( Monday, January 31, 2011 )

Bed Pan(ned)

Back in August--in the year of our Lord 2010--I mentioned that I had had my first short story published. Well, 5 months (and a whole 4 posts) later, I wanted to let you (yes, you, the Anonymous Abyss that is the Internet) know that I've had my second short story published, by the fine folks at Mapple Tree Literary Supplement. Considering the caliber of work they publish, I feel like a preschooler whose childish splatters of paint earn a knowing pat on the head and a place on the kitchen fridge. It's an honour. It's also humbling.

The story, "Bed Pan(ned)," is what some might call "Creative Non-Fiction." And by "some," I mean me, and the people who created the catergories for the journal. Others might be inclined to challenge the designation, taking issue with such words & syntax as "Creative" or "Non" or "Fiction" or "-" or "quotation marks." They should direct their concerns to my lawyer. And by "lawyer," I mean God Almighty.

( Wednesday, January 26, 2011 )

For Want of a Decision

I saw my life branching out before me like a green fig-tree in the story.

From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and off-beat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out.

I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig-tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.

(Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar)

( Saturday, January 22, 2011 )


( Wednesday, January 19, 2011 )

Talking Kitchen Appliances

The other day my girlfriend used the expression "The pot calling the kettle black." I had never heard it before. She was aghast. Apparently it's very common. All the kids are using it these days.

So, I'm conducting an informal, non-scientific poll: have you (yes, you) heard the expression before, or is it new to you too? I need to know where I stand.

( Friday, January 14, 2011 )


I found a fantastic site today that I thought would be worth sharing (and considering how rarely I "share" on here, I think that should count for something--right?). It's called [footnote]. Basically, they make 25-minute episodes/shows, and they're shown on WGN (it's a cable channel -- I'm not sure if I get it though, and anyway, they play at 2am).

Rather than try to explain what they do myself, I'll defer to them:

Every week on Footnote, we come up with a different subject and then we let different people tell their stories about that subject, and we keep those stories as creative and honest as we can. Each episode is a little like a documentary, but just documenting people's stories isn't enough for us. We want to explore these stories, with all the characters and emotions involved; stories that matter to us and make us see the world in a different way. They might be sad or funny, they might make us mad. They might give us hope. Mostly, stories that are, in the deepest sense, true.

And, even though we go to a lot of trouble to find rare and unique stories, we want stories that expose the things that tie us all together. The little things under the surface. The tiny truths that we sometimes forget to notice. The important things. The footnotes.

("About Footnote")

Really, it's great stuff. You can watch episodes online, and their first three are up. I just finished watching their latest, "NSFW," which is all about porn -- a porn star, an ex-porn producer, Craig Gross (the pastor from xxxchurch.com, who is (in)famous for his "Jesus Loves Porn Stars" Bibles/shirts and going to Porn Conventions, among other things), and even a study about the effects of porn. (The whole episode is fantastic, but I think the stories from the porn producer got to me the most--just incredibly sad.)

They have amazing production quality, great stories, and are impressively meaningful. And look at that, no need to pay. The docu-addict in me rejoices.