Tuesday, February 21, 2017

where and when did i write Auggie, and what does it cost right now?

I wrote Auggie's Revenge over twelve years, from winter 2004-2005 to spring 2016, and completed writing for it variously in Philadelphia, PA; Clemson, SC; Xi'an, China; and Oakwood, Ohio. It wasn't easy for me to write this novel, and writing it in four places probably makes my life seem exciting or at least vaguely interesting in ways it may not be. I will say that in the off-the-tourist-track neighborhood I live in when I visit Xi'an, China, I'm the only one of European ancestry I've ever seen, but on this last visit a McDonald's that had stood partially complete for more than a year finally sprouted. I was still the only one of the European diaspora, but the new McDonald's had a few lines of poetry by Mary Oliver on the interior walls. I know buying from Amazon isn't best for publishing, bookstores, or writers, but the book is only $8.79 direct from Bezos, so if you'd like to purchase an affordable copy, you have my appreciation for doing so. Of course, anywhere books are sold is always fine by me. It won't disappoint unless it does.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Friday, February 3, 2017

#AWP17, #CEA48

I won't be attending the AWP conference beginning February 8 in Washington, D.C., but I will be a guest speaker at the College English Association's 48th conference in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina from March 30 to April 1, 2017.

For the Coffee on the Commons "breakfast event for contingent faculty and all those with an interest in this vital component of the academy," I'll be speaking about adjunct teaching and writing fiction about adjuncts. I look forward to seeing you there!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

No two countries. . .

Sorry, Ronald.
"No two countries that both had [Trump Towers] had fought a war against each other since each got [Trump Towers]."

--a correction for Thomas Friedman's The Lexus and the Olive Leaf

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Friday, December 23, 2016

Mo Yan and the writer's wealth of dumplings

"One old-timer talked about all the famous dishes he had seen as a waiter in a Qingdao restaurant: braised beef tournedos, pan-fried chicken, things like that. Wide-eyed we stared at his mouth until we could smell the aroma of all that delicious food and see it materialize, as if it had dropped from the sky. The 'rightest' student said he knew someone who had written a book that brought him thousands, maybe tens of thousands, in royalties. Each and every day the fellow ate jiaozi, those tasty little pork dumplings, at all three meals, the oil oozing from inside with each bite. When we said we didn't believe anyone could be so rich as to eat jiaozi three times a day, the waiter said scornfully, 'He's a writer, for goodness sake! Do you understand? A writer!' That's all I needed to know: become a writer and you can eat meaty jiaozi times a day. Life doesn't get any better than that. Why, not even the gods could do better. That's when I made up my mind to become a writer someday."

~~from Mo Yan's introduction to his stories collected in Shifu, You'll Do Anything For A Laugh

Monday, December 5, 2016

Interview with Don Riggs

Don Riggs, the Poet-Laureate of this blog, was interviewed recently by News & Press from the Future Fire. Below is one of his recent sonnets posted to Facebook and set for the entire world to read.

Contemporary Realist Composition
(In the Right Now)

I've been getting up around 3 lately,
sometimes having gotten a word or phrase...
or concept for a poem in a dream
and sometimes not knowing whether I have
but writing anyway on my yellow
pad on the assumption that there may be
something I don't consciously remember
but if I start writing and don't wake up

too much it will inform my chance jotting
so coming to the same thing, but tonight
I haven't gone to bed yet and except
for nodding off over my reading, I
haven't slept but I thought I'd write something
anyway just to see whatever comes.