Tag Archives: Austin

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.


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.

Tour Diary: Austin, Texas

Last night, Frayn and I read at House Wine here in Austin, Texas. It was a fun outdoor reading with a good crowd and the host was Tyson Midkiff, who also runs a series called Whiskey Rebellion (“Where we drink as much as we can tell and try to read,” he says). Unfortunately, two of the evening’s readers had to cancel–Elizabeth Crane was sick and Alex Lemon couldn’t make it from El Paso. Too bad since I’m a big fan of both of those folks, especially Alex, who I’ve never met before and whose memoir, Happy, I just finished and loved.

The night started off with a dramatic air battle between a hawk and a bunch of grackles. The grackles were actually bullying the hawk as it flew overhead. Maybe they were protecting a nest or something. One grackle tried to headbutt the hawk out of the air. I didn’t know what a grackle was but I was told they’re like pigeons, but dumber and more squawky. Click here for more information on these fearless, witless creatures.

Our host read a story and was followed by Jeff Chan, who read about staging a fake fight on a radio show.

My lovely lady and travel companion, Frayn Masters, then read a story from her new iPad. She wasn’t trying to look like an asshole, she explained. She just wasn’t able to print up her story beforehand. As our surroundings got darker, it proved to be a useful tool, its screen illuminating her face like someone telling a campfire story with a flashlight. It was great.

I wrapped up the night with a few bits from ACP, getting a nice response and even selling a few books. Internet lit star Tiff Holland was in attendance and it was fun to talk to her for a good spell also.

After the reading, we went across the street and got some delicious cheap burgers (and fries and vanilla shake) from a place called P. Terry’s. It was tasty (don’t worry–we’re going out this morning for those breakfast burritos or whatever it is people keep raving about).

We drove around town a little and parked by the capital building, which is huge (not surprising, I guess, since this is Texas). There was a big crowd of young, attractive bike riders gathered on the front steps taking a group photo. We wondered if they were going on a naked bike ride. It probably would have been a pretty sexy naked bike ride (not like the ones you usually see–sorry, naked bike people). Overall, it does seem like people are maybe more attractive than usual here. More fresh-faced. Earlier, at the reading, I had commented about how most of the girls ordering wine looked to be about 19. “I’m sure there are some fake IDs going around,” said Tyson.

After a good night of aimless cruising, we took our rental car (a white Toyota Camry) and headed back to our friend’s place (Amelia Gray, thank you for letting us stay here while you’re in New York!). Her cats, Turk and Pub, clamored for my attention as I rested on their reclining chair and Frayn played around some more with her new iPad.

We’re heading to Houston later this afternoon and reading tonight at Kaboom Books with Ryan Call and Kirby Johnson.

Did I mention it was hot and humid here? And apparently it’s storming in certain areas. Hope we don’t get blown off the road. More tomorrow, I hope! We’re staying at Gene Morgan’s house in Houston.

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.