It had been a while since I submitted anything to The Blue Mountain Review, and when editor Clifford Brooks asked if I had anything up my sleeve that he could include, I was going through the process of prepping my handful of novels for the arduous lit agent submission process, which involves not just researching literary agencies but also competitive titles already on the market. I decided to write about that in my latest column over at BMR (on page 102). Not so much how researching other titles at Barnes & Noble can help you decide what to write, but how it might help you decide how to go about writing the story you want to write, how you can position it, and hopefully, fingers crossed, sell it. Now I’m no pro at the latter, since I’m still trying to hook an agent myself, but you never know what little hint we might pick up from one another that might get us closer to our goal, right? Anyway, I hope you enjoy the piece, and there are plenty of other excellent essays, stories, poetry, and more in the new issue to keep you otherwise occupied. Thanks to Cliff and the editors for creating another spiffy issue!
blue mountain review
The new issue of The Blue Mountain Review is now up, and it includes an essay of mine titled “Stepping Back / Stepping Forward” (on page 26) which discusses my month-long experience of stepping away from social media this summer to focus on writing. The break was a great way to re-focus, but I also found that stepping away from a few other things like Netflix, poetry readings, and even magazine submissions (yes, you read that right) also helped be move forward with the writing goals I set out for myself this year. You can read the essay, along with a ton of great poems, columns, and interviews, inside the new issue of The Blue Mountain Review, created by the folks over at the Southern Collective Experience. Thanks!
About twelve years ago I received a poetry rejection from a magazine editor who shall remain nameless (because I can’t remember who it was for the life of me). This editor told me he rejected my work because the poems were all about myself, the poet, writing poetry, and nobody cares about “I” poems anymore. While this was (and remains) untrue in the wider sense, it took me years to understand what this editor meant by his rejection.Read More
It has been quite a while since my last post, and my absence stems from a plethora of creative and non-creative brush-fires that kept me busy for weeks upon months, but I thought a little update post would do me some good, so here we are.
For starters, I finished the first draft of yet another novel, this one a 1940s-era noir/mystery titled The Girl in the Mountain. It is a fictional account of an actual crime from Vermont in the 1940s that went unsolved…or did it? My take offers a few more conventional and very unconventional possibilities to the real-life missing person case, and I have been calling it a “Humphrey Bogart meets The X-Files, with just a dash of Twin Peaks” type of story. I’m looking forward to starting the second draft before it goes out to a few choice agents. My deepest thanks to my test readers currently reading away!
Also in publishing news, my ninth collection of poetry is slated to appear this summer. Dark Heart Press is hoping to release my book, We Are All Terminal But This Exit is Mine this June. It’s a poetic examination of the hopeful expectations we place on adulthood as a child and the yearning nostalgia we have once he find adulthood isn’t all its cracked up to be, in all its painful and deadly ways.
Atop that I’ll have an interview in the next issue of The Blue Mountain Review, a short story appearing in the next issue of Drunk Monkeys, and a few pieces showing up in anthologies later in the year. So yes, things have been busy, but I hope to make more appearances here at this blog more often now that spring is here. Stay tuned!