Monday, August 31, 2009
You'd think Ms. Griffeth's home "on the verge of the Great SmokyMountains National Park" would give her work a pastoral bent. Yetthis wicked bit of flash fiction is sharp-edged, gristly andgrinning, packing some casual consumer biotech and a wrylyfashion-conscious narrator.
The thing I love about The Fabulist is the edgy nature of the material they publish. It's not your momma's spec fic--it really goes more into the high literary, magically realistic, surrealist fiction. And when I jump into spec--that's usually where I'm going. When I found them, I was 99 percent sure I'd found the perfect landing place for "The Skin Shop."
Monday, August 24, 2009
I totally get why that crazy bastard Van Gogh was so nuts for them. I have to take pictures of mine every summer and it just never gets old. I especially love how the fat bumble bees dance around on them. They were particularly good this year. I planted them around the house and I expect them to draw the birds all fall. The heads are huge! They are big and droopy now, but I snapped this when they were really lovely--the petals soft, fat and lemon drop yellow.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
I've been planting moon vines every season since 1992 and have only just now been successful in getting them to grow. No doubt, the lack of goats has been a good thing for my horticultural endeavors. But finally, I have these dinner plate sized blooms twining my porch rails. They start crumpled, like tissues thrown out after a crying jag, and unfold into the twilight. Very O'Keefey, don'tcha think?
I just found out through The Google that my chapbook of queerish themed shorts, "Dancing Dogs and Other Forgotten Tapes," was a finalist in Gertrude Press' 2009 Chapbook Contest. It's nice to know these things.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Set your Tivo for the Travel Channel tomorrow for 10:00pm. If you aren't familiar with Samantha Brown, she's sort of like everyone's favorite BFF-girl next door--very entertaining gal. And she's going to be covering some places we all know and love--LeConte Lodge, Natahala Outdoor Center and Tuckaleechee Caverns to name a few.
Erin Pickard with The Travel Channel sends me the following release:
I work with the Travel Channel's online community team and thought you might be interested to know that Travel Channel's Great Weekends with Samantha Brown, will be featuring the Smoky Mountains in this week's episode, which airs Saturday, August 22, at 10pm E/P.
What is Travel Channel's Great Weekends with Samantha Brown?
This series serves as the definitive guide to the very best in weekend getaways. From Sundance to Montreal, or Philadelphia to Savannah, "Great Weekends" will have Sam traveling to destinations all across the U.S. and worldwide, and this weekend, she's in your neck of the woods!
Smoky Mountains Details
Sam’s tapping into her rugged side and trailblazing her way through the great outdoors of the Smokey Mountains. This weekend she’s joining a local outfitter and getting a Backpacking and Camping 101 primer in the most visited National Park in the United States. Whether it’s seeing the underworld that exists in the caverns beneath the park or taking a daring night hike in pitch black, Sam’s taking outdoor vacationing to the max. This is a roughing it weekend as it was meant to be. No cell phones or pots of honey allowed.
Some places Sam visits in the Smoky Mountains:
THE LODGE AT BUCKBERRY CREEK- Samantha stays and enjoys the view before a day of hiking.
GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
LECONTE LODGE – Samantha has a rugged stay here after hiking up Mount LeConte.
TUCKALEECHEE CAVERNS – Samantha explores the underground caverns and formations.
NANTAHALA OUTDOOR CENTER- Samantha goes rafting and kayaking on The Nantahala River.
Tune into the Travel Channel this Saturday, 8/22 at 10 p.m. E/P to catch the all-new episode.
And in case you haven't already, find us on our Facebook page or on Twitter. Hope to see you there!
You can become part of Travel Channel's Great Weekends online community by becoming a fan of our Facebook page or following us on Twitter. Hope to see you there!
Labels: Tivo alert
Thursday, August 13, 2009
This is the best time of year--on into the fall--to spot insects. I've already seen the first Tuliptree Silk Moth. Anyhow, this huge fellow was munching through a weed I'd kept in the border because it had big, okra-like leaves. He'd eaten quite a lot too. I love the markings on his back legs. Isn't there a children's story where the fairies ride grasshoppers? I can really see that with this guy.
He's a Spur-Throated Grasshopper:
Category: Grasshopper or Cricket
Common Name: Spur-throated Grasshopper
Scientific Name: (Melanoplus ponderosus)
I got punked at our little one room post office today. I dropped by to mail my netflix movies so I could get movies on Saturday. Our regular mail guy was not visible when I walked in and the guy who takes the outgoing mail was kicked back in Tom's chair. He goes into this jaw dropping story about how he was left there to keep the post office open because they came and trucked Tom away in a straight-jacket, kicking and screaming--how he'd gone completely crazy--and, well--it is the post office. And I'm thinking, damn, these people in Grassy Fork will gossip about anything and Tom's family sure didn't need this getting around (while simultaneously wondering who I would tell first). We all had a good laugh. He was really believable.
I've so lived here too long already.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Okay. I must interrupt my planned, Oh-gee-my-sunflowers-are-amazing, OMG, have you read Kim Crawford's book or what the editor of The Fabulist said about my writing made my nipples hard and my Hitachi Magic Wand jealous--to talk about effing Miracle Whip.
There are some ad campaigns I can't be silent about. No. Really. I will not tone it down. Miracle Whip, the white trashiest of white trash cooking ingredients--that secret ingredient to everything from seven layer salad (The Miracle Whip cooks the frozen peas...really!) to the mysterious Miracle Whip Cake--that erstwhile companion to lime jello has decided it wants to be hip.
Christ on a cracker, it's like watching your grandma take out her teeth to do some crunking. Can Miracle Whip ever truly be X-treeeeme? Cheese-Whiz, the beee-otch--yeah, I can see it making the crossover--it's got that slutty cheese in a can thing going for it--but Miracle Whip? I'm just not feeling you, MW.
They hired Hardee's slacker dude to do the voice over--which is even more embarrassing.
I'm relatively certain I'm not violating any corporate secrets by telling you that if you take a half cup of regular mayonnaise, add a teaspoon of sugar or high fructose corn syrup and an extra squeeze of lemon juice that you have Miracle Whip. It's mayonnaise. With sugar and extra lemon juice in it.
See, Kraft has this fantasy that Miracle Whip's demographic looks like this:
But see, Miracle Whip eaters are my peeps. They live in my hood. They look much more like Mickler's cover girl.
And you will find truly surprising uses for Miracle Whip in WTC--but, you know, it's never going to be Baconnaise or some shit like that. 'Cause, you know--it doesn't go well with Jägermeister.
Saturday, August 08, 2009
This is another story I've got up right now. I already put a link up on FB so this note is for the blog readers--but some of you might have missed it first time around.
"Claude's Puppet Show" is live on LitnImage.
This is a fun, kinky little story I wrote prompting off an experience I had in Savannah once at the old Lamp Post. The Lamp Post was a legendary dive on Bay Street back in the day. You couldn't think of a better place to get knifed. Really. I've written at length on said experience and won't go further (you can read it yourself here if you like--it's long). My father was so incredibly furious when he found out I'd wandered in there. Furious like turned purple and had veins throbbing.
I'm sort of surprised that place has faded away without mention--it was infamous. There used to be so many odd little dives in Savannah. Anyone remember Jim Collin's? I know my sister does since she turned me onto it. Place didn't even have a sign. Was in the basement of this old dude's house downtown and had five tables. Pictures of Bob Dylan next to pictures of Jesus. Hank Williams on the jukebox. I went there years after my sister had visited and he still had the tape of her singing. It was just that sort of place. You'd end up there on the shank of the night and end up drunk and singing along. Had a really good hamburger, too.
Hope you enjoy this one. I was definitely going for that freaky Savannah vibe.
Thursday, August 06, 2009
I have some writing to share with you. I've become a bit slack about my promos. Have been keeping up on FB, but I feel another hiatus coming on from FB.
"Kurosawa's Rain" is up on The Potomac. I really love The Potomac's combination of literature and politics and really hope they keep publishing. Please support them--this is a smart publication--not just arty.
This is an intensely personal story about love, madness and failure. How you can’t always protect the ones you love from themselves and how maybe you shouldn’t and how you’re going to feel like shit about that anyway. The Kurosawa references are specific and if you come away saying “WTF?!!!” to yourself, it’s okay. One reader in workshop told me the story would be okay if I took out all the Japanese crap. But I didn’t. Because it was important to me. Anyway. I don’t usually explain what I meant when I wrote something, but I dug around in my marrow with this one.
It’s got two commas that don’t belong. See, back in the olden days we used to write our stories in notebooks and on typewriters (if we could type—not everyone could back in those days). I now have multiple drafts of the same story where I used to just have one dog-eared manuscript with many scribbles that would then be typed fresh. Anyway. Sent the wrong draft. Two commas. Crap.