Wait, It’s Possible To Grow UP???

I’ve grown a lot of things in my day, from dachshunds to beansprouts, but up was never one of them.

That’s why I’ve got my eye on What it Means to be a Grown-up: The Complete and Definitive Answer, the new anthology from Commonplace Books (publishers of A Commonplace Book of the Weird, which–sporadically–includes my short story, “The Corpse Who Moves About”). Well, that and the fact that, according to this entertaining and informative Table of Contents, one of the first stories in the anthology is titled “My Dad the Ghost Rider,” and any story titled “My Dad the Ghost Rider” is a story I need to read. Commonplace Books’ first venture, as I mentioned in my review, featured a compelling mix of styles, from the elegant to the eclectic. Many were funny, many were beautiful, and a few were quietly disturbing; the only constancy was that almost none of them were written as Lovecraft would have probably liked.  What It Means… promises more of the same (that is to say, more of the different), bringing in authors and artists as diverse as stand-up comedians, New York Neo-Futurists, Onion A.V. Club head writer Nathan Rabin, and the editors from FoundMagazine.com.

Because I’ve tried to focus, in this blog, only on the venues where my own writing appears, I feel obligated to mention that I am not featured in What it Means to be a Grown-up. I wouldn’t know where to begin, except with the observation that I just, epiphanically, realized the double-meaning behind the title for that Pixar feature with the dogs and the dying and the stilty-birds and the zeppelins. However, Commonplace Books would like to remind you that A Commonplace Book of the Weird is still available, in print (at a discounted rate, no less) as well as Nook and Kindle e-book formats (hint: the e-books are guaranteed to include “The Corpse Who Moves About”). Why not pick up both books? Then you can learn how to be a weird grown-up.

I wish my dad was the Ghost Rider. We could eat jelly beans out of wineglasses and jump helicopters on our tricycles until the cows come home.


Queerer Than We Can Suppose

Strange Attractors, the collaboration between Encyclopedia Destructica and the Institute of Extraterrestrial Sexuality previously mentioned here and here, has almost arrived. The art/text book/DVD superhybrid is set to touch down on our planet in June 2012. If you just can’t wait that long, they’re planning a preview event (as inThe Event with a backwards “e”) for Monday, May 14, if you’re in the Lawrenceville (Pittsburgh) area. Here are the deets (details):

Monday, May 14, 6:30 pm

CI13 Apartment Talks, 113 44th Street, Lawrenceville

Strange Attractors Book/DVD Preview!
 “My own suspicion is that the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.”
J. B. S. Haldane, Evolutionary Biologist
A screening/reading featuring highlights from Strange Attractors: Investigations In Non-Humanoid Extraterrestrial Sexualities.  Be the first to see this fabulous publication in person!
Featuring art, writing and film by 70 contributors, Strange Attractors envisions the sexualities of beings that may some day be encountered – if not in outer space than at least in our dreams!  Strange Attractors presents an extraordinary range of expressions that expand our conception of the possibilities of alien life forms and the nature of sexual desire. What kinds of sentient beings, what types of sexualities, how many erogenous zones and forms of erotic pleasure exist out there in the cosmos?
Strange Attractors is a collaboration between Encyclopedia Destructica and The Institute of Extraterrestrial Sexuality.
Suzie Silver and Ed Steck will read their contributions and screen a short selection of videos from the Strange AttractorsDVD.—————————— —————————— ———————
The CI13 apartment space is located at 113 44th Street in Lawrenceville (Please park along Hatfield Street or outside of Icehouse Studios and please be respectful to the neighbors!)P.S. You can check out information about past Apartment Talks events and other CI13-related fun on the CMOA blog: http://web.cmoa.org/ci13/
I won’t be there, so I probably won’t see you there, but if you do happen to go, don’t forget to pretend to say hi to me!

A Show for Cases, or a Case to Show Writers?

Where does the cat fit in?

On Sunday, May 13 at 7pm, I will be reading as part of the CalArts Writers Showcase at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, or REDCAT, in Downtown LA. This blisteringly fast-paced reading will feature new work from the emerging writers of the MFA Writing program at CalArts, and is absolutely FREE to attend. Consider this your shameless plug for the week.

The twenty-something twentysomething writers reading (and a few thirtysomethings) include Heatherlie Allison, Seth Blake, Gina Caciolo, Justus Caudell, Evan Chavez, Patricia Cram, Zoe Etkin, Jill Foster-Faye, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, Tiffanie Hoang, Rachel Kolb, Sonal Malkani, Michael Molitch-Hou, Oscar John Moralde, Melinda Morelli, Nijla Mumin, Marlene Nichols, Lan Pham, Nancy Romero, Tracy Rosenthal, and Ebony Williams. Not to mention YT (yours truly). It promises to be a night of discovery for anybody who’s never had to sit through a workshop with any of these jokers…and a night of pleasure for anybody who has.

Mark your calendars! Rouge your cats! Show your cases, or make a case for showing up! You will be pleased!


Tiny Pictures of Tiny Books

The digitization of the book-as-object has begun.

Brena Smith, local stalwart of the bound and printed page at the CalArts library, has begun work converting the fruits of Literary Citizenship: Tiny Press Practices, or “Tiny Litizens” as the course is known among its cultish adherents, into timeless/ethereal digital artifacts (not the kind you get for free with a bad DVD transfer, either). Included among the first batch of these is Destroy This Book, the ultra-limited-edition, self-destructive, self-censoring, bite-sized offering of beliefs I created last fall between many a papercut and singed nail. You can find images of Destroy This Book here, or together with the entire collection (in progress).

Other “books” digitized thus far include Brian Pickett’s Cardz, a collection of cards commemorating fake or obscure players across American sports history; Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle’s HELLO my name is: An investigation of naming within the Historical Present; and Gina Caciolo’s How To Ride a Bike in Pittsburgh (text by Robert Isenberg), the first in the Stamped Books series and sure to be a collectible item some day. If that doesn’t entice you, keep checking the collection; there ought to be more to come, both from this batch of Litizens and those on the horizon.

Totally lost? Try reading up on Destroy This Book and the Universal Beliefs Project here.