A new short story of mine, “Under the De Soto,” went up over the weekend at Fried Chicken and Coffee, the “blogazine of Appalachian literature” edited by Rusty Barnes. Go check it out!
I’m happy to have the story out in the world because for one, it’s been a while since I’ve published a new short story. The problem with working on a long thing is that you forfeit the little motivational piston-firings that come with finishing and then hopefully one day publishing smaller things. Working on longer things requires delayed gratification in a multitude of ways.
Second, this is my second story to be published at Fried Chicken and Coffee. (My short story “High Cotton” was published there a few years ago.) I frankly love appearing in the same journal more than once, whether it’s online or on paper. I relish and aspire to be a “regular contributor,” something different from a staff writer but yet more meaningful than merely a one-time guest. Your aesthetic and the aesthetic of the publication shake hands every now and then, and it’s a good feeling.
The De Soto of the title refers to the Hernando De Soto bridge, which connects downtown Memphis to the eastern border of Arkansas. It’s one of Memphis’ two expansive, industrial-strength bridges. It’s also illuminated at night in the shape of a sine-wave–like M, which nicely mimics the bends of the Mississippi River below. When I lived in Memphis, I got to see this bridge every day, and, of all the details of Memphis life that I miss, those two — the constant gravitational force of the river and the man-made defiance above it — are missed the most. It feels odd to have wistful notions toward architecture, but what can you do.
Hello! I am happy to to announce that my first short story collection, The Portable Son, has been acquired by Aqueous Books, a wonderful new independent press brought to you by the same great people who run Prick of the Spindle. It will be published in the fall of 2011 both as a paperback and as a Kindle eBook. It’s difficult to write this blog post without sounding like a total spaz; I’m so excited I could spit.
The book is a collection of nine linked stories, all following a single character, Peter, from his Mississippi adolescence to his conflicted adulthood bouncing around the South, trying to figure out how to be a grown-up, which, if you read this past Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, is not merely a random authorial confabulation of upper-middle-class ennui, but is in fact an actual verifiable trend. (Ah, if we only had that “emerging adulthood” line back when we were twenty-four and sleeping in our childhood bunkbed. Back then they just called us Slackers.)
Anyway, three of the stories — “High Cotton,” “Timber Walking,” and “Nightswimming” — have already been published in print and online mags, and two more of the stories got picked up over the summer and will appear within the next several months.
So, in short, lots of excitement, and I am sure to actually begin posting something to this blog as my inevitable PR campaign of total devastation cranks its engine.
And I love that word — “forthcoming.” Good, good word.
Hello. Here is a link to a short story that was somewhat recently published in nth position, an online magazine from Britain. My first international publication! Brought to you here in America (and elsewhere) thanks to the world-wideness of the web.
The story is called “Wilson: Runner” and it is about running and dogs. And it makes me dream of John Cheever.