Feature Request: Kindle Second Acts

A selection of my contributor copies.
A selection of my contributor copies.

The short version of my idea: 1) Amazon should open up the Kindle Singles program to include stories and essays that have been previously published by a curated group of print literary journals. 2) They should hire me to manage this.

The longer version: University-affiliated lit journals could partner with Amazon to make a little more money than they currently do, and benefit the careers (and wallets, a little bit) of the writers they publish. Here’s how:

Amazon has its Kindle Singles program, but at the moment, it’s only for previously unpublished writing (from the Singles Submissions Policy: “Original work, not previously published in other formats or publications”).

At the same time, we have this whole world of fantastic lit journals that have back catalogs of high-quality writing, much of which is only available in print, or for university-affiliated readers who have JSTOR access. Some lit journals might balk at the idea of a partnership with Amazon (see my one caveat, below). But if Amazon opened up the Kindle Singles program to include stories and essays previously published by a curated group of reputable lit journals who mostly publish in print, it would achieve the same purpose of having Kindle Singles be by submission and not a free-for-all. Essays published by AGNI have already been vetted by Sven Birkerts; stories published by The Paris Review have gotten the go-ahead from Lorin Stein. The cohort of lit journals itself would be curated (this is where I come in, Amazon)—again, to keep the program from being a free-for-all.

Lit journals and authors could split Amazon’s usual 70% royalty. Everyone wins: Amazon, the journals, and the writers make a little bit of change, and the writers get a slightly wider audience than they currently have.

I should add that I agree wholeheartedly with Emily Wojcik at The Massachusetts Review in her blog post from this past February (“Rethinking the Future of the University Quarterly”): “The capital offered by the university literary magazine is not financial but cultural, and should be measured accordingly.” I.e., I’m not at all arguing that university-affiliated lit journals are obligated to carry their weight. But I do think that a new way for journals to reach readers would be both a financial and cultural victory.

Here are some readers for whom this would be awesome:

The frugal: A reader might want to spend $2 for one story or essay by a favorite writer, rather than spending $10 or $12 to buy the whole lit journal in which it was published.

The curious: A reader might be interested in a particular writer, but isn’t sure yet whether she or he wants to spend the money and time on her or his whole essay or story collection.

The fans of the not-yet-collected: There are plenty of writers who have published dozens of stories and essays who have not yet had them published in collected book form.

The completists: A writer might have published a collection, or even more than one collection—but their book(s) might not include all of that writer’s work.

Have I covered all the possible scenarios? Let me know if not!

I want this program to happen for selfish reasons (and not just because I want Amazon to hire me to run it). I have a story collection manuscript, but I haven’t yet found an agent or a publisher for it. The collection has twenty-two short stories and short-short stories, twenty of which have been published. Some are online, but quite a few are not; none of the four stories in the ms that are over 5,000 words are available online. They’ve been published by amazing journals, ones that I’m honored to have had select my work—Printers’ Row Journal, One Story, The Massachusetts Review, Indiana Review—but again, $12 is a lot to spend if someone might want to read just my story “The Man in the Moon Is a Lawyer.”

Also, personally, I feel like you can read short-short stories on a web page, but a full-length story is a whole other business. I know not all readers feel this way, but I do think that many readers like the way in which either a physical book or an e-reader doesn’t have the constant temptation to multitask, to flip over to some other app or program that wants to take them away from the submersive experience of reading (what John Gardner called the “vivid and continuous dream”).

Part of why I think this could work brilliantly is because Ploughshares is already doing it with Ploughshares Solos: for example, you can buy my friend Alix Ohlin’s (not-yet-collected) story “The Brooks Brothers Guru” for $1.99 either on the Ploughshares website or on Amazon. This is totally great. And it makes me think that surely there’s a market for a larger program, one that includes a much wider range of established journals.

Possible names for the program: Kindle Second Acts? Kindle Take Twos? Kindle Duos?

Once more: Hey Amazon! If anyone there reads this, and if you want to hire a tech-savvy editor with great literary/publishing world connections and to launch and run such a program: I’m available!

And finally, one small caveat: I’m well aware of the criticisms of Amazon—monopsony, the Gazelle Project, etc. But since Amazon’s not going away anytime soon, my feeling is that what they do incredibly well—what they do better than anyone else—can surely still be harnessed for the much vaster project of literature itself.

The Daily Themes of Peter Matthiessen

I’m a tutor in English 450: Daily Themes this semester. It’s a legendary class; famous alumni include Calvin Trillin, who wrote about it for The New Yorker (“No Telling, No Summing Up”), and Peter Matthiessen, who died last April.

When I describe the class, I usually repeat the story that Matthiessen’s first published piece began in Daily Themes. But I’ve been wondering: is this true? It looks like it is. But what was the published piece? And what was the theme? What follows is as close to discovering the answer to those questions as I’ve gotten. (Which bring up more questions: e.g., was the story published before he graduated, or after?)

The next step, it looks like, would be visiting an actual physical library.

Daily Themes (now English 450), is a Yale Classic. Its disciples write a 250-500 word “theme” five days a week for every week of the semester—a practice that encourages odes to childhood and puppy love, eavesdropping at street corners for inspiration, and, eventually, an addiction to writing. Daily Themes has been in existence since about 1901, and its list of famous graduates is long.

Beinecke Top Tens: Daily Themes

Born in New York City in 1927, Peter Matthiessen published his first short story, written in his Daily Themes class, in the Atlantic Monthly in 1951, the year after he graduated from Yale.

Bright Pages: Yale Writers, 1701 – 2001, J. D. McClatchy, Ed.

Yet another member of Fenton’s spring 1950 fiction writing class was Peter Matthiessen, author of such major works as The Snow Leopard (1979), At Play in the Fields of the Lord (1991) and Shadow Country (2008). Like many students in the class of 1950, Matthiessen served during World War II before enrolling at Yale. He showed tremendous early promise as a writer, publishing a story in the Atlantic Monthly while still an undergraduate. On the strength of that, Fenton arranged for him to return after graduation to teach in in Daily Themes and the Short Story writing class during 1950-51.

—Scott Donaldson, Death of a Rebel: The Charlie Fenton Story

Encouraged by winning the prestigious Atlantic Prize for a story he had written as an undergraduate, Mr. Matthiessen found a literary agent, the steely Bernice Baumgarten, and sent her the first chapters of a novel.

—Christopher Lehmann-Haupt “Peter Matthiessen, Lyrical Writer and Naturalist, Is Dead at 86,” The New York Times, 6 April 2014

Valor! Love! Virtue! Compassion! Splendor! Kindness! Wisdom! Beauty!

I read the following last night, in the middle of a thunderstorm.

The entry is from 1971. “The original journals are small, looseleaf notebooks, approximately one to a year, into which Cheever typed his entries (badly), although there are also some passages written in longhand,” writes Robert Gottlieb in his editor’s note. “He did not date most of the entries, which is why we didn’t.”

I drink gin and read some stories of mine. There is the danger of repetition. Walking in the woods, I heard a man shouting, “Love! Valor! Compassion!” I followed the voice until I saw him. He was standing on a rock shouting the names of virtues to no one. He must have been mad. The difficulty here is that I wrote that scene ten years ago. Oh-ho.

—John Cheever, The Journals of John Cheever, p. 277

Google brings up Terrence McNally’s Author’s Note to Love! Valour! Compassion!: “The title,” he writes, “comes from an entry in John Cheever’s journals.”

The story Cheever refers to is “A Vision of the World” (I Google-triangulated via here, here, and here). The story was originally published in the 29 September 1962 New Yorker. Here’s the second half of the last graf:

Then either I awake in despair or am waked by the sound of rain on the palms. I think of some farmer who, hearing the noise of rain, will stretch his lame bones and smile, feeling that the rain is falling into his lettuce and his cabbages, his hay and his oats, his parsnips and his corn. I think of some plumber who, waked by the rain, will smile at a vision of the world in which all the drains are miraculously cleansed and free. Right-angle drains, crooked drains, root-choked and rusty drains all gurgle and discharge their waters into the sea. I think that the rain will wake some old lady, who will wonder if she has left her copy of “Dombey and Son” in the garden. Her shawl? Did she cover the chairs? And I know that the sound of the rain will wake some lovers, and that its sound will seem to be a part of that force that has thrust them into one another’s arms. Then I sit up in bed and exclaim aloud to myself, “Valor! Love! Virtue! Compassion! Splendor! Kindness! Wisdom! Beauty!” The words seem to have the colors of the earth, and as I recite them I feel my hopefulness mount until I am contented and at peace with the night.

Fifteen Thoughts on AWP

1) Emily’s joke: For AWP, we stayed at The Lenox, which is a member of the Saunders Hotel Group. At first, the hotel seemed like a near-future dystopia, with a lot of scary TradeMarked MidCaps (TM). Also, everyone there, like, uptalked? But halfway through our stay this totally surreal thing happened, which, by the time we checked out, via that surreal thing, totally redeemed our faith in humanity.

2) The view out our hotel window.

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3) I thought that Facebook and AWP would be an interesting combination. I had the idea that everyone would use the former as a tool for managing the latter. As in, if you were at the Bloof table, you would write “I’m at the Bloof table,” and then your friend who happened to be over at the Small Demons table would see that, and then wander from Small Demons over to Bloof, and then say hi, which is what’s so great about AWP, saying hi to all these wonderful folks.

But it didn’t seem like anyone was doing that. It seemed like everyone I knew on Facebook who was also at AWP wasn’t writing much of anything on Facebook. Presumably because they were too busy saying hi to other wonderful folks?

Or maybe the appropriate digital tool for what I’m talking about is Twitter?

4) I’m sure some people had all kinds of judgemental thoughts about us wheeling around a boy who’s four and eleven tweflths in a stroller meant for a much younger child. Perhaps they thought we were spoiling him; maybe they thought we fit some preconceived idea of modern parenting that they’ve decided they hate.

But I tell you what, the Micralite Toro is an amazing machine. You can push it with one hand. You can put all your coats on it, instead of checking them for three dollars per coat at the coat check that doesn’t allow you to combine coats. At the convention that doesn’t have child care. Or a play area. Or any comfortable chairs. Did you see everyone lining the long hallways, sitting down, napping on each other, checking their phones, reading, resting in the only place there was to rest? It looked like an airport in a snowstorm. A conference and book fair together mean walking many miles over the course of the day. Which is tiring for people of every age.

I highly recommend the Toro. They should make a grownup version.

Maybe they already do; it’s called the Segway.

And the Husqvarna ear muffs. Next year, we’re starting a fake literary journal and selling branded Husqvarna ear muffs as swag.

5) I miss tabling. I think I’m good at it. I love standing behind a table and talking to people all day. Maybe not every day, but certainly a couple of times a year. I love teaching, but I also hope my work someday means tabling conferences. I hope it doesn’t sound pathetic for someone in his early forties to say such a thing.

6) The woman who was running the TriQuarterly table on Saturday morning was not a nice person.

7) Bloof!

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8) Perhaps I just think I’m good at tabling because at AWP, there are so many people who are incompetent at it. Why go at all, why spend money on a table, if you, the editor, are not going to go yourself? Why send your socially challenged editorial intern? And if you’re the socially challenged editorial intern, why are you hiding? Why not say hi to someone and possible learn something about the world?

9) Sven Birkerts is awesome. First thing in the morning, he’s sitting behind the AGNI table. He’s a major public intellectual and he’s also trying to sell you a damn lit journal. That’s how you do it, man.

10) I’m sad I didn’t get to meet Michael or Jamie in person. I’m glad I got to finally meet Stephen. I’m glad to’ve seen Jed, Bruce, Hannah, Rach, Richard, Jess, Dan, Shanna, Sam, Brendan, John, Rick, Laurel, Laurel.

11) I’m sad we didn’t run into Maud or Alix. Whenever we go on a trip, we set up a few timers on the lights in our house. Our first floor timer, when we’re not traveling, lives tucked into the top shelf of the right-most fiction bookshelf in our living room, next to Babylon and Other Stories and The Missing Person. So when we go on trips, we think about Alix.

12) Fucking Facebook! It’s a flood of so much in medias res. If all we get are updates, which is the same as “and then this next thing happened to Joe,” but we never get the first part, the beginning of the story, the introduction of the plot, the “once upon a time, there was a guy named Joe,” then how are we supposed to follow?

13) Is it a conversational medium, or a broadcast medium? Is it supposed to be the former, but then becomes the latter? It feels like we’re all in a room, all of us talking, none of us listening.

To put it another way: if you and I are “Friends,” and we both write status updates, and I’ve hidden you from appearing in my “News Feed,” and you’re hidden me from appearing in your “News Feed,” then what the fuck are we doing?

Oddly, blogging, which seems like it starts out more as a broadcast medium, has more potential to be a conversational medium. (For old people.)

So right now, I’m writing this; I think there are about two or three people who will read it; I’m curious what those two or three people will have to say, the next time I see them.

14) Once again, I’m so ready to bail on the whole thing. Facebook, I mean, not AWP. I love AWP. I love seeing people. In person. It’s so good.

15) Friendly’s, on the way home.

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Recipes for Sauerkraut

Nicholson Baker loves artificial constraints: the clarity they bring to a project, the odd angles and tones they inspire.

—from the introduction to “The Art of Fiction No. 212,” Nicholson Baker interviewed by Sam Anderson, Paris Review # 198, Fall 2011

* * *

Lately I’ve been thinking about the relations between inventories and traumatic experiences and how the Book of Job starts with an inventory. Novels are full of inventories. When you think of three of the most anthologized stories of our time, Tim O’Brien’s ‘The Things They Carried,’ Jamaica Kincaid’s ‘Girl,’ and Susan Minot’s ‘Lust,’ they’re inventories. They’re essentially about trauma in the form of lists.

Charles Baxter, quoted by Don Lee on the Ploughshares Web site

* * *

The diminution of authors and books IS one of the major negatives—for its own sake, but even more importantly, for what it implies about the place of the self. Authorial vanities aside, I would ask as Updike does, ‘[A]re we not depriving the written word of its old-fashioned function of, through such inventions as the written alphabet and the printing press, communication from one person to another—of, in short, accountability and intimacy?’

—Sven Birkerts, “The Hive Life,” AGNI #64

* * *

Books traditionally have edges: some are rough-cut, some are smooth-cut, and a few, at least at my extravagant publishing house, are even top-stained. In the electronic anthill, where are the edges? The book revolution, which, from the Renaissance on, taught men and women to cherish and cultivate their individuality, threatens to end in a sparkling cloud of snippets.

So, booksellers, defend your lonely forts. Keep your edges dry. Your edges are our edges. For some of us, books are intrinsic to our sense of personal identity.

—John Updike, “The End of Authorship,” The New York Times, 25 June 2006

* * *

[I]t just feels good to find something there—even, or especially, when the article you find is maybe a little clumsily written. Any inelegance, or typo, or relic of vandalism reminds you that this gigantic encyclopedia isn’t a commercial product. […]

And when people did help they were given a flattering name. They weren’t called “Wikipedia’s little helpers,” they were called “editors.” It was like a giant community leaf-raking project in which everyone was called a groundskeeper. […]

It worked and grew because it tapped into the heretofore unmarshaled energies of the uncredentialed. […]

Wikipedia was the point of convergence for the self-taught and the expensively educated.

—Nicholson Baker, “The Charms of Wikipedia,” The New York Review of Books, 20 March 2008

* * *

[Wikipedia’s] scholarship is of a different order, the sourcing sometimes provisional, the arbitrariness of inclusion often troubling, but I’ve found that my students are already citing it exclusively, as if to go to the Britannica were to cast a vote for the dead past.

—Sven Birkerts, ibid.

* * *

“What do you say to that? […] Somebody just made up a story with me in it? That’s kind of weird, and I just don’t get it.”

—Earl Swift and Tris Wykes, “A case of borrowed identity for former Admirals” (re the real reaction of one of the real hockey players who appeared in a fictional Simon Rich story), The Virginian-Pilot, 30 January 2007

Via:

* * *

[I]t is a post-Frey world.

—Sarah Weinman, “The Problem of Using Real Names in Fiction,” Galleycat, 5 February 2007

* * *

Donald Barthelme, “Robert Kennedy Saved From Drowning

* * *

Sue Ann Brownly caught Miss Mandible and me in the cloakroom, during recess, and immediately threw a fit. For a moment I thought she was actually going to choke.

—Donald Barthelme, “Me and Miss Mandible” (third and fourth sentences in the last diary entry); Come Back, Dr. Caligari (1964)

Sue Ann Brownly caught Miss Mandible and me in the cloakroom, during recess, Miss Mandible’s naked legs in a scissors around my waist. For a moment I thought Sue Ann was going to choke.

—Donald Barthelme, “Me and Miss Mandible” (third and fourth sentences in the last diary entry); 60 Stories (1981)

* * *

Liza’s blindness, Clea’s amputated hand, Leila’s smallpox, Justine’s stroke, Pomball’s gout

—A list on the chalkboard behind the character Professor Hilbert in Stranger than Fiction at approx. 53 minutes; reference is to Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet

* * *

[I]s there any difference between microfiction and prose poetry any more, other than what it says on the spine and whether the publishers send it to “poetry people” or to fiction reviewers? […] I realize that it’s hardly a new question: I’m just wondering whether I’ve missed some cool answers.

—Stephen Burt, “The Practical and the Aesthetic,” 6 October 2009

* * *

What is a recipe for sauerkraut doing in my notebook? What kind of magpie keeps this notebook?

—Joan Didion, “On Keeping a Notebook”

* * *

They allow no dogs in the capital. Their eyes are the exact pale blue shade of an iceberg. They believe in Hidden People. Their horses grow long coats in the winter, and sleep lying down. I have never seen so many kinds of moss.

—Eliot Weinberger, “Paradice,” The Nation, 10 February 1997

* * *

“I tried to put the date on all my kids’ drawings, thinking, That’ll help. But of course you’re trying to save something that’s evolving. It isn’t savable.”

—Nicholson Baker, ibid.

Sarabande, Tumblr, Sarah Lawrence, Yale: or, Another Good News Omnibus

—Salvatore Scibona selected my short-story collection manuscript, The Crypto-Jew’s Dilemma and Other Conversion Stories, as the runner-up in the 2012 Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction. This doesn’t mean publication by Sarabande Books—but still, I’m very proud of the honor.

Addendum: This isn’t a blurb, but in an e-mail, Scibona kindly described the manuscript as “a hilarious book that had me spitting with laughter”! (I added the exclamation point.)

Chris McCormick, I don’t know you, but I am grateful for the tweet and the kind words on your one way to talk about contemporary fiction blog!

—I’m teaching at Sarah Lawrence this summer, on the faculty for Writer’s Village: A Creative Writing Intensive. If you know any writers “entering the 10th, 11th or 12th grade in the fall of 2012,” I believe that, as of this writing, there might still be spots available.

—I am teaching a section of Reading Fiction for Craft at Yale this fall.

(Previous good news omnibus.)

Pulling Back a Curtain You Didn’t Know Was There; or, a Note on the Always-Increasing Difficulty of Finding Anything, Ever

A little over five years ago, in a post titled “Disconnected Archives,” I wrote this (just quoting the text here—not the links embedded in that text):

Earlier this past week […] I noticed that Michael Chabon‘s “about” page was gone, and his home page said something, if I remember right, about how he’s had difficulty typing lately; it made me wonder if, and hope that, he’d noticed Richard Powers’s piece in the NYTBR about speech-recognition software. But now, only a few days later, that note is gone as well, replaced with an image of the Indian Head test card. I’m not sure what all this means; but I suppose that, in the future, whenever I read something on the web that I know I’m going to want to read again sometime, I’ll make sure to print it.

A side note: someone smarter than me, somewhere out there, has probably said something very smart about what blogging—or what we used to mean when we called something “blogging”—has become now, as F——b—— and Tw—— have taken over. (Like the brilliant Paul Ford, I, too, can’t bear to write those words again.)

Actually, now that I think about it, and dig through my jury-rigged archives, here are two smart things that two smart people have written about what blogging has become: Bill Wasik’s “Twitter and the Big Blog Dream,” and Nicholas Carr’s “Blogging: a great pastime for the elderly.” As you can see, I got to the latter from the former; and I probably got to the former after reading And Then There’s This. And I probably got to Bill’s book having known him when we were both interns at Harper’s thirteen years ago—at which point I was already a fan of his work, having lived in Somerville when Bill edited The Weekly Week: Boston’s Only Redundant News Source for News.)

But here’s what I want to tell you about Michael Chabon: somehow, about a year ago—I can’t remember how—I got past the scrim of the current iteration of michaelchabon.com. I found the corner of the curtain and tugged. And I found Chabon’s last blog post again, the one where he says that he’d been having difficulty typing. And following my own advice, I printed it out. (Or rather, printed it out as a PDF, which I saved to my computer. Perhaps this is something that only old people do as well? Perhaps the young are too busy doing something with each other that I have not even heard about yet. I’m still eagerly waiting to hear that teenagers are running away from the suburbs in droves, moving to the pampas, abandoning their digital devices, buying old Victrolas, and starting collectivist chinchilla farms. I guess the unemployed recent college grads are moving to Detroit and selling artisanal handmade watch fobs on the Internet, which is good, and a pretty close approximation.)

I’ll link to the post itself, titled “Signing off“; but I’ll also quote the part that seemed so sad, and still does:

Lately I have been suffering from Repetitive Strain Injury that makes typing a chore and clicking an agony. As I have been spending less time online I have found that I’ve lost interest in the web as a whole, and in my site in particular. I’m tired of having to maintain www.michaelchabon.com, but I hate that it gets stale, and so quickly. Yet I don’t feel comfortable with or have any interest in getting somebody else to do it for me. So I’ve decided, not without regret, to take it down, a little at a time, starting with the posting of my monthly Details column.

What was the other thing I discovered in the last five years? Oh yes! The Broken Link Checker plugin for WordPress. So there goes that problem. Once I find the time to install the plugin.

Books—physical books (or is this a sign of my age as well?)—keep looking better and better.

The Moment Where the Magic Happens

We’re reading Charlotte’s Web out loud. (Toby’s three and five sixths; we started reading chapter books at about three and three fourths.) The book is as good as I remember it, unsurprisingly.

But one thing took me by surprise, which was this, on p. 16, a little ways into the third chapter:

One afternoon in June, when Wilbur was almost two months old, he wandered out into his small yard outside the barn. Fern had not arrived for her usual visit. Wilbur stood in the sun feeling lonely and bored.

“There’s never anything to do around here,” he thought.

All of a sudden—without preface, caveat, warning, or fanfare; and after the story is already off and running, with the world fully established—the animals are sentient.

Not so remarkable, I’m guessing, for the three-year-old reader. Maybe not even for most adult readers. But I think it’s a sign of E. B. White’s artistry that he can shift from a realistic world into a fantastic world so effortlessly.

It reminded me of this—an anecdote that opens John Updike’s New Yorker review of The Body, a novel by Hanif Kureishi:

John Hawkes, a conspicuous avant-garde libertarian, once announced, to the astonishment of a writing class in which I was enrolled, “When I want a character to fly, I just write, ‘He flew.'”

A great opening in so many ways: John Hawkes taught at Harvard? Updike—who was the same year as my dad there, Class of 1954—studied with him? Updike was perfectly aware that his characters—mostly earthbound, I’m guessing, although I’ve read embarassingly little Updike—could just take off at any time?

All of which also makes me think a little bit about my short-short story “The Ones Who Came After the Ones Who Could Fly.”

And it reminds me of something similar White does at the start of The Trumpet of the Swan (which I read out loud to Toby before he turned one; I think that was around the time that I also read him some New Yorker fiction out loud, on the theory that what was mostly needed at the time was out-loud reading, not necessarily age-appropriate out-loud reading.) As with Charlotte’s Web, you’re already fully in the world when all of a sudden, on p. 11, a few pages into the second chapter, the swans start to talk:

“Take a look at this!” exclaimed the female, as she swam round and round.

All of a sudden, it’s not just a world of humans and animals, it’s a world of humans and animals who can talk to each other, and who can understand human speech, but who cannot be understood by humans.

Another fantastic example of pulling off the neat trick of suddenly introducing a particular kind of magic into a world that didn’t have it before: my favorite moment in “CommComm,” by the great George Saunders:

Turns out when the recently dead breathe in your face they show you the future.

“Turns out”! So easy; so brilliant. I think Murakami does this too in at least a couple stories. The casualness of the voice, the friendliness of it—it says “hey, you didn’t know this, but I, the narrator, didn’t know it either, so we’re in it together, experiencing the strangeness of this thing.”

I borrowed the line “turns out” as part of a recent rewrite of a story I wrote in grad school—using those words, similarly, as a pivot, as an unassuming opening of a magic door. And I’ve been sending the story out.

So far, no luck. I think it’s a good story, though; no magic needed. Just persistence.

Which, in some ways, is synonymous with magic and luck.

Does a Bear Come to a Satisfying Conclusion in the Woods?, a Book Trailer for Trophy by Michael Griffith

New work, as Emily notes, from the Hopkins & Barton Book Trailer Manufactory:

It is, as Emily says, the second installment in our book trailer manufacturing project, following the breakaway success of “They Don’t Have On Clothes, a Book Trailer for Luminous Airplanes by Paul La Farge.”

“Breakaway success” in the sense of 130 views total, as of today.

Not quite the more than half million viewers of “3-year-old recites poem, “Litany” by Billy Collins.”

But I always remember what Ryan Murphy told me when I interviewed him for Poets & Writers: “[E]ven just fifty readers, he says, ‘kind of blows my mind.’