Three New Pieces

I’ve been very fortunate to have three new pieces published at three awesome venues in the past few days. I’ve also really appreciated the feedback I’ve gotten from readers and fellow writers. Thank you! Here are my three new pieces:

My short story, “Clouds”, is up in the launch issue of Perhappened.

Yesterday, Schuylkill Valley Journal published my flash, “Behind the Eight” as part of their new Dispatches series.

Today, Rejection Letters published my short piece, “Anyway Here’s Wonderwall.”

Please check them out if you have a chance!

Anyway Here’s Wonderwall

I’m very excited to have this piece up today at Rejection Letters! Thank you to D.T. Robbins and the RL team!

Rejection Letters

I wrote this in 2008. I had just left a job in the financial sector right before the crisis. My close friend and writing partner had just died, and when that happened, I put away our Nesmith demos and talked all kinds of shit. I was feeling old, like I had better do something already, before I turned 30, God forbid, before I got too fat to look good on social media.

This year I turned 40. I feel much better now, and not so rushed. I credit that to maturity, to raising children, to getting some perspective. Fast as they’ve been, I know where the last twelve years have gone.

I’ve picked up the guitar again, and learned some ukulele. Anyway, here’s Wonderwall…

I remember this bumper on MTV from 1997, where Gibby Haynes was saying that music needed a new punk moment and he hoped to God it…

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Forthcoming in June

I had a very encouraging string of publishing acceptances in May and now a new one in June. I’m going to use the phrase “very excited” in each of the paragraphs below, because I really, really mean it. Forthcoming for me in the next two weeks:

“Behind the Eight” at Schuylkill Valley Journal, part of their new Dispatches series. I’m very excited about this piece finding a home as part of this new series!

“Clouds” in the launch issue of Perhappened Magazine. The theme for this issue is carnival. I grew up in the mobile food concession business, so some of the story is from that perspective. I’m very excited to be included in this issue! Saturday, June 6.

“Anyway, Here’s Wonderwall” at the newly-launched Rejection Letters. I’m very excited to be included in the early days of this new project! Tuesday, June 10.

“A Decent Disaster” at Mineral Lit Mags June issue. I’m very excited to be part of this edition!

I’m particularly grateful that these pieces have each found the right home, and I’m even more excited by the chance to work with the editors at each of these venues, all of whom have been amazingly encouraging and wonderful to connect with in general.

A Few Thoughts on the Writing Process

If you’re a writer and have been writing for a while, you know the experience of pouring yourself into something and coming to a point, eventually, of feeling like it’s ready. Then you come back to it a few months later and revision is much easier. Things you thought were perfect now seem a little clanky, and something (time, distance, rest, other pursuits, other work, good reading) has given you the ability to make them right. You tighten things up, make hard (even emotional) cuts, and now you know it’s ready. This happens two or three more times. That’s the process, isn’t it? It seems to be for me.

The only way I know to become a better writer is to keep writing, keep reading, and keep building in some opportunities for distance. Stay intellectually curious. Study the mechanics of your art. Listen to great lectures. Get feedback. Keep going.

I come back to these words often:

“In going where you have to go, and doing what you have to do, and seeing what you have to see, you’ll dull and blunt the instrument you write with. But I would rather have it bent and dull and know I had to put it to the grindstone again and hammer it into shape and put a whetstone to it, and know that I had something to write about, than to have it bright and shining and nothing to say, or smooth and well-oiled in the closet, but unused.” (Ernest Hemingway)

Or, as Ann Hood says, “blow it up.” I come back to those words, too.