Tag Archives: Publishing

What Even is Now?

It’s mid-2020 and the world is simultaneously burning down and rising up. The weirdest year possibly ever. The “president” sucks. The coronavirus is a menace. The police are dicks. The wrong people are dying. Karens are abusing their cell phones. Sports are put on pause!

But. But! Some social justice work is finally happening, at least in the ways that people can instigate. Sometimes by resistance and force. Sometimes by discussion and amplified voices. A rebuilding and a rethinking. The thing more people are learning: Just because something is part of history (or perceived as history) doesn’t mean we should glorify it with statues, flags, monuments, and misguided team names. This is why Germany doesn’t have statues of Hitler or fly Nazi flags–because they are symbols of shame and embarrassment.

So while we count down the days to when Trump gets dumped and shit settles down a bit, and since it’s been a long while since I updated folks about my creative adventures, I thought I’d give a quick update…

I started the year by taking some time off of my job at Powell’s to finish work on a novel I’d been working on for about seven years. The timeline on this book and how it was build was a good lesson in perseverance. Up until last summer (August 10th to be exact), I had written just 22,400 words on it. With a renewed focus and commitment, I was able to strap myself in and finish the rest of it in about six months (final word count around 62k). I’m super happy with it and currently querying agents for representation. In a lot of ways, it felt like it was the first time I’d written a novel, maybe because it’s more linear than my past books. I don’t want to tell you too much about it yet, besides the fact that it’s narrated is two years old at the beginning of the book and five at the end.

Then I got a kitten. Her name is Susan. She is perfect.

Then I went back to work. Only to get punked by COVID-19, which shut down nearly everything everywhere. Since mid-March I’ve been out of work and on unemployment (hoping to return to work later this year), giving me some extra solitary time to work on various projects. One of them is an upcoming book of some of my collages that Clash Books is putting out at the end of the year. It’s called I Made an Accident and it will also include some of my poems. I should have more info and a cover reveal for you soon. Here’s a recent collage…

I put Future Tense Books on hold for a bit while I worked on this stuff, but I have our next release set for early 2021 (which will also be announced soon as well) and more to be announced later this year. Recently, we had a Black Lives Matter fundraiser which was a great success (over $800!).

I had a poem in the Winter/Spring issue of Poetry Northwest.

I wrote an essay about cleaning out my desk at work for Book and Film Globe.

I have an essay about living during COVID-19 coming soon in this anthology.

I am very proud of this longer short story published in Southwest Review.

A short essay and three collages were just published by the friendly folks at Old Pal.

Another essay from early this year, about trying to grow a beard! In Split Lip Magazine.

Thank you for reading and for all the things that you do to make this a better world. xo

Shelf Talker Shelf Talker Shelf Talker…

What the heck is a Shelf Talker you ask?

It’s one of those pieces of cardstock paper you see on a bookstore’s shelf that tells you when an employee really loves a book and wants to draw attention to it. I think the best bookstores are the ones full of passionate readers always willing to share their literary discoveries while also cultivating a sense of community. You can learn a lot about a bookstore’s collective personality by scanning what they choose to give shelf talkers to. I have been to a couple of bookstores where there are NO shelf talkers at all and it always jars me a little, like the store is saying: “You’re on your own here. We are not excited about anything and we have no opinions.”

Oof. What a downer.

Bookstores: Show us your shelf talkers!!

Last year, at work, we introduced a whole line of new shelf talker designs to freshen up the look of the store. That’s cool and everything, but (like a bibliophile hoarder) I am a little sad about throwing away some of my old stand-bys. I love making shelf talkers for my small press section. I think it has really helped a lot of readers discover new talent through the past fourteen years I’ve been in charge of it.

So before I tossed them in the recycling, I took photos of some of my favorites and decided I’d post them here (about 140 more are not pictured). That way, they live FOREVER! Enjoy this journey–and read these books!

(click on the pic to make it bigger)

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For Cowboy Maloney’s Electric City (Dark Sky Press)

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The first shelf talker I wrote for Gary Lutz, when 3rd Bed republished Stories In the Worst Way.

The first shelf talker I wrote for Gary Lutz, when 3rd Bed republished Stories In the Worst Way.

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Another book that we've sold a ton of at Powell's.

Another book that we’ve sold a ton of at Powell’s.

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Zachary Lipez, Stacey Wakefield, and Nick Zinner did a great reading for this book at Powell’s back in 2010.

I was so excited to introduce Chelsea Martin's magic to the world.

I was so excited to introduce Chelsea Martin’s magic to the world.

I think this was for Greg's first book, I Have Touched You.

I think this was for Greg’s first book, I Have Touched You.

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For CA Conrad

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I love Spork Books!

I love Spork Books!

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Proof of my early love of all things Iredell.

Proof of my early love of all things Iredell.

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My favorite literary journal.

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We've sold so many copies of Ghost Machine. One of my all-time faves.

We’ve sold so many copies of Ghost Machine. One of my all-time faves.

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Still pretty obscure, SJB was one of my first writing influences.

Still pretty obscure, SJB was one of my first writing influences.

I still think this is kind of a minimalist classic.

I still think this is kind of a minimalist classic. By Paul Fattarusso.

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Like how I burned the edges?

Like how I burned the edges?

The first shelf talker for Chloe's classic.

The first shelf talker for Chloe’s classic.

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