Monday, February 29, 2016

The Buchanan Book of the Dead, Part 3

What is a short story collection?

I know a good number of writers. I know these writers from grad school, barroom meetings and from the literary magazine community. I know a great number of short story writers. I know them from the aforementioned places and especially from my work at Umbrella Factory Magazine.

Rather than get into a philosophical or existential conversation about why write at all, perhaps I'll just focus on why write short stories, or in the case of The Buchanan Book of the Dead, why write a collection.

In short, magazines.

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Buchanan Book of the Dead, Part 2

The process, stats and feelings

I made a decision to take a hiatus from the digital world last year and do all of my writing in composition notebooks. I made a goal of 25 short stories.

I had completed that goal by the fall. The whole process felt very good to me. I used eleven 200 page composition notebooks over the period of a year. I've been writing in these composition notebooks for twenty years. Over that time, I imagine, eleven notebooks a year is about the average.

I've been writing short stories for a very long time. However long it has been since I wrote my first short story, it's really been since 2009 that I've taken them seriously. And by 2015, that's only been six years. I feel like the act of writing a short story is a pleasurable act. Writing a good short story is a laborious thing to do.

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Buchanan Book of the Dead, Part 1

I don't think it's uncommon to feel scattered. Scattered like your mind is in 3,000 directions at once and nothing gets done. Or you feel like your energy is scattered, like you've just got too many projects going on and the results are the same—nothing seems to be getting done.

For many years, I had many projects at once, many of them ongoing, complete with deadlines. For instance, I maintained this blog weekly, I contributed to The Sophia Ballou Project weekly and I was maintaining my magazine Umbrella Factory Magazine quarterly. In 2014, I was doing all these things and also getting a script ready for Rocket House Pictures. On top of all of that I was working on my latest manuscript for Ring of Fire Books.

It's good to be so busy, it just is. It's good to have deadlines and guidelines. It's good to work.

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Seasonal Chapbooks, Part 2

“The Theory, the Fallacy”

Back in 2014, while still living in Glendale and in my last days at Marlowe's and before the shoot of “To Better Days,” I decided to write poetry.

The decision to write poetry was not too strange. In the waning months at Glendale's slum of “The Cherry Creek Club,” I read poetry at night before bed. I had been the poetry editor at Umbrella Factory Magazine. There was poetry everywhere.

When I decided to start writing it, in 2014 anyhow, I knew I needed a tangible goal. Arbitrarily, I decided to be a poet for one year, the whole calendar year of 2014. I also chose 100 poems as a goal. I figured I could do one or the other, 100 poems or a calendar year.

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Seasonal Chapbooks, Part 1

The fall of 2013 was a blur for me. The biggest reason, of course, was that we moved from Portland back to Denver at the end of August. Furthermore, I got back to Denver on a Sunday night and I went right back to work at Marlowe's on Monday.

Marlowe's, at least for me, was an enigma. I worked at Marlowe's for years, 2006 to 2010. I worked my last shift in 2010 at the end of October and left for Portland the next day, so it was only fitting that I should get back to it the day after our return. It was like the whole Portland experience, nearly 3 years was but a vacation, a holiday away from a regular, squalid work-a-day life. In many ways it was.