March 6, 2011

New URL!

The Wordpress switchover went easier than expected! The entirety of this blog is now available at I'll leave this site up for awhile, but please update any necessary RSS feeds. I look forward to seeing you over at the new site!

Excuse my dust!

I'm going switch to Wordpress and get a stable URL. And there's big news coming soon!

Further bulletins as events warrant.

Free SXSW Literary Event!

A couple of posts back, I was bemoaning the cost of South by Southwest Interactive, and thus my ability to attend any literary events. But as luck would have it, Kirkus Reviews is sponsoring a FREE four-hour publication camp on Friday, March 11th. I'm so excited! Now I don't feel quite so left out of the whole thing. I'm especially interested to see what advice they offer given how much time I've spent reading Dean Wesley Smith's Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing series.

You have to register in advance, so if you're interested, don't delay!

March 3, 2011

Congratulations to Jonathan Pinnock!

Writer Jonathan Pinnock has just found out that he's been shortlisted for Salt Publishing's Scott Prize, an award given for a debut collection of short stories. There were 60 entries and now 10 authors remain on the shortlist. Winners will be announced in April. Congratulations, Jonathan, and good luck on the next round!

March 2, 2011

Submissions in 2011

I'm a maniac! While my goal of getting all my old work back out into the publishing ether by the end of the weekend was far too ambitious, I'm still submitting like I've never submitted before, and I'm quite proud of myself for it. I've spent too much time in recent months not living up to my submission potential, and part of that was due to disorganization. But now I seem to be getting back on track. Now if only I would hear back from editors one way or another!

Wordless Wednesday

February 27, 2011

I am continually amazed by celebrity egos

Via The A.V. Club:
The Tarzana-based Columbia (school motto: “No, not that one”) has announced via press release that it is launching a course entitled “Master Class: Editing James Franco…with James Franco,” in which students will come to a deeper understanding of Franco by compiling a 30-minute documentary on Franco, using footage of Franco supplied by Franco, all in the academic pursuit of Franco. Overseen by Franco’s right-hand Franco, Tyler Danna, the class will ask student editors to “create a cinematic image of James Franco”—a task akin to producing a rainstorm on paper—using Franco-chosen behind-the-scenes videos from the short films that Franco has directed.
I've always admired Franco's acting ability, but I keep hoping that this is a hoax. It's just too over-the-top. I mean, I wouldn't mind if one day I wrote a novel that was studied in a college class. And I've taken courses on writers who are still alive (Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje) - but this seems different. It's not a film analysis class; it's not a film-as-text class; this seems more to me like studies in egotism. And students are paying a lot of money to feel Franco's ego.

Sunday Pleasures

I'm having a relaxing Sunday as a way to round off a wonderful weekend. My spouse and I spent yesterday evening watching most of the 2011 Oscar-nominated short films. Our theater wasn't screening the documentaries, but we did see the animated and the live-action shorts. My favorite animated short was Madagascar: A Travel Journal, though I think The Gruffalo is a shoe-in for the Oscar. After much deliberation, Wish 143 was my favorite of the live-action films (though they are really all quite stellar), though Na WeWe, my least-favorite film due to what I felt was a cop-out ending, seems nonetheless most likely to win.

In other media news, I'm currently making my way through season 2 of Breaking Bad. This is one of the most emotionally intense shows I have ever watched, and I can't get enough of it.

And going back to Friday night, J and I had a fabulously unhealthy dinner at Johnny T's BBQ up in Round Rock. It's cheap and the food is delicious. They put more efforts into their delicious meats than they do their side dishes, but it's all-around delicious. Unless you're a vegetarian, that is.

February 24, 2011

The Poetry Table, Stage 1

Last Saturday, I realized that in 48 hours, I would be hosting the first meeting of my new poetry critique group, and that I really needed to have some kind of coffee table in the living room.

Target didn't have anything I liked in a price I wanted to pay. Goodwill didn't have anything I liked. So although I'm not a big fan of the Salvation Army, I went there in desperation and found a table in the size and shape I wanted for a whopping $20. One of the shelves was broken and the cheap black paint was peeling, but I figured I could throw a tablecloth over it and nobody at poetry group would be the wiser. Problem solved!

But then I began thinking about all the ways I could take this table and make it pretty. And I settled on a poetry table. This is going to be a bit of a slow process, but here is what I've done so far:

First, I started stripping the paint. Unfortunately, the previous owners used latex paint, which is kind of a pain in the ass to remove. I've found that a razor blade is working pretty well. It's resulted in a few nicks in the wood, but those won't matter in the end. I hope to finish this phase of the project by the end of the month, so I can have the table completed before a big party I'm having in mid-March. Here's the table, partially stripped:

I plan to cover the table in poetry. Here are some of the poems I've cut out or printed off my computer that I plan on shellacking to the table once the paint is all gone.

And here is last year's Texas Poetry Calendar, which I am using as source material. I'm so glad I can do something with this used-up planner and it doesn't have to go to waste!

Thankful Thursday

It's been a tough week, but I'm thankful for my great friends and my wonderful spouse who have all helped me out.

I'm thankful that I have a two-hour massage scheduled tonight.

I'm thankful I was able to reschedule the appointment I had to cancel due to this week's (still ongoing) car trouble, so I didn't actually lose the opportunity to make money.

I'm thankful that neither mechanic has charged me for a diagnostic fee on my car. Now if they could just get her fixed . . .

I'm thankful that although I haven't been sleeping well, at least I've been able to get a LOT of writing and submitting done this week. I'm thankful that the weekend is almost here. Things will definitely get easier.