Excited to be headlining a reading in New York City next week! What’s going to make this special is while the event is in New York, the three other writers joining me all similarly hail from Virginia (in some degree) and will be reading their own work. I’ve always been big on building community. We’ll be reading at a bar in Brooklyn called Branch OFC. It’s been a little while since I’ve visited New York City, that’s always fun too. Special shout out to Nate Waggoner for arranging this event. I’m going to mostly read from Grace Street Alley but I think I’ll preview a new story as well from my forthcoming collection, The Desperado Days. We’ll see.
Recently received my complimentary 3 copies of the latest issue of Prairie Schooner in which I had “Dogs” published. This is significant to me because number one the editor, Kwame Dawes, is a big deal right now in America. A Ghanaian poet at the University of Nebraska. So that probably leads into number two, the actual story published. This story they accepted is a hard one and it’s a gritty one and it shows some ugly sides of humanity. I wouldn’t have thought it could’ve gotten published a few years ago. But times are changing for sure. I’m grateful they accepted the story.
I was recently accepted to my first writer’s retreat which will be in June up in Maine, Norton Island to be exact. Never been to Maine, and I’m both excited and skeptical of this writer’s retreat. Being surrounded by a bunch of academic types is not particularly ideal to me, but if I’m gonna take this road, I gotta do it all the way. Here we go.
I will be reading stories from Grace Street Alley and other stories in Austin, Texas this Monday, the 7th. I used to live in Austin and Book People was my absolute favorite book store, and definitely in my top 5 in the country, so this is a huge honor for me. Really excited to see my friends. And seeing your name up on a marquee is always pretty badass…
...is looking like an exciting month. But bittersweet. But that's none of your business. I return to my college town triumphantly, Richmond, Virginia, for the release of my first book, a collection of twenty seven short stories, and also the Richmond Zine Fest, which I'll be holding down with my long time pal Brian Villalon. The book release will be at Chop Suey , a legendary book store of my lifetime. I'm even doing some readings and talking to students in some writing classes at William and Mary, a yuppie university I always talked shit about. What a time to be alive.
Excited that next month I'm going to be a vendor in the Tijuana Zine Fest! This will be my first event like this since New Orleans and I have no idea what to expect. My Spanish is barely at level 1 but I'm hoping people will just be so enthusiastic we'll be able to get by on just good vibes. I'll be down there with both Wolf Zines, Totem 1 and 2, and a new zine as well as some special edition prints. Viva la Mexico!
This literary magazine based out of Minneapolis has been on my radar since I began submitting my work out to places. Eight years later, I finally get one in there. Considering the story, the content, and the times we are in, I was fairly confident it would get picked up somewhere, but that it's with the ladies of Paper Dart makes it all the sweeter. You gotta check it out yourself. I got my own copy in the mail this week and it's a really well put together magazine with lots of great content, and the art is great. In fact, ranking all my work that has been joined with an artist to which they add a piece of their own interpretation, I really like Andres Guzman's interpretation the best. Pretty dead on. Kudos to you, brother. You can order the magazine here. I need to visit that city.
I don't like this city, but I can't deny that it's a land of opportunity, even if it does carry a stench along with every transaction. I've printed WOLF II and the second issue of Totem and found both of them a home in this city. Particularly proud of both issues of Totem being accepted into Skylight Books' Art Shop and available for purchase. Granted, it's typically my friends buying my shit, but I know for certain the eyes of strangers graze over my work and wonder. It's a start. I have a lot more to go. And more still, coming soon.
Well, we did it. Or I should say, mostly Eden did it. So grateful to know this woman. After illustrating and coloring the entire book, we got Ian Smith to do the cover, and got it printed in time for Eden to bring it to the New Orleans Comic and Zine Fest. Bummer I had to miss it this year. The book looks amazing. Hoping to have it in stores soon and in the mail to the good folks who pre-purchased. Thanks for all the support, folks.
Got a new zine out! I've decided to keep the Wolf thing going. Just seems right. Just seems me. I earned it. This new zine I did with long time collaborators Brian Villalon and Mauricio Pattaroyo. Mau did the cover and Brian did the comic inside and formatted it. An ode to L.A. dive bars and poets. Definitely the best part of being out in Los Angeles so far is finding all these haunts. This is the first zine I included my own little doodles/illustrations in. It was fun. Hoping to have them in some stores soon but anyone can hit me up and Venmo and I'll get to the mail as soon as possible!
The Chinatown Bus Stories is picking up steam. Sheldon is a good dude to work with. Wish we had done something sooner. Cool article by Travel and Leisure on the book. Below is the image Dewey Saunders made for my story.
Some cool stuff on the horizon. Two projects I've been working on coming out soon.
First, the Evil One. Good friend and editor/owner of Makeout Creek from Richmond is putting out a collection of short stories all inspired by Roky Erickson's legendary album The Evil One. A bunch of writers, myself included, chose a track from the album and wrote an original short story of fiction. I'm a huge fan of Roky's and was personally obsessed with "I Walked With A Zombie" for a majority of the time I lived in Austin, haha, so I was obligated to go with that song. This has been a long time coming out, but I'm excited the time is almost upon us. To be released early 2017.
Second, the Chinatown Bus Stories. My pal Sheldon Abba back in Philadelphia asked me to jump on this project and contribute a short story of fiction and having lived on the East Coast for so long I had more than enough to draw from.
"The Chinatown Bus Stories project attempts to organize a collective history/mythology of the Chinatown Bus through the contribution of personal stories, illustrations and media..."
I think this is going to look really cool. I'm excited to see all the different artwork, perspectives, and ideas on this one, and to see how far it goes or what it transforms into.