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Archive for the ‘Blogs’ Category

Litsa Dremousis

Suggestions, Verities, and Such:

October 5th, 2009
by Litsa Dremousis


Historians assuredly will view this epoch and, among other things, conclude we fussed and churned way too much over pubic hair.

We elected a president, not Santa Claus. We’re not going to get everything we want in the first three fourths of the first year of the first term.

While I know otherwise, I prefer to think ships float by magic: the water displacement theory strikes me as kind of sketchy.

Ladies, we’re nearly 52% of the population. Perhaps more of us could act accordingly?

Also, might a tiny but attention-grabbing portion of us stop writing to and marrying serial killers?

And fellas, might a tiny but attention-grabbing portion of you stop serial killing?

Is anything more resplendent than a lilac tree in spring?

Nutella, while medicinal, is extremely potent and should be handled as such: the combination of spoon and jar seems to hurl one into a time lapse and next thing you know, your evening is shot to hell and your shirt looks like an eight year-old’s.


Paul Clayton

Thoughts on Publishing and PR, Marketing, and Other Dirty Tricks!

September 17th, 2009
by Paul Clayton


I’ve been thinking a lot about book titles lately. My first published book (not the first book I’d written, but the first I’d sold), Calling Crow, had originally been titled by me as Cacique. Envisioned as a historical thriller, ala Clavell’s Shogun, I put a lot of thought into the title.


Kimberly M. Wetherell

Stalker Nation

September 7th, 2009
by Kimberly M. Wetherell


As I’ve written in these hallowed cyber-halls before, I have a fascination with SMITH Magazine’s Six-Word Memoirs; micro-compact stories whose pint-sized punch allows the reader to reel from their impact, left only to imagine the much, much larger story behind the Six. Some people, I have noticed, post frequently. Daily. Obsessively. In fact, SMITHTeens are posting several hundreds in a matter of weeks.

And while I don’t participate with any sort of regularity, I do wholeheartedly embrace the fine art of encapsulation. When life throws its armadillos under my chassis, one of the first places I run is SMITH, to record the moment in perfect, petite, posterity. And for my efforts, I’ve been delightfully rewarded. I read my Six-Word Memoir, Orgasm. Schmorgasm. A vibrator can’t spoon, on the same stage with Amy Tan. I won a dating advice book about why we don’t call bad dates back with, That booty call only rang once. And I just got my first Six-Word Memoirist of the Day accolade last week with Ex-Twitterer. New Urban Dictionary entry: ‘Quitterer’.

That’s right. I quit Twitter. I’m a ‘Quitterer.’

Which might seem odd, considering Twitter is nothing *but* encapsulation, and a 140-character limit should have been a natural fit for the soul of my wit’s brevities.

But here’s what I’ve learned about myself in the past six months I’ve been Networking Socially: I have become the Fire-haired Fürer of Stalker Nation.


James D. Irwin

A Thousand Words: When I Think of California, I Think About Her

August 12th, 2009
by James D. Irwin


Goddamnit woman!’ I remember thinking. ‘SQUEEZE! YES! But for the love of God please shut the hell up!”

I hadn’t travelled all the way out to California to hear a rubenesque Midwestern woman squat out a deuce. We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert, and this, apparently, was log country. I was not sat in a glamorous and expensive convertible — clearly. I was on a coach, heading to Las Vegas. I had the good fortune to be seated in front of the chemical toilet at the back, able to hear the whole dirty performance.

Whilst chewing on cold curly french fries, an ill-advised purchase from a stop at Arby’s, I had an horrific and horrendous thought: What if she’s pleasuring herself?! She’s been in there a damn long time! How can I know for sure? How can any of us know? And will the mental scars ever heal?


Brandon Gorrell

Most of the People I Know on the Internet

August 11th, 2009
by Brandon Gorrell


I have written small reflections on most of the people I know on the internet. Most of the people are associated with the “Internet Literary Scene”. I didn’t use the internet while writing this. People are listed alphabetically.

ADAM J. MAYNARD: Runs “My Name Is Mud”. Continually slightly confused about his age. Like the design of his website. Seems to like me.

ADAM ROBINSON: Feel like he edits Publishing Genius but also feel unsure. Have “kind of no idea” of his opinion of me while worrying, slightly, that he dislikes me. Watched a video of him singing and felt really confused.


James D. Irwin

The Most Evil Square Foot, or: How to Humiliate Hitler With Spandex

July 13th, 2009
by James D. Irwin


The Frankenstadion in Germany was a venue for the 2006 World Cup.

It is where England managed a 2-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago, where Mexico thrashed Iran 3-1 and the USA were defeated by Ghana.

The stadium is much older than it looks. In its current state it looks like a very modern soccer stadium, but this is the result of several rounds of renovation.

Its original purpose gives a clue as to the evil that lies directly behind it.

The Frankenstadion was built in 1928 as a marching ground for the Hitler Youth.

The soccer team that now plays there is 1FC Nuremberg.

And behind the Frankenstadion lie the Nazi Rally Grounds.


James D. Irwin

Hitler’s Favourite Cafe

July 8th, 2009
by James D. Irwin


Adolf Hitler moved to Munich in the early ’20s to improve his chances of making it as an artist. Before the Nazis came to power, their HQ was in Munich.

During this time, Hitler always ate at the same cafe.

Well, until 1927. In 1927 the owner kicked him out as he hadn’t paid his bar tab in months. Hitler moved on up the road to a cafe at the other end of the street.

The old woman who owns the cafe was a little girl in the ’20s. She remembers Hitler eating there. Remembers him having screaming matches in the toilets.

That’s another weird thing. I’d never really thought about Hitler going to the toilet. I guess he must have done.


Rich Ferguson

An Open Love Letter To TNB…And To You, Dear Writers and Readers…

July 5th, 2009
by Rich Ferguson


I guess you could say I got in on the ground floor.

Along with Brad, Dawn, Zoe, Reno, Blaine, Lenore, R Kent, Kip, Boose, and others, I was one of the original writers when TNB first launched three years ago.


Lance Reynald

Left to Consider How Very Frustrated Marcel Proust Might Be and How Far Into the Woods Walden Has Become

June 17th, 2009
by Lance Reynald


Seriously, that’s my title and I’m sticking to it.

Welcome to the contemporary novelist in the age of the new media. Your booktour is quickwork of a few major markets and your audience is considered global with access to all just a mouseclick away.

The landscape of writing has been changing vastly in the digital era. It is a multi-media endeavor and another experience in branding. This is the reality of it now, and the pace is getting quicker.

If you don’t think you have the stomach for that reality I’d suggest that you look away and not even bother with clicking further. (more…)

Kimberly M. Wetherell


June 15th, 2009
by Kimberly M. Wetherell


Whenever I do something utterly stupid, my standby retort used to be: “I’m not your average dumb blonde, I’m above average.”

Blonde jokes have been as much a part of my upbringing as bad (read: fabulous) 80’s music, sunblock and weight issues.

A blonde and a redhead went to the bar after work for a drink, and sat on stools watching the 6 o’clock news. A man was shown threatening to jump from the Brooklyn Bridge, and the blonde bet the redhead $50 that he wouldn’t jump. Sure enough, he jumped, so the blonde gave the redhead $50. However, as friends, the two went back and forth about it; the redhead just couldn’t take the blonde’s money. Finally, the redhead confessed: “Listen, I have to tell you that I saw this on the 5 o’clock news, so I can’t take your money.”

The blonde replied: “Well, so did I, but I didn’t think he would jump again!”

But, for whatever reason, when I tell people I’m flaky, or dumb, I usually get brushed off with a “Pshaw!” “Pbbbbt!” or “Getouttahere!” even though I know, deep in my heart, the truth to be otherwise.

And so, to present my case to you naysayers: I offer Exhibit 9,272 of my extreme Bimbosity:

How I Totally Fucked Up TNBingo.


James D. Irwin

For Want of a Better Title: An Interview With Scott Tournet

June 12th, 2009
by James D. Irwin


About a year ago I tried to start up my own classic rock blog, more akin to an online magazine. It was going to feature the best new rock bands, obscure and essential albums and interviews with anyone who I could get hold of.

Judas Priest turned me down, Golden Earring wanted to see a full edition first and I’m still waiting for Rick Wakeman to reply (no, seriously).

I came close with My Morning Jacket, I actually got in touch with their management and got a telephone interview, unfortunately time difference and conflicting schedules (more theirs if I’m honest) shot it down.

I did however get to interview Scott Tournet, the guitarist with Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, a fantastic band I discovered whilst watching Good Morning America in a New York hotel room.

Originally it was going to be part of a feature of new bands looking back at the music that inspired them, but due to poor journalism skills, kind of turned into a mass of slightly unstructured questions.

And here’s the interview, from exactly twelve months ago…


James D. Irwin

Taking a Bow to the New Revolution: A Blogette

June 8th, 2009
by James D. Irwin


I did it.

I finally did it.

I signed up to Twitter.

And now I’m writing about it here largely to to write about writing about it on Twitter.

But you know what?


By breaking through to the other side the doors of my perception have been opened.

I thought I hated technology, innovation, what not and so on. But I don’t.

I changed my mind about Twitter about five minutes after signing up.

Brad made me sign up— not actually forced me, but nudged my curiosity and, lets be honest, vanity, by telling me I was on the TNB Twitter ‘Hall of Fame.’


Savannah Schroll Guz

In Praise of the Radish Burp

May 29th, 2009
by Savannah Schroll Guz

I have a tendency to become….mmmm, how shall I say this?….a little paranoid. It’s not anything out of the ordinary. I think, under the circumstances, many people probably feel inherently uneasy right now (and maybe always have). There’s, you know, that nuclear threat posed by North Korea, the recent swine flu outbreak, the continued recession, local political battles, larger social dynamics over which I have absolutely no control. I could list a thousand things that push my personal panic button.

However, what happily tows me back to earth (besides my comforting and levelheaded husband) when I jet into one of my overly-reflective or speculative orbits, is a walk to our garden. We have gradually increased its size over the three or four years since we started growing our own food. We have beets, eggplants, carrots, peppers of all sorts, tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, potatoes, sunflowers (for seeds), squash, pumpkins, even cantaloupe. Soon, we’ll plant black beans.


James D. Irwin

Culture Shock in a Supermarket or I Want to Live With Foreign People*

May 25th, 2009
by James D. Irwin


Britain isn’t really as friendly as most people think.

Well, we here in Britain know that it isn’t, but generally Brits are stereotyped as overly polite and courteous, generally pleasant and otherwise rather spiffing individuals.

It did used to be the case, back in the days when there were local shops (shops are what we call ‘stores‘) and market communities and such like, but as Britain has become awash with large chains, shopping centres (shopping centres are what we call ‘malls‘) and identical high streets. Without wanting to push the ‘oh, isn’t the subtle difference in our shared language hilarious’ too far, the high street is what you would call ‘Main Street.’


James D. Irwin

Brian Posehn Was Too Late To Help

May 22nd, 2009
by James D. Irwin


This is my tenth post on TNB, which I’m treating as some sort of milestone. And as with all milestones, I’m going to take this moment to look back and reflect on what a crazy journey it’s been… (Imagine some sort of bubble effect or that wibbly-wobbly screen wipe with harp music at this point.)

As far back as I can remember I’ve always wanted to be a gangster writer. Or kind of. I’ve always wanted to be a writer when I haven’t had crazy schemes of what I was going to be.

A memory that haunts and embarrasses me to this day is standing up in class at the age of about five, wearing glasses and no doubt a zany waistcoat. I was a nerd as a kid, I dressed like a fucking magician. I was standing in front of a class with a list of books I was going to write (most of them about dinosaurs) and how much they would retail for.


Brad Listi

Comment Culture

May 20th, 2009
by Brad Listi


Just read some pretty interesting stuff on “comment culture,” which has become an area of interest over the past few years. A new mutation in the human fabric.

Naturally I’m fascinated by the comment boards on this site. I’m also fascinated by comment boards in general, and the people who populate them, and I wonder how they work, and why.

With respect to The Nervous Breakdown and its boards, I often find myself asking: What is it? And how did it happen? And what is its value? And who is it that’s drawn here? And why? And what might this weird beast become?

And things like that.


James D. Irwin

The Nexus of the Universe

May 13th, 2009
by James D. Irwin


The first time I was in America my brother and I watched an episode of Seinfeld.

We’d never seen it before, living in England, it being about ten years since the show finale and not having cable. We’d heard about it and numerous references to it of course, but never actually seen the show.

It was a classic episode too, the one where George thinks he’s seen Saddam Hussein and Jerry uses that weird cookie to make light of racism. I forget the name of the episode— it must be something like ‘The Black and White Cookie’ or something.


James D. Irwin

Death Stars and Hand Guns

May 7th, 2009
by James D. Irwin


I usually have awesome dreams; I don’t dream often, but when I do they’re usually quite spectacular and incredibly vivid.

In the past I have dreamt that I was saving Miami from rabid zombie babies in a red Chevrolet Corvette. I have dreamt that Al Pacino was chasing me across the New York subway system in a lime green Lamborghini and I have dreamt that I was at a beach party with Keith Richards, Jack Sparrow and Batman.

A few nights ago I dreamt I was in the Death Star. I can’t tell you if it was the one from A New Hope or the one from Return of the Jedi. I think it was the first one, just a hunch.

And I can remember walking about, not being bothered by anyone. There were Storm Troopers and androids and all sorts, the sort of figures you’d expect to see on an evil intergalactic space station. I was free to wander about and mind my own business.


D.R. Haney

My Night of Drunken, Stupid, Mortifying Insanity

April 24th, 2009
by D.R. Haney


Two and a half years ago, my friend Brin (who also now blogs at TNB) was visiting L.A., and I arranged for him to read from his recently-published novel Sic at a place called the Tribal Café on a stretch in Filipinotown known for crack-dealing. I organized a whole night, in which I would read from my own novel, Banned for Life (soon to appear on Brin’s imprint, And/Or Press), and afterwards I’d screen a film directed by another friend who regularly supplied me with writing jobs.

I’m always nervous before readings, so I brought along a bottle of Bushmill’s, which I shared with the audience. It evaporated quickly, so I asked my mentor, George, if he’d mind grabbing another bottle from a store across the street. (I met George when I was a teenager in New York City, and it’s in no small part due to him that I ended up becoming a writer. He was the first bonafide intellectual I knew, and one of the few intellectuals I know still.) He returned with a liter bottle of Cutty Sark—and so the seeds of disaster were sown.


Zara Potts

Invading My Own Privacy

April 22nd, 2009
by Zara Potts


I have issues with privacy. I really do. A lot of people would go so far to call me secretive. I’m not.

I just happen to very private while I’m working out what’s going on in my head. Once I have me figured out I’m more than happy to share. That’s why I’m a writer rather than a talker I guess.

But sometimes I need to just close down and shut up shop while I process life in all its grossness and glory.

I’m quite quiet anyway but during these times I can sometimes go for days without saying much more than ‘Hello’, it sometimes gets so noisy in my head, that’s about all I can manage.