to worry about money when you're a ghost. Or food or shelter. You can travel all the time. Do whatever you want to do. The ghost in Laird Hunt's story said she never gets lonely because there are a lot of ghosts to keep her company. I imagine a lot of people have died. I'll write books and other ghosts will read them and enjoy them. We'll connect on a human level. Being a ghost is awesome.

I read at an open mic tonight. I love reading. I hate open mics. I need to schedule my own readings. I don't know how to do this.

I'm going to write a totally different book from the one I originally intended for my three day novella. I write first person pov much quicker than third. I started the book that I originally intended to do a while ago. I wrote a little more than a page of third person narration. I wasn't enjoying it so I stopped. I read it yesterday. It was really great. I want to continue with it, but keep the same style/tone. Need to keep it third person. I can't write a third person book in three days.

I'm going to write a book called Untitled Bradley Sands Project. If it actually ends up publishable, I might keep it.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

100% free porn robocop

Blarg. Probably shouldn't have poured expired milk in my cereal this morning.

My summer writing program is long over. Cool workshops. The stuff in the afternoon wasn't so good, like lectures and panels. Too much of a poetry slant. Did a presentation during a panel about how to start a lit journal. Highlights were the workshops with Laird Hunt and Brian Evenson (and Joanna Howard). Saw him dance to a Michael Jackson song. Liked Selah Saterstrom's weekly class a lot. I don't know why I don't hear about her books more often. You should read them. Michelle Ellsworth's performance was great, although I was ill. Was in her workshop for the first day, but switched to Evenson's for the second after someone dropped out. Made a teacup breakdance on its own volition for like five minutes. Saw people breakdancing on yuppie street a few days ago. Couldn't see much since they were ground level and people were blocking my view.

Met lots of people. Nice to be part of a scene that doesn't exist mostly on the internet.

Things are happening.

New issue of Zygote in My Coffee with my prose poem, "A Suicidal Amputee Tries to Kill Himself by Rolling Off His Bed, Down the Stairs, Through the Screen Door, and Into Traffic; Some Dominican Kids Poke Him With Sticks Too, and an Eagle Shits on Him" Thanks Jerome for the prompt.

Afterbirth Books is putting out my novella collection, Disappointing Sophomoric Effort, maybe before the end of the year.

Raw Dog Screaming Press is putting out my short story collection, My Heart Said No, But the Camera Crew Said Yes!, next year.

Another book was accepted for publication that I can't talk about yet.

My novella that appeared in The Bizarro Starter Kit (Blue)-- Cheesequake Smash-up-- was nominated for The &NOW Awards: The Best Innovative Writing.

Have been posting under A_Lawn_Gnome for Twitter 66. Probably should do that more.

Have a bunch of time to kill. School doesn't begin again until the end of August. Psyched for a relaxed semester. Summer program was a little too much. Spending 13 hours a day at school almost every day for a month. Although that's with lots of breaks.

Doing a 3 day novella writing challenge starting Thursday. Gina Ranalli is joining in. Maybe Sam Pink. Maybe others. Join in.

Blarg.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

dreams are boring

First full day of writing program classes. Very busy. Just finished my homework for the night. Feels weird to type "homework."

Yesterday, I heard a recording of Allen Ginsberg. Last night, had a dream where I was sitting next to Allen Ginsberg in the audience of a Quiz show. Jack Kerouac was a contestant. A sorta flapper version of Paris Hilton was playing. She was molesting Jack Kerouac. He was not happy about this.

I once went to an Acumen concert in NYC at The Bat Cave. A man and a woman were standing in front of the stage, rubbing the bassist's crotch. He was not happy about this. He was trying to get away. He was unsuccessful.

I was simultaneously Jack Kerouac and myself. Allen Ginsberg was simultaneously the flapper and himself. He was wearing her clothes. Allen Ginsberg was rubbing me. Not sure if I was happy about this. Maybe uncomfortable. Maybe an emotion I cannot comprehend since it was a dream.

Ended up without clothes. Suddenly, Jack Kerouac was dead. Suddenly Allen and I were in his apartment. It was sort of a museum. Nothing had been changed/removed since the day he died. For some reason, the flapper lived next door. Did something in her apartment. Don't recall what. Not sure if she's dead or not home.

Put on Jack's clothes at Allen's suggestion. Wearing sweat pants. Leave. Find it the authorities are all pissed that I stole Jack's clothes. It's a really big deal. They are pissed. There was a journal in my pocket, which makes it much worse. Odd how I didn't notice the wait of the journal while I was in sweat pants.

Return the clothes. Past crimes are forgiven. Authorities are ok with me hanging out in Jack's old apartment. Allen and I chill.

Dreams are boring.

Monday, June 8, 2009

this place

Have been in Boulder since Monday. It's great. Paradise, except for when the weather is bad. Big hail stones earlier today. Lasted a few minutes. Meeting a professor tomorrow at a coffee shop. Orientation starts Thursday.

Chose the cover art for the next issue of Bust. Doing last minutes on the issue.

Have an urge to tweet "Masturbating" five times so it fills the right side of my blog. Holding back because it would be really annoying for people who follow me on twitter.

Living in a neighborhood with lots of young college students for the next couple of months. Sometimes gets noisy at night. Annoying

Offered a room in an awesome apartment outside of Boulder starting in August. Would be living with an elderly man who is an ex-priest/ex-judge, semi-retired Jungian psychologist. We hit it off. The area is beautiful. Even more beautiful than Boulder. Quiet. The community is like a country club. Only problem is it's a little far from school and I'm trying to avoid bringing my car up, which I might do if I take this place and busing is too much of a pain.

Walked to campus a few days ago. Beautiful. Tiniest campus I've ever seen. There's two more of them elsewhere in the city. I may never step foot on either of those.

There's a miniature golf course in Denver called Adventure Golf. I want to play. Tiki head and volcano spits fire. You have to hit your ball through a haunted house.

The first issue of The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction is out. There's a reprint of my "How to Write a Short Story!" in there.

It features a novella by Anderson Prunty which he describes as being "like Scooby Doo, but Scooby and the gang traveling pornographers." Stories by Jordan Krall, Bruce Taylor, Garrett Cook, and Michael Gibbs. Comics by Andrew Goldfarb and Jeremy Kemp. Articles by Mykle Hansen and editor, Jeff Burk. A spotlight on Gina Ranalli. Lots of bizarro book reviews.

Buy it here: bizarrocentral.com/magazine.asp

There's also copies for sale on Amazon.

Friday, May 29, 2009

a paragraph composed of the first sentences of all the chapters in my novel in progress

This is the only house in the neighborhood without a basement. The dog is barking. Dad returns, shaken. Had there ever been a front door? Dad removes his toolbox from the hall closet, opens it, grabs a hammer. Dad climbs the stairs to smash a window in his bedroom. Matt likes his room. Dad tells Mom and Paul it’s all mirror. It becomes quieter than quiet. Mom and Paul are hugging. Dad is angry at his wife for seeking retribution against him. Paul’s consciousness lies in bed. The living room feels bloated. Matt is a cardboard box. The front door ages, retires, and dies, leaving behind a severed doorknob. Matt is a cardboard box. Dad reads Ion a bedtime story. Paul is jumping on a bouncy castle. Matt is not a cardboard box.

Monday, May 25, 2009

all of my mother's day flowers are dead

I have a beard and am naked in my brother's old room. My old room is now my mother's Ebay room.

I am in NY. There are a couple of readings in the city I might go to. Probably not though. I would if I could drive rather than train to them. I don't like readings, unless I am reading. I would rather read an author's work myself than hear them say it out loud. I cannot follow a story when it is said out loud unless the speaker is very animated. I fade out a lot. I miss things that are necessary to follow the story. If this happens when I am reading a book, I can backtrack. Although it happens less. I think the only thing I like about going to readings is the hanging out aspect.

The house that I grew up in has a room that I forgot about. There is also now a door that allows me to access the garage from inside the house. This blew my mind when I walked through it. I felt excited.

My parents' are trying to sell the house. A bunch of bookcases are filled with books "for show." It is a schizophrenic mixture of books. A combination of my books/parents' books/brothers' books. Zagat's restaurant guide next to a William Gibson novel. I found the uncorrected proof of Stephen Dixon's Old Friends. Liked it. No typos. Needs a better title. The long paragraphs hurt my eyes. Experimental, but accessible. I like books like this.

What other good Stephen Dixon books are there?

I am not in the kitchen. I am no longer naked. The kitchen is nice. It's sunny. I'll probably spend a lot of time at the table.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

bubbles

Thinking about moving this blog to my website since it gets barely any hits and my blog gets lots. And it would be nice if people actually checked my website on occasion.

But I don't know since I barely write in this thing any more. Will probably wait until I'm feeling more motivated.

I did my last overnight shift on Tuesday night, stayed up until 9 pm last night, and woke up early today so I could begin my new, normal sleep schedule. I'm happy about the idea of becoming a day person. I've always been a night person, but staying up all night for a year and a half caused me to lust after the idea of becoming a day person. It has given me a newfound appreciation of sunlight.

Going hiking today with a few friends to the highest point in my area. It will be nice. I usually only hike with one person because he's the only guy who's cool with going on early morning hikes with me (since I would go to sleep early in the afternoon). But now I'm going at 1 pm, so others are down as well.

Going to Long Island on Saturday to visit my parents for a little over a week. Might go to Opium's Literary Death Match. My father was buddies with one of the readers in high school.

Flying to Boulder around the beginning of next month. Naropa's summer program starts a few weeks later. My first workshop is with Laird Hunt.

Need to start writing fiction again. Haven't done that in a bunch of days. Was working on a novel-sort of thing. But got tired of it. Stopped around 5000 words. Hoping being in my childhood home will reignite my interest in the "book" because that is the setting.

Have been reading tons of books lately.

Monday, May 11, 2009

voice mail

Eric Blair left me a message asking if I knew anyone who wanted to get a short poem or story published in a zine that no one reads. He emphasized that you will receive a contributor's copy. If so, send email to: ericblair23 at gmail.com

Sunday, May 3, 2009

send me your stories

I just reopened submissions for Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens. It's going to be an online issue. Looking for stories and prose poems less than 2000 words. Guidelines here: www.absurdistjournal.com/guidelines.htm

Not sure if it will be a PDF or an HTML issue. Leaning towards HTML. Blake Butler has offered to help out with that. I'm a lousy web designer.

We'll be releasing issues online rather than in print from now on until I either graduate from college in two years or find the money to pay for a print run.

Maybe I should start looking into an NEA grant or something? No idea.

The next issue will still be print though and it should be out sometime in the summer. I'm still looking for cover art. Otherwise, it's finished.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

our prices are insaaaane

I am a slave to email. My email program is on all the time. It checks for new email every minute. When I receive a new one, I hear a soothing sound. If I am not depressed or tired or in pain I will respond to the email the moment I get it. I will stop what I'm doing to do this. Otherwise, there is a fifty percent chance that I will forget to respond.

I already wrote about this on twitter, but if you have been meaning to buy my novel, It Came from Below the Belt, now would be a good time. It would be appreciated. I can only bring two suitcases with me when I move to Colorado. I need to cut down on stuff that I need to bring. I guess I could mail stuff to myself, but that costs and I already need to mail a bunch of other stuff. I have a bunch of copies left: www.bradleysands.com/books.htm

Here is a book review: www.sfreader.com/read_review.asp?book=1066

As I mentioned before, same deal with the last issue of Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens: www.absurdistjournal.com/current.htm

It is on sale. My novel is not on sale. This is because I'm all like, "If you've been meaning to buy it, do it now!" rather than "I know you probably don't want it and I'm going to use my special marketing tricks to make you want it, which involves rearranging the molecules in your brain by shooting a laser beam at your head from space."

I will be utilizing my space laser to get people to buy the last issue of Bust.

Jeff Burk is the editor of The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction. I think the first issue is coming out soon. I can't remember when. My "How to Write a Short Story!" piece is being reprinted in it. Jeff Burk is a really nice guy. He has a mohawk. His novella, Shatnerquake, is #147 on Amazon's sales chart: www.amazon.com/Shatnerquake-Jeff-Burk/dp/1933929820

Sunday, April 26, 2009

a blog entry

Remember when I used to write a blog entry nearly every day? I liked doing that. I miss it. I think I was compensating for not writing very much fiction.

I don't have much motivation to write in this thing anymore.

I'm looking forward to moving away and changing my lifestyle, which has become intolerable ever since I found out that it would be changing. Time has never moved so slowly.

The "great submissions project" is finished, I guess. Submitting is fun. Now I see why everybody does it so much.

I hate the last bunch of prose poems that I wrote, so I'm probably not going to do it anymore. I'm in a funk again. I took a break from writing them for a couple of weeks because I had to work on an essay and I sent my laptop in for repair and I didn't feel comfortable writing the poems in a notebook.

Now I have my laptop again and I wrote a few poems and they are no good.

So I tried to start a story and it was no good.

I don't know where to send my stories anyway. I feel like I need a place to target to motivate me to write.

I like submitting to online journals over print. It's easier to get accepted into good online places than good print places. Because online places are more adventurous than print. I think my poems are for online and my stories are for print. My stories usually end up long, and I don't submit long online.

I'm going to start a new novella tomorrow night. It will be literary fiction, then it will not be. I don't have a good title yet. Ron Loewinsohn's Magnetic Field(s) has inspired me to write it. I wonder if it also inspired Blake Butler and Mark Z. Danielewski.

I wonder if the novella actually end up being a book rather than something short and unfinished. I already have a couple of "books" like that. I've met a lot of people with books like that. They are usually written by people who have never completed a novel before. I ask, "How far along are you?" They say, "Like five pages." A couple of months later and it's still "like five pages." I say, "Why don't you write a short story? Short stories are easier to write." They usually haven't really written any shorts. So many people want to write novels without first doing shorter work and end up biting off more than they can chew. I think there should be another term that should be used for the "I am working on a novel" sentence if the novel is in its early stages. "I am working on a THING THAT WILL PROBABLY NEVER GET DONE AND I WILL PROBABLY WRITE VERY LITTLE OF."

I'm not going to talk about my plots anymore. Getting paranoid.

Fuck this blog entry.

Interview with Ryan Manning for thunk.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dragons with Cancer



Mike Young and I have released Dragons with Cancer, an e-anthology of real and irreal stories.

It includes stories by Blake Butler, Ray Fracalossy, Avital Gad Cykman, Sam Pink, Gina Ranalli, Sean Kilpatrick, Rhys Hughes, Ofelia Hunt, Andersen Prunty, and Kevin L. Donihe.

READ IT HERE

Sunday, April 12, 2009

online journals that I "co-founded" are seeking submissions

Wamack: A Journal of the Arts:

Send your weird fiction to grantwamack@gmail.com

Word length:1-3000 words.

What we want: weird fiction, bizarro, absurd and anything else that fits in-between these genres. Well-written tales are expected. Stories that flow nicely. We want pieces of art or at least something resembling art.

Kek-W Quarterly
:

5 - 350 words.

Any language.

Looking for originality and a unique voice. Duh.
Some sort of emotional impact, even if oblique or intangible.
A narrative thread rather than just words thrown together.
A mood, atmosphere, flava, vibe.

Prose rather than Trad. Poetry.

Points given for combining genres, formats: show me something I've never seen before. But no experimentation for experimentation's sake.

I reserve the right to contradict myself or ignore any of the above at any point that I feel like.

If I reject your submission it doesn't mean that you or your work suck; it just means I, oh, you know...

If sending v. short pieces, then send several.

kekw10cc [at] googlemail [dot] com

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Mall Security

Oh man. This is awesome: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekAQzff95E8

"Bi-polar mall security guard Ronnie Barnhardt is called into action to stop a flasher from turning shopper's paradise into his personal peep show. But when Barnhardt can't bring the culprit to justice, a surly police detective, is recruited to close the case."

Have an idea for a movie? Write a treatment. Release it into the netherworld. Hollywood will do the rest.

Well, just the bi-polar mall security guard thing. I based my treatment on a story that I wrote two summers ago. Used it as a writing sample for my MFA applications. Where the fuck did I send it? (Checking my tracker on Duotrope). I think the guy who wrote the screenplay either considers applicants for an MFA program or edits for Fence or edits for McSweeney's (who haven't responded yet) or edits for Columbia: A Journal of the Arts or is Mike Young.

Well, at least this movie looks good. Unlike that Paul Blart shit. I want to see this one. I will imagine that my movie magically appeared.

Here's a list of my top ten favorite novellas: www.johnmadera.com/2009/04/bradley-sandss-top-ten-favorite.html.

And other lists by all of these people courtesy of John Madera:

Leni Zumas
John Dermot Woods
Kevin Wilson
William Walsh
Justin Taylor
Joe Stracci
Matthew Simmons
David Shields
Peter Selgin
Christine Schutt
Bradley Sands
Tim Russell
Adam Robinson
Cooper Renner
Kathryn Regina
Ben Pester
Kimberly King Parsons
Ben Myers
Clayton Moore
Carole Maso
Michael Martone
Micheline Aharonian Marcom
John Madera
Lorette C. Luzajic
Gary Lutz
Sean Lovelace
Reb Livingston
Catherine Lacey
Lee Klein
Paul Kincaid
Michael Kimball
Sean Kilpatrick
Michael Joyce
Shane Jones
Jac Jemc
Jamie Iredell
Lily Hoang
Christopher Higgs
John Haskell
Jim Hanas
Amelia Gray
Brandon Scott Gorrell
Renee Gladman
Molly Gaudry
Timothy Gager
Brian Evenson
Scott Esposito
Nicolle Elizabeth
Jackie Corley
Jimmy Chen
Tobias Carroll
Blake Butler
K. Kvashay-Boyle
Daniel Borzutzky
Crispin Best
Matt Bell
Ken Baumann
Nick Antosca
J.R. Angelella
Steve Almond

Friday, April 10, 2009

stick a fish in your ear

A few new prose poems:

"A Sloth and the Newspaper Boy" in Wamack: A Journal of the Arts

"A Headless Man Falls in Love with a Bowl of Rice" in Magazine of the Dead.

"The Man with Penis Breath" (where I totally rip off Russell Edson) in Every Tree Has a Face

Anyone else?

I found a review of the current issue of Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens. I like translating things with Babel Fish. It's always funny:

A review published by Bradley Sands, who proposes absurd news, surrealist and bizarro. In this number, a few great purple passages: - " Bang bang" , d' Adam Breckenridge: sympathetic. Not trascendant, but sympathetic. - " We witnessed the advent off has off new apocalypse during year episode Friends" , of Blake Butler: a news based on an idea with the idiot: and if you look at the TV during l' appearance of the first signs of l' Apocalypse, and that those did occur during a épidode from Friends? Funny. - " Chocolate Caramello candy bars and yoohoo drinks" of Darby Larson: the main character of this news has two characteristics: he is busy (in the purest style, in other words, he saw his life while doing nothing but pass) and especially lorsqu' he skirts his hand in the pocket of his trousers, he always arises with the sum d' money which it needs at the time. A sympathetic news, too. - " Castle Cesare" of Rhys Hughes: probably the best news of the review, which starts with " I believe that I am the only living being to have really two ages. J' have at the same time 28 years and 9.731.065 ans." A beautiful news, poetic, surrealist, barred in its head. If you should not read qu' a news of this review (what would be a pity frankly, because the others are very well also), it must be that one. - " Because accident" d' Ofelia Hunt. A very short news, very shock. After that of Rhys Hughes, my preferred news of this delivery. The Web site: http://www.absurdistjournal.com/ To note that this site proposes some numbers in remote loading, as well as small anthos. So long for new adventures; -)

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Great Submissions Project

Another prose poem in Kek-W Quarterly.

Other submissions so far:

"A Suicidal Amputee Tries to Kill Himself by Rolling Off His Bed, Down the Stairs, Through the Screen Door, and Into Traffic; Some Dominican Kids Poke Him With Sticks Too, and an Eagle Shits on Him" to Jereme: A Journal of Dean Fiction. Response - The editor said it was awesome. No mention of publication. Assumed rejection. I am perplexed. I will probably submit it elsewhere.

"Brave Contestant of Faith" to xTx's Internet Tendency. Response - Confirmation received. The editor said she liked it. Again, I am perplexed. An editor has never told me they liked a submission in the confirmation email. Editor also requests I continue to drink awesome sauce. I think this might be a good sign, but I don't know.
Update (10:57 AM)- It has been accepted.

"A Texas Cowboy and His Pal, The Jeanie, on Vacation" to Chiaroscuro. Response: Not yet received. Have been waiting an hour and fifty minutes. Starting to feel anxious.

Poems I still need to write:

"Diners and/or Dinosaurs and/or Diaphragms" for Noo Journal. I will write this tomorrow so I won't be interrupted. I have the night off. I also have the next night off. I will start my Steve Erickson essay then. If I do not feel like writing prose poems during this time, The Great Submissions Project may go on a short hiatus.

"A Headless Man Falls in Love with a Bowl of Rice" for Magazine of the Dead.

"A Sloth and the Newspaper Boy" for Wamack: A Journal of the Arts

Anyone else?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

my salami has a first name

The new issue of The Dream People is out: www.dreampeople.org

The Dream People=Awesome

I have a story in there. I wrote it the night before David Foster Wallace's suicide, so I'm a psychic. It was tasteless of me to submit it, but not tasteless of me to write it.

I just started writing one prose poetry story a day. Depending on my level of concentration, it takes me an hour or two to do. It took me a while to get started because I've been having major TMJ head pain. And days when I suffer from major TMJ head pain are days that do not exist.

My first poem was accepted for the next issue of Mud Luscious. Thanks J.A. for doing that and for giving me the title/subject.

My second poem was accepted for The Brandi Wells Review: brandiwellsreview.blogspot.com. Thanks Brandi Wells for doing that and for giving me the title/subject matter.

Tonight, if tonight exists, I will write a poem for Jereme: A Journal of Dean fiction. It will be called "A Suicidal Amputee Tries to Kill Himself by Rolling Off His Bed, Down the Stairs, Through the Screen Door, and Into Traffic; Some Dominican Kids Poke Him With Sticks Too, and an Eagle Shits on Him."

I think I'm going to start playing the submissions game like all of you guys. I seems like it would be fun. I'm usually not a big submitter. Maybe one story a month. I don't care about getting shorts published as much as getting motivated. Knowing that a person likes something enough to publish it is good motivation to write more.

I like writing prompts. If anyone has one, I will write a poem for you and submit it to your lit journal, regardless of whether or not you actually have one.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

jello jigglers

Someone give me a topic for a prose poem. I'll make you feel special. I'll submit it to your lit mag. Doesn't everybody who reads this have one of those?

I need to get back into it, maaan.

Getting antsy. Haven't worked on anything new (except that story for my bro's birthday) in a month or so.

Withdrawal symptoms.

Have done a lot a lot a lot of editing during this time. Dragons with Cancer, the new Bust, my novel.

I want to write one prose poem a day. I don't want a substantial project.

I need to write an essay. So I'm going to do it on Steve Erickson. Have been rereading his books. Taking lots lots lots of notes. Feels like it's been keeping me from writing. I'll make the time.

I was trying to fall asleep, but I stopped trying to fall asleep so I could write this post.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

i hope everybody who works for paypal pisses lava until they die from pissing lava

The current issue of Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens is on sale for a limited time. Get it HERE.

I also have two copies left of issue 6.

I also have no idea why my status of having eighty-one verified sales never goes up regardless of how many people buy an issue.

I DO NOT NEED SOMEONE TO SEND ME A ONE PAGE STORY

UPDATE: The story has been chosen.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

angry dwarfs

I'm going to put the current issue of Bust on sale soon. It will be the "I am moving across the country and can only bring what I can fit into a suitcase" sale.

I started using twitter: twitter.com/bradley_sands

I signed up a while ago, but couldn't figure out its purpose.

I have figured out its purpose.

I am enjoying it. More than blogger, I think.

Andersen Prunty is serializing a novel online: thebeardnovel.blogspot.com

I like it so far.

I don't like reading novels online. He's one of the only people whose novel I will read online. Him and Noah Cicero. I will only read Ohio writers online. This is my new rule.

I just registered for my summer classes. It filled me with happiness.

I've been looking through my old college essays. I need to use one for a writing sample so I can apply for a job at my school's writing center.

This is a good part of an essay about Tarkovsky's Solaris:

And what are we to take from that fact that Sartorius’s "visitor" is an angry dwarf. The "visitors" are supposed to be some part of the men’s subconscious. So is this dwarf somebody who was important to Sartorius or is he merely a representation for his personality. It would make sense - Sartorius is cold, scientific, emotionless, and calculating. The dwarf can represent that he is angry, and his growth has been stilted emotionally.

I am a big fan of angry dwarfs in films. This reminded me of the film that has been a personal favorite of mine - "The Angry Dwarf." I think that the dwarf should have been given far more screen time.

I don't think I will be using this essay (and the movie is actually called "The Sinful Dwarf")

I might use an essay that I wrote about a few Fassbinder movies. But it is twenty pages long and I need to make it five to seven. This probably won't be too difficult. The beginning embarrasses me:

You might be asked as you walk down the street some day, “Just exactly what is postmodernism, you intellectual bastard?” To that, you may be pretentious and quote Fredric Jameson by saying that post-modernism is “a neutral practice of such mimicry, without any of parody’s ulterior motives, devoid of...any conviction that alongside the abnormal tongue you have momentarily borrowed, some healthy linguistic normality still exists (Shaviro, 7). Or you could reply as the Zen master would to their student, with perhaps including with it a quick jab to the head with a stick, “Just what is is?,” For post-modernism cannot be defined in simple terms - it is a reflection of our way of life. It cannot be defined in words because according to postmodernism, words are meaningless and empty. All that we can do with words is seize and distort them, for they never had any original meaning, only what we chose to bestow upon them.

Maybe I'll just have to write something new. I haven't written a critical essay in eight years. Maybe I'll write one on the novels of Steve Erickson.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

submissions call for poetry

I belong to a useless social networking site. I get a couple of messages a month through it that usually say something like "You seem interesting" or "How are you?" When this happens, I either ignore it, thank them, or if I'm in the mood, write something funny and ridiculous. They never write back when I write something funny and ridiculous. Most of the profiles on the site consist of a picture and a sentence. Usually something inane.

A couple of days ago, I received this message from a sixty-year-old unemployed, bipolar prison guard with high cholesterol (his age seems to have dropped to forty-nine since the last time google's webcrawling spider hit his profile):

... and yet despite all your efforts you still remain tedious

I love getting stuff like this (and I'm not being sarcastic when I say that). I love it when anonymous strangers insult me for no apparent reason. And it happens so infrequently that it feels like an early birthday present. Threats of physical violence are even better. But unfortunately, this did not happen.

I wondered if he called me "tedious" because of what I wrote in my profile:

My interests include absurdism, surrealism, bizarro fiction, condensed writing, comics, cleverness, off-color humor, finger monsters, and napping.

I wrote a novel called IT CAME FROM BELOW THE BELT and I edit a journal called BUST DOWN THE DOOR AND EAT ALL THE CHICKENS.

www.bradleysands.com
www.absurdistjournal.com

I guess my list of interests is a little too "precious."

Since the social networking network is utterly useless, it didn't save what I wrote back to him. But I will try to remember:

Anonymous insults on the internet are funny. Good job.

He responds:

I can't remember which commentof yours I am replying to ... but... you are a prime time poseur!

In England we call your sort 'Tossers'.

This confused me because I've never written a comment on this social networking website (it has music and books discussion).

I also loved getting called a poseur because it reminded me of sixth grade, where it was a popular word among bullies and didn't seem to have a meaning besides being an alternative to the word, "dork."

While reading my new friend's latest message, I imagined the main character from Gasper Noe's I Stand Alone, sitting nude in a dark room. The room is empty, except for a computer, desk, and office chair that he is sitting in. The glare from the computer monitor revealing that he's pumping an erect penis with one hand and typing furiously (and poorly) with the other. The glare from the computer monitor shows his enormous belly puffing up and down. The glare from the computer monitor shows that his face is red, his teeth clenched in rage. He types another insult and strokes himself some more. He is also wearing a funny glasses/mustache disguise that makes him look like Groucho Marx since that's the picture he uses for his profile.

I respond with something like:

I like being called a poseur. What exactly am I trying to be? Someone who comments on this website since I've never actually done it before? In America we call your sort anonymous men who insult strangers so they can feel better about creeping closer to death. I am glad that I have been able to help you feel better.

Then I was looking forward to learning what I was trying to be. If I disagreed with his assessment, I was going to tell him that he was incorrect. That I have always wanted to be an amoeba. And that I had just added 'the person who sneaks up behind you and pops a balloon in next to your ear' to the list.

But unfortunately, he did not tell me what I wanted to know. He replied:

"Creeping closer to death."

Maybe you could write an epic pome about it?

Since I'm pretty sure he was soliciting an epic poem from me rather than a type of fruit produced by flowering plants in the subfamily Maloideae of the family Rosaceae and the error was due to furious masturbation, I responded:

I hate writing poetry, but maybe one of my poet friends wants to write a poem about an old man who insults strangers on the internet to make himself feel better about his imminent death. I will get back to you.

I think he overdid it a little bit by asking for an epic poem, but does anyone want to write a significantly shorter poem about an old man who insults strangers on the internet to make himself feel better about his imminent death?

He is now accepting submissions in the comments section of his blog: http://mooney1959.blogspot.com.

It's also a good place to visit if you're having trouble sleeping.

Update: He has accepted poems by Jess Gulbranson and Brandi Wells. Congratulations!

Maybe I will write a prose poem. I like writing prose poems.

camaraderie

I like it a lot when a black guy calls me a nigga. I wish it happened more often.

I think maybe I should start actually using twitter to express things like this. I have an account, but I never use it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

debris

Elizabeth O'Hara is this blog's #1 fan.

I do not know where Ryan Call's cookies are.

I want to start wearing sweaters and penny loafers rather than ten year old moth-eaten t-shirts and jeans. It will be funny.

I found a place to live in Boulder for the summer. I feel relieved. Now I need a place to live for the rest of the year and the next year and some of the next year.

I want someone to chase me through the kitchen of a five star restaurant.

Attack the wack.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Bust news

I just filled the next issue. It feels great whenever this happens. It always takes a long time to fill the last story slot for some reason. There are still twenty or so submissions to respond to. If one or more of them are great, then the size of the issue will expand.

It is a very good issue. It suffers from token female writer syndrome like most issues of Bust. I feel like it is a kinder and friendlier Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens, except for a story where Mitt Romney pleasures himself with his mouth and a story by D. Harlan Wilson where many people get shot with bullets. D. Harlan Wilson is great at cartoonish violence. I think I'm tired of violent stories, unless D. Harlan Wilson writes them.

Last issue, I rejected a bunch of good stories because they made me depressed. This was the beginning of Bust's evolution. I used to really be into black humor. I still am, but I'm shying away from it now. I think all of the "extreme" stories in the last issue had black humor, except for Blake's. I am getting tired of "extreme" stories. I'm not sure how I would describe Blake's story since it's dark, not really humorous, and I still loved it. I think it exists in a different dimension.

A lot of the stories in the new issue are more uplifting and bittersweet than stories in the past. A lot of them are written in a simple language and feel magical. This is the sort of fiction that I'm interested in reading and writing now. I think the contents of each new issue reflects me tastes at the time of its release.

I'm going to try to get away from negativity in my writing. And black humor. Less people will get killed in my writing. I want to write things that will make me happy to be alive. I want people to read it and feel happy to be alive. I'm not sure if I'm happy to be alive, but maybe I can write myself into feeling this way.

I think Shane Jones has been a big influence on me in the regard of happy surrealism. He also has a story in the issue. Maybe Richard Brautigan is also an influence on me. But Shane Jones is corporeal, so he is more inspirational. It is conceivable to see him and touch him and send him an email. And if I write about him in my blog, he will probably read it. I hope I get to meet him on Sunday.

I don't know if I will succeed at this happy surrealism idea. I think it's natural for me to be negative. I will work on a story and write negative things and then delete them and write happy things. I will do this until I stop writing negative things. I think I am maturing or something. I might be writing another shock value-y novel for a publisher though. Hopefully I can turn the content of my writing on and off.

Steve Aylett also has a story in the issue. His writing is the polar opposite of simple. He is also very negative. But his fiction is not shock value-y. I consider him my "favorite author." I don't know if I will continue to feel this way after I read his next book. I think Steve and I might be growing apart. Including him in the next issue seems like an act of nostalgia. I think people will like his story a lot.

Two authors who have stories in the next issue are locals (and I think Shane lives like an hour away). I've never put out a journal with a story from more than one local author (and it's usually something really short from a friend). It's too bad I'm moving to Boulder in June because that's when the issue should be coming out. If I wasn't moving, we could have a reading/release party. I think I'm happy regarding every other aspect of moving.

I still need cover art for the next issue. Usually I put absolutely no effort into getting art and find something that's awesome. I'll stumble across something online, love it, and contact the artist about using it. Or I'll contact an artist who I really like about drawing something. Or an artist will email me something I like even though I don't put anything in my guidelines about submitting art.

But I just updated the guidelines looking for art and sent a myspace bulletin through Bust's page since a lot of artists add me as friends. I also posted on livejournal's pop surrealism group because I while back I figured out that pretty much all of my covers use art that can be classified as such.

The following issue will be an online, flash fiction edition. I might continue to do online issues until after I finish grad school because money is probably going to be tight (and my funding minimal). Maybe I should apply for some grants and try to remain print after doing the online issue?

Sometimes I feel a wave of panic after I send an email. Because I cannot take it back.

8tml Reader Series chat log

Mike: hey dude
march 9th
a monday
you want to read with blake?
and some other folks?
at amherst books?

Bradley: yes. thanks. awesome.

Mike: it would be 8pm

Bradley: ok

Mike: sweet
i think it will be you, blake, rachel b glaser, peter jay shippy, and chris cheney

-----------------------

Listen carefully. This chat log contains a lot of misinformation.

It will be on Sunday, March 8th, not 9th.

It is at 6pm, not 8 pm.

It is at The Black Sheep Cafe, not Amherst Books

Claire Donato is reading, not Peter Jay Shippy.

Monday, February 23, 2009

King Arthur is totally insane

A while ago, I was researching King Arthur for my novel, so I read a book about King Arthur and his knights. I remember it being totally insane. I stumbled across my notes. They prove that the book was totally insane. I enjoyed reading these notes again. You can too:

A king sends a message to Arthur saying that he will spare him if he send him his beard. He has cut off the beards of the kings that he has conquered and used them to make a border on his royal cloak. If Arthur doesn’t send him his beard, the king threatens to also take his head.

Arthur promises a gift to the lady of the lake in return for Excalibur. She asks for a knight’s (Balyn) head (the knight drew a magical sword and refused to part with it. Drawing it meant he was without wickedness). The knight ends up cutting off the lady of the lake’s head. Arthur is pissed. The knight makes everything ok again by defeating the beard king.

He kills an evil knight who makes himself invisible. The king that he serves chases him. He runs into the room where the holy grail and the spear of destiny are kept. He wounds the king with the spear (the king is/becomes the fisher king).

The knight fights another knight to get permission to enter a castle. It is his brother. He does not know he’s his brother. They kill each other. Oops.

Merlin is totally fucking annoying. He is always spoiling the plot and revealing things that will happen much later on. Maybe he should do this in my book, but he should always be wrong so it doesn’t spoil the plot.

One of the knights of the round table is called Tor. Lancelot kills him when he’s trying to rescue Guenewhatever from execution.

“The names of the knights of the round table shall live forever.” Interesting comment that Merlin makes on the immorality of characters of folklore.

First quest for round table knights – happens during Arthur’s wedding feast. Deer runs in, followed by hunting dog and hounds. Dog knocks over knight. Knight grabs dog and rides away. Damsel shows up, says it’s her dog and she wants it back. Unfamiliar knight rides up and kidnaps her. Arthur assigns three knights to each find the deer, dog and knight, and damsel. Bring these things together. “This adventure was made for the feast.” I guess Merlin set it up with magic. Gawain and another knight (probably non-round table) fight over deer. I am confused.

Deer runs towards castle, followed by hounds. Hounds destroy it. Castle guy runs out. He is pissed because he gave the deer to his sweetie as a gift and now it is dead. Vows vengeance against hounds. Gawain volunteers to take their place. This is all very silly. As Gawain is about to cut off the castle guy’s head, his sweetie flings her body on top of her man. Gawain accidentally cuts off her head. Oops. Gawain keeps sending knights that fuck with him to King Arthur. It is weird. Castle guy’s knights fuck him up and take him prisoner. A bunch of fair ladies annoy them until they let him out. They make him promise to ride around with the castle guy’s sweetie’s rotting head.

Sir Tor’s horse is attacked by a dwarf.

The knights are always running into problems because other knights won’t let them pass unless they defeat them in combat. This is stupid. It’s like a bad movie with a gang who won’t let someone walk through their territory.

Sir Tor defeats the stupid knight and sends him and the dwarf to King Arthur. His castle will be very crowded. I guess these knights are new or something and they don’t know how to do anything but tell their enemies to go hang out with their king.

The dwarf asks to be Tor’s servant. Tor is cool with this even though the little fella attacked his horse.

Everybody in the King Arthur myths are totally insane. They fight to the death over every little thing. There is only enough cheerios for one person. Two people want a nutritious breakfast. They will fight to the death. This chivalry shit is fucking weird. They love chopping off people’s heads. Weird code of ethics.

Another knight finds the damsel. Two knights are “battling furiously over her.”

Sunday, February 22, 2009

your bedtime is a lie

Today I deposited a check in an ATM and pressed the NO RECEIPT button without thinking. It probably won't be a big deal because I've never had a problem with depositing checks into ATMs in the past. But my life is filled with many moments like this where I make little mistakes while on autopilot.

I remember sitting shotgun in my father's car when I was very young. It was a piece of junk. I could always hear the transmission fluid or gasoline or some sort of liquid sloshing back and forth while he was driving it. One day, the radio was turned on and a song played that I will remember for the rest of my life although I have no idea what it was. It sounded like there was a lot of shouting. I had never heard a song with a lot of shouting. It sounded very strange. I think it was a classic rock station since my father likes to listen to classic rock. I am wondering what the song was. Maybe Joe Cocker since he sort of sounds like he's shouting? Tom Waits would have totally blown my mind.

Now I listen to music with shouting all the time. I am living that moment over and over again.

I have been enjoying Cradle of Filth lately, although the singing is more like banshee wailing than shouting. I always avoided them in the past because I had thought they were they AFI of death metal, but they are actually very good.

The guy who played Pinhead says things on the new album. He's supposed to be playing the character of the Gilles de Rais, but his voice reminds me of Aleister Crowley's voice, which I heard in an old recording. Yesterday, Dennis Cooper linked to a lecture that Aleister Crowley gave on the Gilles de Rais: www.feastofhateandfear.com/archives/bannedlecture.html. I have not read it.

I googled "Doug Bradley" and "Crowley" a few days ago and found out that Doug Bradley had played a character in a movie that was pretty much Crowley with a different name around the time the Cradle of Filth album was recorded. It was an adaptation of a Clive Barker story. The story appeared in one of his Books of Blood collections. I like those collections a lot. I don't like Clive Barker's later novels where he turns into Stephen King and writes eight hundred pages when the books should have been two hundred pages long. He's written some good novellas also. I've read about five of his novels and I hated them all.

I notice that I write in character a lot when I'm writing posts or emails. Since I'm working on a first person novel, my outside writing sounds like my character's. Like I am a method actor or something. I think I want to reinvent my writing style with each new book that is written in the first person. I think this is unnecessary if my books are written in third person. I think it might be kind of cool for all my third person books to retain the same style/voice and for my third person books to be completely different. I don't know if it's worth it to reinvent my style for a short story. It is difficult. I don't know if it's worth doing it for something so short. I wish I could switch back and forth between styles with ease. But I cannot. It used to be very difficult for me to write because my sentences were so compressed and idea-saturated. Now it's very easy for me to write. But I am incapable of switching back to compression and idea-saturation. I hope to do this in the future.

I have noticed that a lot of bloggers start sounding like other bloggers in their entries. That's funny. Like a person who lives with another person and starts talking like them. I think Tao and Blake are big influences in this regard.

I think California is a funny state. A bunch of liberals elected and reelected a republican for governor because they thought it was funny. I think people should always make important decisions based on whether or not something is funny.

This porno is funny. There is a moment of brilliance: www.pornhub.com/view_video.php?viewkey=1b1e1a4055ba935d994a

I was going to embed it, but I don't want to add the "this blog has adult content" thing every time someone clicks on it.

Search for "classic funny porn!" to see another good one. It's not linking for some reason. It's not funny though. Just bizarre. Good bizarre rather than gross bizarre. I've had the idea for the same kind of porn.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cruel Intentions 2

I just watched this movie and it may be the greatest bad movie that I have ever seen.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

100% free porn

I am trying to get more hits for my blog.

I would like to visit Muncie, Indiana one day because I really like the name and Garfield lives there, but I really hate to travel.

The university near me has a library that is open 24 hours a day a bunch of days a week, so I went there to try to write tonight since I don't like to do it in my room. I failed. Writing in public makes me nervous. I think I might try again very late when no one is there. I think I can write in public if I am comfortable with a place.

If I stick to my schedule, I should be finished with the first draft of my novel (or novella) in about two weeks. It is fun to write. It is not as easy to write as it was six months ago when I stopped working on it. It is going slowly. I am more distracted. This is why I am sticking to a schedule. The book will probably be around 35,000 words, which is five thousand words shy of being considered a novel in the genre world and like 45,000 words shy of being considered a novel in the literary world. It is more like a genre novel than a literary novel.

Most literary novels suck anyway. Some are awesome, but that is unusual. There are a lot of good short literary fiction stories. It seems to work best in that mode. It is ironic that literary fiction novels need to be like 80,000 words to be classified as such.

Most genre fiction books suck too.

I felt the need to be an even bigger jerk to avoid coming off like a jerk.

I am full of hate. I hate all you guys for not commenting on the music video that I posted!

I don't like most novels I try to read these days. I usually request a book through the library system, read like ten pages, and give up. I think I wouldn't give up so soon if I had actually paid for the book.

Last awesome book I read: Shane Jones' Light Boxes.

I just felt the urge to type "big fucking surprise."

I realized that the mailbox that's in front of the cemetery near my house probably belongs to the house that's across the street from it. I am very disappointed.

People in Swedish death metal bands are not very good spellers. They spell cemetery with an e near the end.

I'm doing a reading next month with Blake Butler, Rachel B. Glaser, Chris Cheney (who likes to buy frozen food from me for outrageous prices), and a woman from Rhode Island who I have never met and cannot remember the name of. It will be in a town that I can walk to in five minutes. I cannot walk to the bookstore in five minutes. I probably couldn't walk there if I had unlimited time because it's very far, but I have a car. I am a poet!

It's very far
But I have a car.

That was just a sneak peak of one of the poems that I'll be reading that night.

Mike Young set up the reading because he is an invincible wizard. He is a Highlander. The earlier movies kind rather than the shitty sequels.

I want to watch the Beastmaster 2.

I've decided that I will travel long distances to two conventions a year. I have traveled long distances to two conventions this year.

My reading last week in Boston went pretty alright. I felt a little "off my game." I heard some old people were horrified, but I didn't notice. A couple of old men also came up to me after and told me they liked what I read. Matt DiGangi was there. He was nice.

I hate when people send me a links request and don't tell me what website they want to swap with. I have like three websites! So I just ignore them because it seems like a mass mail thing if they don't mention the website. But I'll write back to clarify if the site looks cool. I'm not sure if I've ever done this.

Kevin Donihe: Come over and do my laundry.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Dire Literary Series

I'm doing a reading tomorrow in Cambridge, Massachusetts: www.direreader.com

8 pm

106 Prospect Street

with Norman Waksler and Lo Galluccio

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Kevin has flappy parts

There is a can opener in my bathroom. I do not know why. I am addicted to shooting my cat with a Nerf gun. I would think of it as cruel, but he seems to really like it. I do not know why we have a nerf gun at my house. I do not live with an eight year old. I just gave my cat a ride in an empty box that used to be filled with cans of beer. I probably should call him "my housemate's cat" rather than "my cat."

I recently started working on my novel again after a six month hiatus, during which I did very little writing. I have been in a funk. Very little has felt right. I started many things and abandoned many things during this time.

I recently sent in my laptop for service. It should take a week or two. This is really poor timing because that means that I cannot write at work, unless I train myself to be ok with freehand. But so far the novel has been written on a word processor, so I'm also afraid that the protag's voice would be off if I used that technique.

I've also been training myself to wake up earlier because I have a reading in a little over a week and it starts at a time when I am usually in bed sleeping (and it is a two hire drive). I sleep on a mattress on the floor. I am thirty and do not use a bed spring. This is the first mattress that I have bought myself. All the others were bought by my parents or were hand-me-downs from friends with spare mattresses. I also tend to move a lot, so having a bed spring would be slightly inconvenient.

It has been difficult for me to write when I wake up. My brain takes a few hours to function properly. Back when I was able to drink coffee, my favorite time to write was after I woke up. Because I was less critical of myself.

It's been taking a couple of hours for my eyes to focus so I can read the computer screen properly. Last night, I was very aggravated about not being able read a long email from a friend for a couple of hours. Short emails are fine.

Once I was able to read his email, I wrote a long email back. It concerned a screenplay that we are plotting together which I will be writing.

I also cannot write very well when I get home from work because I am tired and on the verge of going to sleep. It is too bad that I did not get used to this sleeping schedule earlier.

Last night, I also reread the twenty thousand words or so that I've written in my book and wrote the first paragraph. I was able to do this fairly quickly, except for the final sentence which I had to rewrite many times in order for it to sound right.

I don't understand rewriting things straight through without stopping. I trying to get it right the first time. The content and rhythm of one sentence will have influence over another sentence. It's really annoying when I change something major during a rewrite. Then I need to go over everything and make tons of changes. It's like the butterfly effect. I tend to just cut lots of stuff during my rewrites.

The difficult thing about editing the work of others is that you must rework sentences that are not written by you, but you are restricted. You must walk on eggshells. You cannot make substantial changes. The sentence must continue to appear to be written by the author rather than written by you. So instead of making major changes, you cut a word or two, move a word to another location, replace a word with another word that resembles it, or offer suggestions (which usually begin with "Do something like this:" and end with "but something better"). So instead of having unlimited options when you're rewriting your own sentence, some, the sentence of someone else is limited to the contents of their sentence and variations of the contents.

The Dragons with Cancer e-anthology is nearly done on my end. Mike Young is doing another version. An HTML version. I am making a PDF. I am waiting for the cover. My layout is finished. But I still need to proofread a few stories (my printer ran out of ink while I was printing it out and I am waiting for Amazon to send me a new cartridge).

I forgot to mention a new web journal: Micro 100. I have a story in it.

I will mention another journal that I am in. No Colony #2.

With stuff by:

Isadora Bey
Kristina Born
Aaron Burch
Blake Butler
Luca Dipierro
Scott Garson
Rachel B. Glaser
Chris Higgs
Brandon Hobson
Edward Kim
Matt Kirkpatrick
Rauan Klassnik
Lee Klein
Darby Larson
Evan Lavender-Smith
Patrick Leonard
Eugene Lim
Sean Lovelace
Anthony Luebbert
Conor Madigan
Gene Morgan
Bryson Newhart
Christian Peet
Jennifer Pieroni
Kathryn Regina
Joanna Ruocco
Bradley Sands
Ken Sparling
William Walsh
Corey Zeller

I like the cover.