Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Speaking of Editing: The Latest SmokeLong Quarterly

I had a great time interviewing Bezalel Stern for SmokeLong Quarterly's latest issue, 43. You should check it out. It's a wonderful publication and I'm thrilled to have had the opportunity to guest edit, so thanks once again to the whole SmokeLong staff for giving me that opportunity.

I should also mention the awesome dude Ryan Werner has a piece in the latest issue, which you ought to check out as well. It's called "If There's Any Truth In A Northbound Train." Great title, I say. I had the wonderful opportunity to finally meet Ryan Werner during his trip to Chicago last Friday. He put together a reading that I participated in with my friend and Artifice head honcho, Peter Jurmu. It was at the Church of Templehead down in Pilsen. We talked DIY and the indie publishing realm, too. A lot of fun!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Taking on Fiction Editor Duties at Another Chicago Magazine

Hey all,

Happy to report, for the first time reporting on anything around these parts in a few months, that I'm the new fiction editor at Another Chicago Magazine. Can't say enough about how excited I am for this opportunity (although I tried over on the ACM blog -- Here) (many, many thanks to Caroline Eick Kasner, ACM's managing editor, for inviting me to join her staff). Another Chicago Magazine has been around and great for going on 40 years and it's just such an honor to be a part of this tradition.

Anyway, enough gushing. I want to read your stories, so send them to me. Please? Another Chicago Magazine is open. I'd be remiss not to mention the 3 dollar submission fee. I hadn't realized this before but Submittable's costs for a yearly membership seem to me increasingly exorbitant (despite the wonderful features they offer and the discount they extend to non-profit creative efforts like ACM). To have a fully functioning staff that can handle the volume of submissions ACM receives we need the money, I'm afraid. Know this, though, I take reading your submissions seriously and they'll get a fair and honest look (in more cases than not by both myself and another reader, at bare minimum), if not necessarily any personalized feedback.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Parabolic Turns

I like absurdist shit. Here's some absurdist shit I wrote awhile back. I posted it on Fictionaut, too, because I can post whatever I like there, here, everywhere that's here and there.

Parbolic Turns

There was a man dressed in stately attire. His name was Abacus, which maybe you find strange, but then keep this in mind: it is, after all, just a name.

He was eating a sloppy sandwich. It was probably brimming with meatballs, because he often ordered extra meatballs when he would order a meatball sandwich.

Occasionally, very occasionally, he would spill a meatball onto the ground where a scavenging city creature, a squirrel, a pigeon, perhaps even a rat, could get to it and be rather well fed. But he was usually very careful to make sure the entirety of the sandwich (all of the meatballs and everything) ended up in precisely the spot it belonged -- his mouth.

A spirited fellow chimed in, once, at the midpoint of Abacus' career, “Sir! I wanted to inform you, because I worry about the environment, sir, that you have in fact spilt a lot of what you are eating onto the ground. That is called littering. I hope you understand that I only mean well in calling you out about your littering. I want what's best for the world at large.”

“Most of what I've spilled is edible. The rest is wrappers that make up so little of the harm we do to our environment,” Abacus replied.

But the spirited fellow was vehement and persisted. “Sir, I must insist you clean up after yourself. I'm doing this for the environment. I don't want anything bad to happen to the environment. Ever. I want it never to happen.”

“Leave me alone. I'll discard my trash wherever I've trash to be discarded, even if that's not in a proper receptacle.” Abacus defied the spirited fellow. He noted the man's spiritedness but downplayed it by noting that he, Abacus, was indeed far more stately dressed.

“Then I should be the one to stop you.” And at that the spirited fellow and Abacus had a terrible row, till finally the spirited fellow's face was smashed with a rock, and he ran off cowering in pain. Abacus was somewhat relieved to have beaten his determined opponent. The spirited fellow's tie was blue, like that of a peasant. Abacus would remember it.

Later, many months later, Abacus was walking near an intersection where he was surprised to see a car crashing -- an odd parabolic turn leading its driver to hit and dislodge a fire hydrant, water from the hydrant become a geyser like you'll see in films. Abacus' dropped his trash on the ground, surprised. He thought about bending over to retrieve his trash but then decided he would not.

“I am back, sir. Good sir,” said that spirited fellow with the blue tie. He was wearing a cast on his arm from what Abacus assumed was an unrelated injury. “I'm for round two. Are you, sir? Are you going to pick up that trash?”

“You're trash!” Abacus shouted, proceeding to beat the man with an incidental log he'd found near his littered trash.

There would not be a “round three,” because this time Abacus beat the spirited fellow to death, strangling him with his blue tie for good if horrible measure. It was never discovered that Abacus was the murderer, though the spirited fellow's corpse was eventually found and reported to the authorities.