Read it here.
Read it here.
Over the years, I’ve written stories and books that were like homework: practice at technique, voice, dialogue, plot, all the usual. And some of those stories have been published. Others never will be. I don’t particularly like them. They are just something that came out of me while practicing something else.
And then there are stories I’ve written that I love. The ones that seem unlikely to survive this world, like they might not have a chance to ever be read, but at least I’m proud of them. I know what I did.
The Deserving is such a story.
That this story was published, by Malarkey Books no less, means more to me than any other fancy accolades or credentialing I’ve been lucky to gather.
Big love and special thanks to Alan Good.
Once again the sun is shining in Los Angeles and it is 70 degrees in February. I’m reading and writing and reviewing and drinking coffee in our breakfast nook and thinking about past Februarys and future Februarys and wondering what will be. Tye bought a humidifier and it is running so the air is kinda cloudy, the way new fog settles over streams in the mountains back east, and the dog and cats are sleeping on the couch and in a chair and on the bed, and as usual, the quiet is broken up by the constant hum of our air conditioner.
February is different in Los Angeles.
Years ago, I went to Moscow in February, and last month Hobart published a story I wrote about that winter city. The story is fiction, even if the true impressions I had of Russia are real. Fiction is like that sometimes — built out of real places, populated with experiences and people you invent. After talking to folks, I realized some readers think my realist fiction is thinly veiled non-fiction. This surprised me and then I wondered if they thought that of Denis Johnson’s fiction or Jim Harrison’s novellas or any other writers who write or wrote realist fiction more often than fabulist or speculative or whatnot, but anyway, this story is fiction, I’m telling you, it IS.
And if you didn’t read it already, you have another chance, and this time you can read it in this really cool downloadable PDF zine that Hobart and Joshua Hebburn have made out of all the work published in January, including my story. The zine is full of new art and pics and excellent writing and YOU, yes, YOU should check it out:
Besides, what else would you be doing today? Watching football?
One of the strangest parts of writing stories and poems and essays (and even and especially novels) is that they enter the world long after you finish them.
Joshua Hebburn, the guest editor who selected this piece, will be releasing MOSKVA along with a selection of other great work in a digital e-zine in the coming months. I’ll give you a heads up when that happens too!
As always, if you feel like sharing MOSKVA on Reddit or boosting it elsewhere, you will have my forever thanks. And YES, let’s be friends on Twitter (it’s so much better than facebook these days).
Sending much love, xo —
In case you missed it, my poem OLD DOG, was published by the Pittsburgh Poetry Journal a couple months back.
I wrote the first draft of this poem nearly six years ago. What even is time?