You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2011.
-We had out first flowers of the spring pop up mid month. The first sprouts we had were daffodil; the first blooms were crocus. Last year I was doing my residency at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska City when we had our first flowers, and I was pretty sad to miss them. Our winter wasn’t nearly as hard as the last one was, but it’s still pretty nice to be here to see things change. Our house was built in 1905, so we have things pop up pretty much everywhere too. Between the patio pavers, in the middle of the yard. It’s awesome.
-Tomorrow my wife Nicole’s new promotion and raise go into effect. She’s so smart. Although, being promised a raise on April Fool’s Day isn’t all that promising.
-The Royals lost their Opening Day game against the Angels this afternoon. It was a pretty good game, especially after LA starting pitcher Jered Weaver was pulled. KC should have one of the best, most exciting, and youngest middle relief corps in the majors this year. Too bad they’ll be pitching from behind most of the time.
-“How to Die Young in a Nebraska Winter” was published earlier this month in The Kenyon Review. It looks like they’re still running a friends-and-family special at this link, for anyone who’s interested in a discounted current issue or subscription. It was some pretty exciting stuff being in a TKR. I’ve had a few of these bigger publications now, and it’s really something a guy or gal could used to.
-I was also interviewed by The Kenyon Review Online in anticipation of the release.
-Then, to cap off a crazy week, Confrontation accepted my story “The First Night of My Down-and-Out Sex Life” for publication. I haven’t heard anything for sure, but, judging from the contract verbiage, I’m hoping it will run in November.
Personal Rejection Notes, Requests for More, and Other Nice Versions of No Thanks
Bat City Review and Missouri Review for “On a Train from the Place Called Valentine”; Ploughshares for “Shame Cycle”; and New Letters for “These Things That Save Us.”
Greetings from Below by David Philip Mullins. Still reading this, kind of. I’ve been knee-deep in book prize manuscripts for pretty much the whole month. I will be finishing up my recommendations next week and then will be back on to published books again. I’m very much looking forward to it.
My American Unhappiness by Dean Bakopoulos.
“Like Spinning Plates”
More news this week:
Late yesterday evening “The First Night of My Down-and-Out Sex Life” was accepted for publication by noted literary journal Confrontation! Based out of Long Island, Confrontation has been running since 1968 and has published seven Nobel laureates and helped launch numerous careers over this span. And now they’ll be putting out my work too!
“The First Night of My Down-and-Out Sex Life” is part of a series of short stories that I’ve been working on the past couple years. The story is set in popular local tour spots like Sokol Underground and a dorm at UNL, and features a band called The Zapruder Films. It is not autobiographical, however, for anyone who might be wondering. The other stories in the cycle include “The Man Who Never Was,” which was in Weekday last summer, “Kleinhardt’s Women,” which was on Fogged Clarity in December, the currently available “On a Train from the Place Called Valentine,” and a story I’ve rewritten more than a handful of times but have never made work called, at present, “The Mercy Killing of Harrison Kleinhardt.” It’s been a lot of fun to work on these stories, to reference and overlap them, and I’m glad that now two of them have found good homes. Also, “First Night” will be my first published work that’s written from the point-of-view of a woman.
As for the numbers, this is my 14th story accepted for publication, and will be the 17th short story publication overall, counting stories that were anthologized. My first pub was in the spring of 2007, so that’s not a bad four-year stretch to begin with.
The Spring 2011 edition of The Kenyon Review hits shelves this week! The issue features my story “How to Die Young in a Nebraska Winter,” along with a story by Seth Fried, poems by Albert Goldbarth and Kevin Young, and a bunch of other great stuff. I’m eager to get mine.
Single copies are available for $10 at the link above, or by clicking on the image on the right, if you’re interested. Or, use this link for a special friends and family discount to get 20% off the issue or a subscription.
(The Kenyon Review Online ran a micro-interview of me late last week, in case you missed it.)
Also, The Cincinnati Review has posted the cover artwork for its forthcoming Summer 2011 issue, which will feature my Schiff-Prize-for-Prose-winning story “The Current State of the Universe.” This looks to be awesome as well. We’re really rocking Ohio this year.
All in all, it’s been a pretty great day. My wife Nicole got a promotion at work, Maddie’s flu seems to be lifting, and I received a couple awesome emails this morning that have me pretty excited. Nothing on that yet, but wish me luck.
A micro-interview I did for The Kenyon Review Online has been posted to their blog. It’s a pretty cool thing. I guess they are doing these interviews with contributors to help promote their upcoming issues–and mine was the first they did! Hopefully it turned out all right.
The post also reveals that their spring issue, which features my story “How to Die Young in a Nebraska Winter,” will be shipping next Thursday, March 10. How awesome is that? I’m pretty psyched. This is something I’ve really been looking forward to.
Thanks so much to Laura Briskman for doing the interview; and to David Lynn, Tyler Meier, John Pickard, James Flaherty, and everyone else at TKR for all their work and help in making this happen. My experience with The Kenyon Review has been exceptional.
-I was lucky to see the National Christmas Tree when I was in Washington DC last month—as it fell over in a windstorm a couple weeks after I visited. My walking friend and I commented to each other at the time that the tree looked to be in pretty bad shape. Apparently it was! The tree I saw was installed during the Jimmy Carter presidency. A replacement will be planted this spring.
-“Welcome Home” was also mentioned on the news page of the Arts & Sciences College at Creighton University, where I did my MA. I should note, however, that the story may be selected for the Warrior’s Journey coursework. Nothing is official as of yet. If I hear anything I’ll be sure to post about it, as having my work included in that program would certainly be my biggest accomplishment to date. I’m very proud that they asked to use the story.
Personal Rejection Notes, Requests for More, and Other Nice Versions of No Thanks
McSweeney’s, Epoch, and Shenandoah for “On a Train from the Place Called Valentine”; Missouri Review for “The First Night of My Down-and-Out Sex Life”; and Crab Creek Review for “These Things That Save Us.”
Greetings from Below by David Philip Mullins.
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. “I overtipped him. That made him happy. It felt comfortable to be in a country where it is so simple to make people happy. You can never tell whether a Spanish waiter will thank you. Everything is on such a clear financial basis in France. It is the simplest country to live in. No one makes things complicated by becoming your friend for any obscure reason. If you want people to like you you have only to spend a little money. I spent a little money and the waiter liked me. He appreciated my valuable qualities. He would be glad to see me back.”
Nowhere Man by Aleksandar Hemon. A fantastic novel. Smart, melancholy and funny. I’ve only read two of his books so far, but Hemon is one of my favorite writers. He’s really great, and I need to make the time to read all of his work.
Other People We Married by Emma Straub.
[Note: I’m trying something new with the format for these posts, going to whole months in review rather than what was turning out to be 3-4 weeks in review. It isn’t much of a change, except that I’ll be pulling the longer topical and reflective sections out and making those into their own posts. The month in review posts will be more bullet point stuff. Not much of a change in content, but more and smaller posts. Hopefully that’s a little easier to consume.]