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Showing posts from April, 2018

Finally! It wasn't another a rejection...

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I don't even want to admit to how many rejections I'd accrued since mid-February when I started hearing back from the various submissions I'd sent along to various literary magazines, journals and contests all over the globe. I was actually getting as many as seven and eight nos each day.  So when the letter finally came late this evening saying one of the pieces I submitted was actually going to print, I was even sure what to do next.

I'd gotten so accustomed to the Dear BoB letters, we're so happy you chose us to send your work, but what the hell were you on when you wrote this. We sure as hell ain't printing, but we thank you for giving as good laugh, just the same...

What?

Isn't that form letter they send everyone?

No actually, most have very nice in telling your work is going to live its life on your hard drive. You'd be damned impressed just how many different ways somebody can tell you your stuff sucks, and never once say as much. Some were so …

Long gone and leaving...

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A San Marcos mainstay, Bill Cunningham was often seen roaming around the city, donning a fedora and sunglasses, and talking books, history and general coolness. A writer, activist and former Texas State University regent, Cunningham died Thursday. He was 69. He was remembered by friends and loved ones as thoughtful, witty and well-loved. “Bill was kind of an icon in San... https://www.mystatesman.com/news/local-obituaries/writer-activist-and-san-marcos-icon-bill-cunningham-dies/1sU8170kfoJf6ocRXpcpKP/ -30- I ran across that bit of news, wishing a buddy of mine from San Marcos a happy birthday. I came to find out he's libel to be locked up for the next three to five (if he's lucky--something about lugees and cops, again, and a string of other litanies--strike two for him). Another friend told me that shortly before he told me he's off to Georgia soon. The same fellow, in fact, who introduced me to the other fellow in the news obit. I'm just getting old, I guess. I used…

WOW! Women On Writing Contests: Flash Fiction and Essay Contest

Barbara Bush had a good life but a hard one...

https:https://www.texasmonthly.com/opinion/barbara-bush-good-life-hard-one/

//www.texasmonthly.com/opinion/barbara-bush-good-life-hard-one/

I admit that it took me a long time to come around to Barbara Bush. In my younger days, when she was just the wife of one president and not yet the mother of another, I kept a running tally of her sins. I wasn’t on her side of the political fence, and there were quotes that didn’t make it into various hagiographies that stuck with me—the time she more or less...

Barbara Bush, wife and mother of presidents, dies at 92...

Research: TV news employment surpasses newspapers

Research: TV news employment surpasses newspapers: Local TV news hits a milestone & continues to thrive.

So what's the deal with all this Outlaw business anyway?

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As promised some time ago, I finally got around to this part: Outlaw Authorz began in a summer writer's workshop in 2017, when Ol' Burnin' Beard there nearly got a whole group of writers kicked out of the library during his reading. I know, I know... That's some outlaw shit there, huh?
But you would've thought I got caught molesting kittens or something, as much as one of my compatriots gave me grief at the end of it all. She happened to be the same one who suggested we all read our pieces, and no one really wanting to seem obtuse, we read our work and offered up our critiques.
Not that some of us hadn't stayed up late, writing carefully phrased, three-page critiques for everyone there a couple of nights before so everyone there could have a chance to look them over before they showed up. Some of us even brought all new material to place before the pack--I had two, in fact, one I just finished minutes before I showed up there--rather than the exact same stor…

Story Excerpt: Chicken Hawk Down (Third & Final Part)...

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And Part III: Just to make sure we’re all still on the same page, we’re all following what's happened so far: Mom’s driving at warp speed (or twenty, it’s kind of hard to tell with it being bumpy as hell), and Grandpa just hollered up some new directions to her i a language I don't know. So, we're rolling along at a mighty good clip, and I’ve finally spotted what Grandpa's so all-fired excited about. It's barely a speck in the sky, and despite us now it trailing it at bone-rattling speeds in an old truck across cattle, that speck in the sky seems to be leaving us behind. Last but not least, Grandpa had me move from near the tailgate, where moments ago I was pitching hay to cows, to right beside him near the cab, which I hope will rather quickly be explained.
And, hindsight being all sharp lines and such, I must say this: What's about to take place is illegal as hell. Chasing some critter down from a moving vehicle is at very least discouraged by any game warde…

Story Excerpt: Chicken Hawk Down (Part II)...

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After a slight diversion yesterday--sorry, a lot of things all came together all at once that needed dealing with--we're back, as promised, to one of the stories from my book: Chicken Hawk Down (Part 2)
If you remember from our last segment, Grandpa grabbed this old gun and hollered something at Mom that made her kick that old truck into gears not typically seen blazing across a gopher hole riddled cattle pasture. I missed all the details of what got said exactly, not because I wasn't paying attention, but because it got spoken in a language no one wanted me learning back then. Being from my part of Texas--namely South Texas--most people generally assume that such conversations would only involve one language, the one spoken a few miles south in Mexico. But, as you'll read today, that's not always the case. Not in an immigrant family like mine, anyway.In fact, there were probably lots of things said about me in words I didn't understand, then, which only made me w…

Junot Diaz on The Legacy of Childhood Trauma — Longreads, and bit of afterthought...

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Junot Diaz suffered for years after being raped by a trusted adult at age 8. via Junot Diaz on The Legacy of Childhood Trauma — Longreads

It is perhaps destined I should find these words in my inbox, on this day, one day after--as it truly turns out--the following took place in my own life: I've bragged of late on these happy message boards about having finished a writing project of my own creation. Some of it, a few of you read on this very page. Much of what I've shared thus far I found at least darkly comical if nothing else, and from most reports I've heard from those of you who have commented back, the sentiment's been fairly mutual and, for the most part, appreciated. But one I have not shared--was in fact afraid to share, and fairly fucking sure I might not share altogether after attempts to share at least one version of them and gotten at least a dozen rejections letters from publishers on already (which is not the sort of shit one wants to have happen while w…

New story excerpt from: Chicken Hawk Down.... (Part 1)

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"Drive!” the old man yelled, reaching inside the pickup cab to grab his weather-beaten .22 from the back window gun rack.

He prattles something urgent sounding in Czech, before leaping the side-rail of the truck bed, Duke-boy style, and taking his place hunkered over the cab.

“Hang on,” the old man tells me, shoots me one of those great stiff-lipped smirks of his, his blue eyes glittering like diamonds. He and Mom both had the greatest eyes on the planet whenever they were up to no good. Most days you saw him out walking across the farm, he was hunched forward and limped when he walked. After all, he was pushing sixty about then, I do believe, and while they were building that house, just four or five years back, he’d fallen out of that tree, compound fracture on his leg and arthritis slowly gnawing away at his back. That very second, however, that moment right then, he could have been no more than nineteen again.

In fact, the old man had swagger written all over him and he was jus…

Let there be stories...

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And then there was what might someday soon be my first all-original book. Working title at very least. Not sure I’m 100 percent sold yet. In its current form, it tells 21 stories over at least three generations and 260 pages in 80,500 words. I’m not entirely certain all of the them fit with the stories told throughout the collection or the precise order everything will fall just yet, so there’s plenty still left to do: Most notably in just making it less tome-like. But it is pretty cool to see it all printed and stacked there. On the plus side, it left alone near every existing piece I had working in the can and branched of into some previously uncharted territory. It was kind of exciting to see where the stories carried me and how they ultimately align to tell a much larger overall story. At least I hope. Tis the aim, anyhow. We’ll see, I suppose. So a question I’ve fielded a lot already: What’s it about?