Tag Archives: Atlanta

Wife Beaters, Cut-Offs, Flip-Flops, Sunscreen

I don’t think I’ve ever worn flip flops in my life. And I know that driving through the south in July is going to be sweltery (I’ve done it before). I know I won’t be wearing army boots or anything. But I probably won’t wear cut-offs either. Maybe a wife beater, though, you know, I’ll call it a tank top (still sounds kinda aggro though, right?).

But I’m getting ahead of myself here. First I need you to help me and the wild women I’ll be appearing with to get some gas money for our summer adventure. I promise not to spend any at Whataburger. I’m talking about the Southern Summer Comfort Book Tour, which I’ve helped organize for my friends Elizabeth Ellen, Chloe Caldwell, Mary Miller, Brandi Wells, and Donora Hillard.

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Domy Books will host the ladies in Austin and Houston.

Help us raise some moolah on their Kickstarter page. There’s some cool stuff to be had–books, Polaroids, private editing sessions. Hair pulling? If you’re into that sort of thing.

What else is happening?

I’m teaching another class on personal essays. This time with young hotshot, Chloe Caldwell. CC, as you may know, is the author of Legs Get Led Astray, the latest release from Future Tense Books, It’s on June 23rd at the Crow Arts Manor. I think there may just be one or two spots left in the class, so act fast! It’s only $40 for three hours of hard work.

If it’s warm out, we’ll be doing it outside. I won’t be wearing flip-flops.

Road Trip/Tour Diary Wrap-up: Atlanta

Hey y’all, I’m back in Portland.

Our last few days on the road were great. We got into Atlanta on Thursday just in time to return our rental car without getting a late charge. I wasn’t so sure we’d make it since we started out from a cheap hotel in Hamilton, Alabama that morning. While checking out, the front desk person warned us that the highway between Talladega and Georgia would be heavily policed to enforce the 55 mph speed limit there. It seems weird that the speed limit is 55 (as opposed to 70 everywhere else) right outside one of the most popular NASCAR sites in the world, but I guess it’s meant to discourage amateurs Jeff Gordons. There are some pretty bad drivers in the South.

Besides the lower speed limit, we had to pass through Birmingham–like actually drive through it, which seemed strange. Also, did you know Birmingham, Alabama is called “The City of Trees.”

And keep in mind that we did most of this driving without the aid of good coffee. On this particular morning, we had to settle for McDonald’s coffee (and breakfast from Hardee’s). Has good coffee really not caught on down here?

Once we made it to Atlanta, Jamie Iredell picked us up at the Hertz office and we went to settle in to his guest room. For those of you who don’t know, Jamie was recently selected in an alternate list of 20 writers to watch (in response to the New Yorker list) and his next book, The Book of Freaks, will be coming out this winter from Future Tense.

That night, our other Atlanta friends, Blake Butler and Amy McDaniel, joined us (and Jamie’s sister Megan) for some Thai food and walking around. Atlanta is a cool city despite being the one city that was actually burned to the ground by Sherman’s army in the Civil War.

Amy McDaniel and Blake Butler (BB copied me and ordered a Thai iced coffee too)

The following night, we went to Amy’s house for a pre-reading barbecue. We met a bunch of other people like Ben Spivey (who read with us that night), Chris DeWeese, and Heather Christle.

Chris DeWeese and Heather Christle

When we got to the Beep Beep Gallery, there was a good crowd waiting for us (thanks for the nice review, Creative Loafing!). Frayn read her now legendary-in-Atlanta story “1970s Space Erotica.” Blake Butler was at a loss for words after that and tried to assure the crowd that I wrote dirty stories as well and then he said something about how we were “a sexual couple.” I think he was a little buzzed. The reading went really well and I was able to do the slide show as well. I sold a few books too (I even signed one for a woman named Diva).

A bunch of us went back to Jamie’s house after that and Blake told us a hilarious story about his experience in Second Life. I will not be able to do it justice, so we will have to hope that Blake writes his own porn-centric memoir some day (but apparently, you have to buy a dick if you want to have sex in Second Life).

After midnight, we decided to go on a Krispy Kreme and Taco Bell run. I was really excited about this because I didn’t get to have any doughnuts at all on the road trip and I was craving some. Frayn, me, Blake, and Amy hopped into Amy’s car and waited in the long drive-thru line at the KK. This was down the street, I was told, from the “Murder Kroger,” so called because of the store’s criminal history (there are a lot of late night security guards and bouncers employed in Atlanta). After a much quicker stop at the Taco Bell, we returned to Jamie’s place and stayed up late talking more about porn, Thomas Kinkade, HTML Giant, rapid weight loss, and Blake’s attempt to write 70,000 words in ten days (insomnia helps).

Blake and me, with some precious Krispy Kremes

We got a couple of hours sleep and then Jamie and his wife took us to the airport. It was a great road trip and I want to thank everyone who helped us out in any way. We will definitely come back to visit again someday. Much love to everyone.

Jamie Iredell, Frayn, and me

Southern Sizzle

Hey y’all,

I am in the middle of setting up some southern road trip readings for July. Take a gander at the Book Tour page and see if I’m coming your way. I’ll be reading with my fiance, B. Frayn Masters, at most stops. So far I’ve got Houston, New Orleans, and Atlanta set. Still working to confirm Austin somewhere (the great Amelia Gray and Elizabeth Crane are helping us iron something out there) and I am also holding out hope that we can do something in Oxford, Mississippi. I actually see that Mary Karr is reading at Square Books the same night we’re there. Should I crash the Mary Karr reading? Ha!

Now here’s the catch. This is going to be an expensive trip. We’re flying to Austin and then renting a car for about ten days. Does anyone want to sponsor my tour and give us money to cover these expenses? We could put an ad on our rental car or something. Imagine, a big RC Cola ad on the side of our vehicle. Or Billie Jo’s Computer Repair. Johnny’s Bar-B-Q?

Thankfully we have some places to stay while on the road.

Can’t wait for that southern sizzle and hospitality.