by Colleen McGrath
There’s a crack in my Mac
In the casing to be exact
And I wonder what I am to do
There’s a crack in my Mac
In the casing to be exact
And I wonder what I am to do
WASHINGTON, NJ -
At this point in my life, I’m used to getting lost. There are some people who have no idea how lucky they are, blessed with an organic compass embedded into their brains, but I’m not one of them. To give you an idea of how easily I can lose my bearings, at my neighborhood mall, once I enter a store, on the way back out, I have to pause and remember and look around and figure out whether I need to take a left or a right to begin the always-challenging journey back to my car. And most likely, there will be more dithering at the parking lot as I struggle to recall just where I parked. (more…)
I have listed comparisons of what I feel are significant gimmicks of American Apparel and Urban Outfitters.
In my worst moments, when I’m awake and shouldn’t be, when I feel as though I am merely surviving this life, I think: what am I? I don’t know what I am but I do know a little about the habits of the creature that is me. Maybe the most important duality I inhabit is that between focusing on my mind and focusing on my heart. When I’m in my mind, I’m serious, possibly a little cranky, and doing something useful like accepting my next friend on Facebook. When I’m in my heart, I’m either writing my next new poem or practicing one of my more inspired hobbies like autoerotic asphyxiation or Reiki. (more…)
LOS ANGELES, CA-
There is no point to this. The point is that I’m getting sick. I just noticed it an hour ago. Suddenly I am blowing my nose. Out of nowhere. And now feeling a little wonky. So I took some vitamin C and ate about 14 pounds of sautéed spinach and now I am sitting here waiting to die. If the pig flu gets me tell them I was an okay guy. Kind of quiet and not very good at tennis, but basically decent.
I sent one of my stories to a so-called literary magazine and got back the strangest rejection letter I’ve ever received — and I’ve been doing this for over thirty years. I’d never heard of The @$$!@# Reader until the night I picked up (but didn’t buy) a copy at my local Borders where I go with my daughter, D, every Wednesday afternoon. (more…)
SEATTLE, WA -
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.
A few weeks ago I started a literary publication called SPAM Publishing.
Now I have to deal with submissions and the impossible challenge of deciding what to publish.
How do I get myself into these things?
LOS ANGELES, CA –
The course actually begins with the words, “Location! Location! Location!”
Since teaching jobs are both hard-to-get and low paying, I’ve decided to think about pursuing a career in commercial real estate brokerage. The two classes you have to pass before you can take the salesperson license exam are “Real Estate Principles” and “Real Estate Practices.” You can take them online through Allied Schools.
The “Principles” class begins with a Welcome page featuring images of golden hills, redwood trees, rocky coastline, and flowers blooming in the desert. What follows is mind-numbing, soul-withering flapdoodle.
This book-pimping thing has brought both extreme highs and lows during the first month, as Misfits and Other Heroes has made its way into the world. I have cried and eaten one too many donuts, been routed to an Internet porn site when I Googled myself and been told by a local bookstore owner, “We don’t carry books about unicorns,” when I tried to explain how my short stories hover around the genre of magic realism.
WASHINGTON, NJ -
When April asked me to comment on how Generation X culture changed my life, I was sort of stumped. Because it’s not so much how it changed my life, but how it was my life. These TV shows and music and movies that almost seem quaint now - I grew up with them. Generation X is me, and I’m Generation X. How could I possibly delve into something that is so tightly integrated into who I am?
These photos of me with a grotesquely-swollen, Betadine-stained leg with dual rows of bloody staples are…what’s the word? Disgusting. They are also the most-viewed items on my blog.
I get traffic and hits from around the world, visits from countless people who apparently want to see what a tri-malleolar ankle fracture, post-surgery looks like.
I wonder if I’m scaring people, or titillating them? I wonder if people are refusing surgical fracture fixes because of me? That’s actually not my intention.
I landed in San Francisco at the end of November, 2008. Home - Australia, a country I’d left for the first time - was thousands of miles away, along with my family, my friends, and every place I’d ever known. The closest friend I knew was in New York; although, luckily for me, through the magic of MySpace I wasn’t totally bereft of human contact on the West Coast. Even luckier, my MySpace contacts turned out to actually be who they claimed, and my fears of a white slavery ring vanished like a cobweb before a flamethrower. (more…)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA-
A little over three years ago a friend of mine in South Florida sent me a Craigslist post from a gentleman in the Los Angeles area seeking writers for a new website. The writers had to fit two criteria. They should be situated on any part of the planet, the weirder and more varied the location the better, and they must be able to write good creative non-fiction. When I received the email I was holed up in a mansion bordering a golf course on the outskirts of Cascais, Portugal with an injured leg and a bored and shitty attitude. I fit the first part of the bill, for I was definitely living in a weird and remote location, but I was no writer, oh no, never would be. Not me.
My friend in Miami pestered, cajoled, threatened and persevered and, one night, tipsy on Beaujolais, I relented and sent off an awkward, self-conscious and self-deprecating letter to the guy who’d posted the ad.
Two days later I got a reply from a dude called Brad Listi. He was a Real Writer with a Real Book, and A Blog, and Ambition, and Motivation, and Credibility, and he said something that changed my life forever.
He liked my work.
It’s amazing what a little approval can do.
Dear Alice Hoffman,
I should specify that I have not read your books. I know, I know, I’m a writer/editor and you are a Famous Literary Figure–I get that I should have your novels under my belt by now. They’ve been on my to-do list, I promise.
Of course they’re not there anymore, because now instead of being a Famous Literary Figure, you are a Famously Crazy Person. But fear not–I have the solution for you: go to rehab.
DAEGU, SOUTH KOREA -
I’m not a religious man by any means, and so you won’t find me at church or mosque, or worshipping anything anywhere. I’m also not really a terribly active man, and so whilst I enjoy a walk in the park or a game of football, you also will rarely find me there. I don’t watch TV, either, so my Sundays don’t revolve around that.
I’m a lazy fellow at heart, and so on my precious Sundays, I like to relax and stay at home. All around my house I have wireless internet access, and so I spend much of my time online.
Let’s start with the Twitter advice for you, since the majority of you fit into that category. If you’re Johnny Depp or Mary Lynn Rajskub, you can skip to the relevant section.
Scenario: You are you. You’re on Twitter. If you’re totally lost, you can get the basics from Greg Olear, but whether or not you hit Olear’s brief survival guide, I’m going to tell you what Twitter is:
It’s a site where people type what they’re doing into the Internet and then nobody reads it because nobody cares.
Some day, I like to think to myself, I will write Important Books. They won’t start revolutions, highlight the problems of the free market, or end global warming, but they will highlight the frailties and follies of the human condition. Yes, people will say after reading them, yes, this is exactly what this means. My God! How could one Australian of above average height have grasped - and so easily - the deeper meaning of the subtle movements of life?
Also, the books will sell well, and I will be very rich. (more…)
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…)
SOUTH COAST, ENGLAND-
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…