“Nothing lasts forever. But—especially as it seems to me cities and humans are symbiotically and inextricably bound at this point—I hope cities have a good, long run. Plus, cities are beautiful creatures in their own right; and as with us, their vulnerability and ephemerality are part of that beauty.”—Alex Shakar interviewed by Lindsey Drager
Lori Arnold, Meth Queen—She grew up in rural Iowa, the little sister of popular jock Tom Arnold. He left town and became a successful actor; she stayed and became one of the biggest crystal meth dealers in the mid west. The unlikely drug kingpin tells her dark, twisted tale to Karl Taro Greenfeld.
Hm. This is going to sound dismissive and asshole-y, but… I don’t think we’re even too sure what an “ecology of lit” is. Mostly we publish stories (and essays! and comics!) that we find entertaining and want to share with others. I don’t think we’ve ever thought about our “relations w/r/t other lit journals/publishers/etc.” (a badly bungled and re-appropriated definition of “ecology” grabbed from wikipedia)
Hobart needs more stuff about luck. Think of this way: If they accept you, you kick dino-ass. If they blar your work, no worries. It was just bad luck. Here is a pretty epic “wish-list” and I wish more editors would do this, announce what they are thinking, on a rolling level, week to week–I feel it germinates a writer. This list has made me write. I see a future where editors throw out sparks like such as this. Glow.
“First a note about my perspective. I’m a bookseller. I’ve been a bookseller for almost 12 years. I’ve worked as a floor clerk, in an author events department, in Kids Books, claimed publisher coöp, cashiered, and now spend most of my time behind the scenes writing ads and newsletters and signs.”—
“I sometimes think of this Marilyn Monroe quote. “If you can make a girl laugh, you can make her do anything.” If the goal of a poet is to take the language, or the reader, or the self, to someplace they have never been before, to a place where the last two words of her quote — “do anything” — can happen, humor can crowbar open the audience to ‘an anything’ they are resistant to imagine. If you can make people laugh, you have their attention. Those eyes and ears are beams of light. You hold mirrors. You can point them at anything. It can be at another joke. Or an unforgettable glimpse of hell. Or a gesture of universal love for all humanity. Or lyric.”—
More Ho13 wishlisting: We’d like to read some more luck-themed short shorts, flash fictions, etc. Short pieces. Ideally, we love them when they come in “sets” and work together in some way. The way they work together is pretty open to interpretation, though we’d prefer the relation to luck be less of a stretch.
“Next month, Avid Bookshop will achieve genuine bricks and mortar status at 493 Prince Avenue in Athens, Ga. Geddis anticipates a soft opening in about four weeks, aiming for a grand opening by mid-October. Shelving (previously used by Chapters Literary Bookstore, Washington, D.C.) arrived yesterday, and most of her new book inventory should be there soon. “Once the shelves are positioned and we’re ready to click ‘submit’ on our opening inventory, we’ll keep everyone updated with a firm grand opening date. We haven’t formally hired anyone yet, but we do have a list of at least 20 people who are applying (and we haven’t even advertised the bookselling positions yet!),” she noted.”—
I have a long post I’m thinking of (Really long, actually. In the old days, we’d have called it an essay), but the shorter version is this: There’s a dominant narrative that the traditional publishing industry is screwed, that physical books are going to disappear, and that indie bookstores are doomed. This narrative is false, and the only reason it seems so prevalent is that it benefits certain people to perpetuate it.
Janet is going to rock her bookstore. Athens, Georgia will be a better place for it.
“The “pre-article advisories” note (David Foster Wallace) sent to Dean along with his first draft provided a peek into his philosophy of footnotes (“the big thing is to avoid breaking footnotes over pages — it gives readers a headache”) and his fiercely protective stance toward his own prose: “I’ve got the fucker down to like 8,400 words. Another maybe 100-200 words can come out without much problem, if need be. Cutting much more from that will cripple the piece, which I’ve worked hard on and feel protective of. (If you decided, for instance, that you want to run only like 5,000 words of it, I wouldn’t do it — I’d settle for the Kill Fee.)”—A look back at David Foster Wallace’s classic take on Roger Federer - Grantland
“Attempt to improve your punctuation, learn sign language via YouTube videos. Think long and hard about the consequences of the decisions of reality TV show contestants. Marvel at how bad their decision making skills are when simple logic points to the road they didn’t choose. Feel good about yourself that you would have made a better decision in that situation. Make up a sad dance to commemorate the empty bag of trail mix you found in your freezer. Not quite empty, but peanuts are filler and they are a waste of time.”—Hobart buddy Mary Hamilton’s “Things to do when you are lonesome,” from Necessary Fiction, curated this month by upcoming SF/LD author, Jess Stoner. (And, really, every sentence in this short is deserving of snagging as an excerpt. You should really, really, really read the whole thing. Like, right now.)
Late in making mention of this, but damn: look. Dark Sky Magazine’s second print issue is out and it features much goodness and goodies. DSM puts out a gorgeous book and you all should go pick up a copy right here!
The good Chris Newgent weighs in with his usual balanced and articulate thoughts on the BlazeVOX “controversy” at the Vouched blog. Chris is the Jedi Master of good acts when it comes to promoting and selling small press books and what he has to say here is right on. It should get you fired up to buy some (difficult, challenging, experimental, weird and wonderful) books, read some books, buy a few more and share them with folks who wouldn’t normally get these books in their hands. Hobart’s got quite a few on sale, in fact. We know, we know: totally shameless. But seriously, go read Chris’s thoughts on this whole thing. It’ll be good for your heart.
Christopher Schaberg and Mark Yakich have started Airplane Reading, an “ongoing anthology about air travel.” This site so far looks incredible. Some funny, terrifying all-in-all amazing stuff. Hobart loves us some good air travel stories. Enjoy!