Random Notes

I, Keymaster

May 17, 2011

Earlier this year, I was named fiction editor of Montpelier, Vermont-based Hunger Mountain – A Journal of the Arts. Great publication.  A wonderful honor. Coming to grips with this new gig, the rejecting and accepting–mostly rejecting, I scribbled the bit below. Part I. How do I explain this fiction editor thing? Think of me as Rick […]

Hipper than you – A Visit From the Goon Squad

December 16, 2010

Elvis Costello released his third album in the snowy winter of 1979.  In those days, Elvis was known as a ‘new wave’ rocker, not ‘punk,’ not mainstream, but hard to define, left of center, quirky.  Kicking off side two of Armed Forces was a vaguely martial, grim tale of trying to make it as a […]

Expectedness and e-books

December 14, 2010

My recent post about The Autobiography of Mark Twain and the pronouncement, made by his publisher George Harvey in 1900, that the book would likely be produced in the year 2000 by “electrical method” was broadcast today on the Lake Effect program, WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio.  Have a listen here.

The approval of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Sly Stone

December 7, 2010

Before two giants of 20th Century American literature were published, when both were unknown, discouraged and broke, Allen Ginsberg wrote a letter to Jack Kerouac telling him, “DON’T FLIP, take care of yourself now, rest from fatigue and figure what next to do.  This is my poor advice.” Writers, as a general rule, are needy […]

The novel Skippy Dies is like a doughnut

November 23, 2010

Some books are like potato chips—you just can’t stop readin’ ‘em.  Maybe it’s the salt. Or some diabolical bioengineerickal sort of thing cooked up in a crackling subterranean megacorp lab inducing an addict-like craving unknown by the EPA or USDA. And some books are like doughnuts—they taste good—very good—but at some point, you’ve just had […]