(via housingworksbookstore)kels fjord
I’m finishing up a collection of short stories. They are all linked by the fact that I wrote them. That’s the gimmick, the hook.
Best possible gimmick.
(via mcnallyjackson)Peter W. Knox
On Writing: The Darjeeling Limited
Jack: You wanna read a short story I wrote in France?
Francis: How long is it?
Jack: Nevermind, forget it.
Jack: What part are you on?
Peter: Nothing, it reminded me of something not related to it.
Peter: Is it supposed to be sad?
Jack: I think so.
Peter: Well, I’m not too crazy about the part where I start screaming at the mechanic. That never happened.
Jack: The characters are all fictional.
Poetry Month is over. Make room for
Beyonce Short Story Month
via Michael Filippone (c/o Dan Wickett)
I wrote something about Matthew Simmons’ Happy Rock. I encourage you to read Matthew Simmons’ Happy Rock.
Rosy’s Diner used to be bright yellow. When it was bright yellow it was called Tommy’s Diner. Tommy was the guy at the stove. Is Rosy his daughter? Did she take over when he retired? Is Rosy the woman who used to sit at the register? Did Tommy die? It’s been 22 years since I lived there. Tommy must have died by now. (via Hobart :: Happy Rock, A Photo Essay)
The TL;DR version: BUY HAPPY ROCK.
I want to celebrate Matthew Simmons’ new book Happy Rock. This is going to get a little long. Indulge me?
Matthew Simmons is what some people—many people; me, certainly—would refer to as “good people.” That feels a little like a clumsy version of a sentence that could be in his book, Happy Rock, and is also very, very true.
He’s been the Interviews Editor for Hobart basically since I can remember, and is thus responsible for what I honestly believe is one of the best series of author interviews going.
He organized a tribute to Amy Fusselman and her site, Surgery of Modern Warfare, that had been so inspirational to many of us who’ve been doing this a while.
When Ryan Boudinot released his novel, Blueprints of the Afterlife, he organized something of a round-up of appreciations for Ryan on HTMLGIANT. To intro the round-up, Matthew wrote,
I like Ryan’s work. I like Ryan. Ryan’s a solid citizen of literature in Seattle. And everywhere. I figured I would like the book.
I didn’t figure it would be as expansive, as imaginative, as powerful, and as quaking as it it.
I’m going to cheat some here because this feels to perfectly capture how I feel about Matthew and his new collection, Happy Rock.
I like Matthew’s work. I like Matthew. Hell, I’ve already read a handful of these stories when previously published in journals so now only did I “figure” I would like the book, I kind of knew it. And yet still.
I’ve known Matthew so long, and he’s so nice, so generous that, I hate to say it, but it’s easy to take his writing for granted. I don’t know why. Jello Horse is easily one of my favorite novellas. I’ve been looking forward to Happy Rock for seemingly forever. And still…
These stories blew me away. There’s something about the mix of fantastic and real, something about the magic of the stories and also the seemingly authorial intrusions to get it all right, to be honest and true. There’s passages like:
Would you be let down if you found out nothing will happen here? Would it disappoint you to know that Sarah and Matthew will not, in this moment, find comfort in each other? Would not fall into one another?
If you found out that something did happen here, would this story, with its all-too-familiar happy ending, strain credibility? Would it be overcome by sentimentality? Because this is not a sentimental story. Not in the least. This is just the truth. Or mostly the truth, and some embellishments.
How great is that?!?
Blake Butler wrote today on VICE, “You feel close to his narrators even as you watch them fumbling to feel close to anybody,” and that feels right.
Amelia Gray blurbed, “Through his characters—lost, lonely, left behind—Simmons paints a loving portrait of what happened to your best friend from elementary school, the one who never moved out of his grandma’s basement. Turns out, he’s been up to some strange shit.” and that feels like one of the best, and most right, blurbs.
So, finally, again, and in conclusion: BUY HAPPY ROCK.