Saturday, February 28, 2009

It’s finally here! Diet Soap #3 is now available for purchase or download.

Diet Soap issue #3 features fiction, non-fiction, poetry and art by Doug Lain, William Peacock, Genevieve Valentine, Brian Brown, Rosanne Griffeth, Howard Waldrop, Steven Utley, Patricia Russo, Joshua Siegal, Heather Bell, James Maxwell, Gord Sellar, Brandon Chan-Yung, Louise Norlie, the Against Sleep and Nightmare collective, and Tara Bush.

The story I have in this issue is "They Made Us Walk to Eat." It's a bit of an experimental piece. A fat camp story. 'Cause, you know I write very authoritative fat camp stories. Here's a little taste:
Even if it rained, they made us walk to eat. Even if you were sick, you had to walk to eat. We walked to eat food that tasted of dust and tears and lemon juice. We walked to eat because it was all they offered and if you refused to walk, they made you.
You can purchase the issue in print or for download in .pdf format HERE.

I have a lovely Appalachian fairy tale that will be available online soon for you--so that's something to look forward to as well.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Oh. I think I’m going to get in trouble for this post. But sometimes, things just seem to burst forth and I can’t stop myself.

M’kay, Newport Plain Talk Pie Hole. I’ve been pretty gentle with them and genuinely admiring of the Police and Sheriff’s Department reportage. But the gloves sort of came off based on their head-up-their-asses non-coverage of the presidential election. You know. The little thing where we elected the U.S.’s first African American president and they decided it merited 400 words—not just below the fold but at the bottom of the page. They will never live that down, even if they make every day Black History Month.

So, the paper has been losing its integrity with a string of unpopular and sometimes nonsensical decisions, most notably ceasing printing the Sunday funny papers because the ink costs too much. (huh?) Then they changed the format to a long, skinny Barbie’s Dreamhouse size newspaper. I know what’s going on. The Pie Hole, like all newspapers around the nation is fighting for its life. But it being Newport and all, the panicked decisions just result in alienating more customers.

My alternate theory has to do with dementia.

This past Sunday’s paper was a hot tub of irony worth lolling in for a while. See, they arrested the Cocke County Superintendent of Highways in the Exxon station parking lot, drunk as a lord on Maker’s Mark. Good to know our tax dollars provide county employees a better class of whiskey. I’d have been offended if they’d found him drinking Old Granddad. It’s his second arrest involving the combination alcohol and highways. It’s widely known that job drives people over the edge. Something bad happened with the previous superintendent as well if I remember correctly.

I get to the editorial pages and find that they’ve given a column (and I use that term loosely since most of their “columns” are longer than my fiction--brevity isn't something they do well or maybe they are padding) complete with byline to some guy handing out really long Ted Kaczynski rants. The sort of thing we usually find on shady militia Internet web sites or the label of a Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap All-One. An absolutely nonsensical, Looney Tunes, cuckoo-for-cocoa pops manifesto. All on gun control. Now, I love things that go boom as much as the next red-blooded American girl. I like guns because sometimes, you know, a girl needs to kill something or someone. Guns are real good at that. And I’m quite sure there are cogent, articulate arguments to be made in favor of the 2nd Amendment. THIS WAS NOT ONE OF THEM. In fact, a more eloquent argument for removing guns from the hands of the obviously addled could not have been made.

He’s going to inflict a “Darwinian Evolution” (Yeah, he wrote that just like the church lady! Swear to God!) rant on us next time. I can’t wait read about that—and how we’uns are going to hell if we don’t follow K-K-Kreashunism.

Am I canceling my subscription?

No. Hell, no. Not because I want to support the Pie Hole, but because I love a good train wreck.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I got Panked!

So the snow starts falling about 2:30 a.m. last night/morning. Great whopping chunks of it and continued most of today. Pretty, but the roads are a mess. Not that I’ve been out in them. I just don’t drive when it gets like that. So, I’ve not been doing much today. Watched some Japanese feudal drama. Gonna check out the pretty people at the Oscars on TV tonight.

But Issue #3 of Pank is out and I have a story in it. They’ve also just started putting some stories online so you can read the experimental, bug inspired short I have up. My bug pieces are always popular. It’s called “Because Magicicadas Have No Mouths.

Cicadas were such a big part of my childhood. Something magical about leaving your skin behind. My Mom and I used to scream and squeal when they'd fly into our hair. Though Mom had it worse because she wore these big, backcombed hairdos with lots of hairspray. Little known fact--hair lacquer, the good, old kind, is made from crushed bugs, just like the shellac you get at the hardware. And it's so humid in Bluffton, that the hairspray was always a little on the tacky side. So bugs flying into it stuck real good. We have these giant flying cockroaches too. Swear to God.


And if you live in Chicago, you can pick up your very own copy at Quimby’s Bookstore.
Or you can order a Pank subscription online, HERE.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I've been thinking about how one approaches something precious. Valuable. Cherished. Desired.

How do you do that?

Do you roll in like the approaching storm? Do you bend down and sweep it up--gallop away with it? Do you gobble it up with both hands? Do you carpe diem it into your jacket pocket, steal it, grab it, take it? Overpower it with your needs? Is force your style?

Or do you approach it like a wild animal that needs taming? Sidle up to it, showing your teeth in a friendly way? Do you speak softly, pleasantly and soothingly? Do you throw cookies on the ground and avert your eyes?

Not that either one is wrong. I'm definitely more of the second type. Reverential. Calm. Forcefulness can be nice later. But things have a way of flying away when startled. Sliding out of your hands when handled roughly. And because my style is the second, it's also how I like being approached.

I spook easily. And once you've handled a creature roughly--it's gone forever.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Now & Then

Yes, I have come out of hiding to indulge in a bit of shameless self promotion. I just came out of an exhausting writing jag--toward the end of which I was falling into bed at 6:00 a.m. Had to up my prednisone to keep my eyes from exploding. Anyway, spent all day yesterday in bed after having discovered afresh the joys of bathing. Damn. I wish I drank. All of this would seem so much more glamorous if there were drugs or alcohol involved. As it is, it just sounds like me being a slob and failing to pull myself away from my work.

Anyhow. Back to me and a whole bunch of great articles and stories on the theme of "The Fabric of Appalachia." Now & Then is published by the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services at East Tennessee State University. The publication has serious legs and is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. This issue includes an article by Georgia Bonesteel on "Appalachian Quilting," Michael Joslin visits Apple Hill Farm in Watauga County, N.C. for "A New Face in the Fields: Alpacas in Appalachia," and Jeff Mann contributes "Here and Queer."
In short, all the Appalachian goodness you guys look for here--is in Now & Then.

So of course, I require you to BUY IT! At 15 bucks a subscription, it's a steal! And it's not just the high-brow literary pubs I usually appear in--this is real Appalachian stuff! And I'm just thrilled to have one of my Appalachian pieces in a real Appalachian pub. I've had good luck placing them in mainstream literary journals, but it's always great to be recognized on the home front.

A! Magazine for the Arts has a nice write-up HERE.

So off you goes! Get Now & Then or Yang, the literary karma goat, will come and pee on all your shoes.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Winter Fucking Wonderland Already! Jesus Marimba, I am weary of walking around with tampons up my nose.

Gee Rosie, is that a tampon in your nose?

Yes, actually, it is. See, my bleeding thing means that nosebleeds last for one to three hours. Much blood is lost. I have to hold my nose for 30 to 45 minutes before even checking to to see if it's stopped--and going into the ER is no longer an option since September. And ever since I looked up on the internet what the ER idiots did for nosebleeds and found out they stuck tampons up your nose...

So yeah. I stick tampons up my nose. What of it? You want to start somethin' about it? Fuck you! Yes, I'm sure it is a mental picture you'd rather be without. And yes, it is pretty much as amusing as all that.

So. This weather means my nose bleeds more often. And tampons leave my hands free. So there.

But Friend Scott called last night and we had a good long talk. Scott's just TMI all the time and I so miss that about him. Did I ever tell you guys the ball sack itch story? Anyway. Suffice it to say he gets way more sex with straight people that most straight people do. A regular Frank-N-Furter.

Anyway, there is a story for you to read. I'm a bit peeved with them because they screwed up the formatting. Pretty much everyone who asked for .txt screws up the formatting. I asked them to fix it and they still haven't. So I'll probably ask them to withdraw it and remove the journal from my sub rotation. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to remove obviously extraneous hard returns and if they don't care how their journal looks I'm not interested in having my work appear there. It's HERE if you want to read it before I demand it be removed.

You guys have been really sweet about my lack of acceptances. But I'm actually sort of SMBD about my rejections--enjoy them really. It means I'm doing my job. And they are always very nice to me and very definitely ask me to submit again. They even send me the "nice" version of their form rejections. The one they send to writers who aren't psychopaths with editor parts wrapped in butcher paper in their basement freezer. So that's good? Don't worry--I'm cool--totally down with the rejections. They come in waves, you know.

Please sir! May I have another?