Friends! Some news tidbits I should share with you…
1. I’ve started a new reading series. Yeah, I know there are already dozens of others in this little town, but I think my idea is pretty sweet. I’m calling it Two Essays & A Poem. It will happen whenever I get the gumption to set one up. Maybe like once a month-ish. It may take place at rotating locations and maybe even with rotating hosts/curators–maybe even in different cities.! The first one is this Saturday at Glyph Cafe in downtown Portland. It will be exactly as advertised: Two people will each read an essay and then the evening will finish with one poem from someone else. No more looking at the clock, wondering when it will end. Each 2EAP will be about the same length as an episode of The Daily Show. Short reading. No nonsense. Maximum impact. The first one features Instant Future author Litsa Dremousis, Check out the Facebook event page for more info.
2. Instant Future has launched! This is the new eBook venture I’m doing with Matthew Simmons, Bryan Coffelt, and a bunch of awesome writers ready to rock your world. Check it out. The aforementioned Litsa Dremousis is our powerful first author, and her book, Altitude Sickness has already garnered many great reviews as well as debates on the sanity of mountain climbing culture.
3. I’ll have a collage show in January at Powell’s City of Books, in the Basil Hallward Gallery. I’m so excited that so many people will see my work there through the month. I just have to think of a cool name for the show. Hmmmm. I’m also writing an essay about my “rookie season” as a collage artist and it will appear in the January issue of Kolaj Magazine (a publication I adore). Speaking of collages, I have collage work in the new issues of JerkPoet and The Lazy Fascist Review. And my collage column at The Rumpus is still going strong. This whole collage mania has been so fun for me this year. Thank you so much to everyone who has shared my enthusiasm for it. I plan to do so much more in 2015. Sometimes I feel like such a nerd about it.
This weekend, B Frayn and I will be driving my son to Idaho for his summer job for Youthcorps. He recently graduated high school and will start going to community college in the fall. I can sense the father-son minutes ticking away. I recently wrote about this particular feeling for the Rumpus. Check it out here. Heck, you can even listen to me reading it (audio at the bottom). Thanks for reading!
I had a new essay appear over the weekend at The Good Men Project website. It’s about the rape of a close friend. I sent it to the editor there on Friday and she responded with one of the nicest emails I’ve ever gotten from an editor.
“Really powerful. I hope you don’t mind, but I wouldn’t edit a word. And I so rarely say that. It just hooked me and took me all the way through. I couldn’t even read it as an editor, I could only read it as a reader. That says something.”
Those are the emails that make a writer’s day. And to add to the excitement, she posted the essay the very next morning.
It has received a lot of attention, tweets, Facebook posts, and comments. I don’t take comments that seriously most of the time, but I do think it’s funny when people leave negative remarks and misspell your name as if to prove they have little respect for you (like the guy who calls me “Mr. Sampshell”–haha, love it!).
Another weird comment comes from a guy who wanted a “trigger warning” (I find that term annoying) because of a part of the story where I say that my friend likes to buy her friends drinks when she sees them (Confused? Yeah, so was I. I guess the commenter has a fear of being roofied by women or something like that).
Odd comments aside though, publishing pieces like this is really rewarding and I appreciate everyone who has shared this work with others and have discussed the devastating subject of rape among their friends and family.
(Me on the Burnside Bridge. Photo by Chloe Caldwell.)
I’m excited to announce that I have a new essay up on Salon.com. This is a very personal story and one that was not easy to write. I finished it earlier this year and it was rejected by four other publications before Salon snatched it up nine hours after I sent it to them. What a wonderful experience.
I hope you’ll take some time to read it. Thank you so much.