You Lose Six Hands in Three Years

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A short-short of mine, “You Lose Six Hands in Three Years,” is up at Alice Blue Review.

In some of my new work, I’ve been thinking of stories as methods of access — they’re a tool for accessing and restructuring common experience. The details in the story (the box, the carpet, the hands) are all basic ones, but reassembled into something both unfamiliar and accessible (by that I mean something the reader can interact with, and not, you know, Phil Collins).

Alice Blue is great — they’ve put out work from Amelia Gray, Mike Young, and Matt Bell, among others. They’re also good people. I’ve been sending them work for a while, and they’ve always been positive and gracious.

Billy the Kid vs. Dracula

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“Billy the Kid vs. Dracula” is up over at Juked.

This should be mentioned. The story was born out of frustration over the movie’s misused premise.

Also, this.

Other points of reference: Shadow of a Vampire, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Guy Maddin’s Keyhole.

Juked is fantastic, and I’m glad to be among their ranks. Check out this gut-wrenching story by Emily Koon, or this short-short by fellow Caketrain author Rob Walsh.

On Publishing

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I’ve been thinking a lot about my motivations behind trying to publish, and I’ve got 3 theories worked out. They’re sorted from least to most probable. It is descriptive of my own reasoning and not intended to be prescriptive.

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The first way is the most complicated, and also the most problematic. We’re going to assume that a piece of fiction is an experiment. I should clarify that by an experiment, I don’t mean what is commonly referred to as “experimental fiction” — I simply mean that we should consider the story like we would a scientific experiment.  We can then assume that the piece will achieve varying degrees of success or failure. While one could argue that the author should be the judge of the story’s success, it makes more sense that a reader should judge this, the reader being more objective and less personally involved with the piece. So, in this situation, the writer sets the conditions of the experiment, performs it, and the reader determines its success. The writer requires a reader for the piece to be evaluated as successful.

Continue reading On Publishing

GODDAMN TUBA

1.

Elimae is an online literary journal founded in 1996 by Deron Bauman. In 2005 Cooper Renner took over editing and design. Kim Chinquee joined him from January to October 2010, followed by Brandon Hobson from November 2010 onward.

A few days ago Cooper Renner and Brandon Hobson announced that the forthcoming November issue would be the last.

Let’s go back a second. Elimae was founded in 1996. 1996. At that point the concept of legitimate fiction published online was mostly dismissed. Bauman saw potential in the medium though — he put out work from established writers like Gordon Lish and Diane Williams, as well as writers whose work would grow in stature over the following years (Brian Evenson, Gary Lutz).

Renner, Chinquee, and Hobson have continued that work through to the present day. The fiction is often short and sentence oriented. It is work that is meant for the internet. The design is minimal but sleek, focused on the text presented.

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Here, some highlights:

David Ohle – Der Kroetenkusser
Marc Peacock Brush – Congratulations! It’s a Superpower
Elizabeth Ellen – Two Fictions
Blake Butler – Gift (bonus interview by Michael Kimball)
Matthew Salesses – Two Fictions
Sarah Rose Etter – Cures
Sara Levine – Two Fictions
Lincoln Michel – A Note on the Type

And many more. Renner and Hobson have expressed some uncertainty about the continuing existence of the archives, so, you know, get on it.

3.

Elimae has published two pieces of mine this past year. They’ve run an incredibly tight ship, and usually respond to submissions in less than a week (less than a week!). The second piece, “The Fox and the Choir,” is an excerpt from a longer work that I was finishing when I submitted it. It gave me some much needed reassurance that I was on the right track.

The journal will be missed, and I wish the best for all involved.