BookWorks has selected me as their weekly “Featured Author.”
When I first started writing the kernel of what ultimately became Adam’s Stepsons, the multiple/mixed genre story The General in His Labyrinth had just been published, by Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
I’d been searching for character names, desperate not to have them all sounding like the people I knew at the time (i.e., white guys in my rural hometown).
So “Marquez” sounded like a great name. I had a general in the story. General Marquez fit. Why not. Continue reading
Some people have asked me on FB for some previews of Notes from the Nineties. It’s difficult to prepare excerpts from short stories (which are already short). So while I’m thinking of what’s appropriate as a teaser, here’s another poem from the volume. It appears right after the story “Boys Will be Boys” together with the poem “Grandmother.”
Summers of my Upstate youth were spent
in the family station wagon, the six of us, or was it seven,
traveling to the great St. Lawrence
Seaway of a thousand islands.
The first time we stayed one night at Mosquito Heaven,
sleepless in a brown canvas tent,
and four nights on the biggest island—
half in the US,
I learned how to gut a fish, how to swim,
how to roll up a sleeping bag,
and where to buy fireworks—
I mean sparklers.
On my 12th birthday, I got a wallet,
put in a year’s allowance,
then when I forgot it in the campsite bathroom,
got advice in return the next morning—
“I told you so.”
Looking back, it makes sense
to me now
that I hate dressing.
I’ve been meaning to add a personal essay page to my web site for stories that didn’t seem to fit into any neat categories. The immediate impetus is an essay that was recently “rejected” by my former graduate program’s in-house literary journal…probably because it’s an essay and not a short story (I posted elsewhere an article about the quirkiness of the English-speaking world’s insistence on an artificial separation of “fiction” and “nonfiction”).
Rather than wait up to half a year to see whether I could get it published online in a magazine (most of which seem to only publish US-centric, “woe is me” or “OMG look at THIS” sensationalist drivel) I thought that at least I could share it here…
The essay is “En” (縁), a topic that Asians (particularly those in Confucian-influenced societies) know a lot about. I first encountered the concept as a teaching assistant in Gojo High School, Nara, about 15 years ago. Almost like a previous life. Maybe it was…
Check it out here.
This is the fifth and final preview of my upcoming collection of short stories and poems, Notes from the Nineties. In the first part, I explained the background behind the first story and poem pair, Cois Fharriage and Ag an gCrosaire. In the second part, I took a look at some of my experiences in Japan that informed Asian Dreams and Training the Mountain Warrior. In the third part, I delved into the “true story” of The Lost Bunny Shrine of Annandale. The fourth and penultimate part, I talked about my brief experience with occultism and the wisdom of teeth that led to The Four Teeth of the Apocrypha.
I’m from New York. No, not New York City. No, not Niagara Falls (the Canadian horseshoe looks better, anyhow). Yes, there is something in between. An awful lot of something, actually. In fact, the oldest and still largest state park in the US comprises most of Upstate New York.
Yes, I’m from the Adirondacks. But it’s more complicated. Continue reading
This is the fourth preview of my upcoming collection of short stories and poems, Notes from the Nineties. In the first part, I explained the background behind the first story and poem pair, Cois Fharriage and Ag an gCrosaire. In the second part, I took a look at some of my experiences in Japan that informed Asian Dreams and Training the Mountain Warrior. In the third part, I delved into the “true story” of The Lost Bunny Shrine of Annandale.
Today marks the first day of spring, as well as the start of the Easter Week. And while it is the end of Spring Break for some schools in North America, it’s still spring break for others…and it was, in fact, around this time of year back in 1996 that the seeds of “The Four Teeth of the Apocrypha” were planted. Like teeth.
That remark alone should let you know that this is not a typical story (if the title hadn’t already tipped you off by now). Continue reading
Announcing a book giveaway!
Enter to win one of 10 signed copies of Notes from the Nineties (paperback, $6.98 value).
Begins March 25, 2016 and lasts until May 1, 2016.
Tell your friends! Tell your family! Oh, tell it on the mountain! And dangle your friend off of it…
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