Category Archives: Writing&Pining

So You Didn’t Get to Go to AWP

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

Picture of Bookfair It’ll be just like this.

Another year of AWP has drawn to a close, and countless editors, writers and journal staffers are heading back to their home institutions with swag bags, connections and newly autographed books.

Not everyone got to go to AWP, and I just want to say that’s OK. We’re all in this together. In case, like me, you were at home watching the literary world scroll by on social media, here’s what you can do to recreate the AWP experience:

First, stock up on wine. You’re going to need a lot of it. Start with half a plastic cup of unfortunately-sharp white as you pull from your shelves every literary journal, small-press book, and poetry collection you own. Arrange the books on your dining or coffee table in a pleasing display. Rearrange three times. Settle on the original arrangement–it should be about the work.

Find the last…

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Talking Tats with Taylor

The Hooch: News & Events

Our next special-focus issue, due out in January, is all aboutSkin. Eva Talmadge, co-author ofThe Word Made Flesh: Literary Tattoos from Bookworms Worldwide, talks with editor Anna Schachner in the editor’s note, and so we asked co-authorJustin Taylorto give us some additional insight on what is fast becoming a subculture. First, a little about the book:

The Word Made Flesh: Literary Tattoos from Bookworms Worldwideis a guide to the emerging subculture of literary tattoos—a collection of 100 full-color photographs of human skin indelibly adorned with quotations and images from Pynchon to Dickinson to Shakespeare to Plath. Packed with beloved lines of verse, literary portraits, and illustrations—and statements from the bearers on their tattoos’ history and the personal significance of the chosen literary work—The Word Made Flesh is part photo collection, part literary anthology written on skin.

Special features include a reprint of…

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Sunday Update: November 9, 2014

I’m loving Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides’ Pulitzer Prize winning novel. I assumed I’d enjoy it, as I absolutely loved The Virgin Suicides. Middlesex is different, in that it’s a multi-generational tome. But, it’s lovely and somehow classic and modern at once. The well-educated, self-aware narrator comments on the postmodernist method of narration, but really, it’s done so well that the complexities and oddness of it may very well not at all distract the casual reader.

I find myself still in the middle of Rebecca Solnit’s The Faraway Nearby, Susan Sontag’s Styles of Radical Will, and Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Mineral. More than halfway through The Faraway Nearby, I think I had simply misplaced it. Styles of Radical Will, however, turned out to be far more scholarly, or less-fun, say, than I’d imagined it would be. I picked up both the Solnit and Sontag books based on seeing the writers referenced in other works, primarily essays by women: specifically, I think, Lelsie Jamison’s The Empathy Exams (which everyone needs to read, by the way). It’s hard to keep track! Animal, Vegetable, Mineral is a Little Free Library score; we have several of them in my neighborhood. I love my neighborhood.

Friday, I presented a paper titled “Amateurs” that outlines the parallels between the disciplines of writing and boxing. It’s primarily a synthesis of scholarship but also includes my own primary research, a splash of memoir. I was on a panel representing The Georgia Carolinas College English Association (GCCEA) at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association conference (SAMLA). SAMLA is always a little bit weird to me, me who feels more comfortable at the smaller state or regional conferences where I know more people. It’s as if, at SAMLA, every person I make eye contact with and would perhaps then introduce myself to then begins speaking in French. Not speaking French nor harboring a fanatical passion for any highly specialized area of research makes me feel inadequate. But only for a moment. I digress.

I’m still working on a group of essays: shopping some around, finishing some up, ignoring long lists of remaining research questions. I’m being tormented by a post-apocalyptic dystopian novel I outlined two summers ago, wondering if it is meant to be a novella, a long short story, or nothing. After receiving a complimentary rejection from Algonquin, which encouraged me to keep sending the manuscript out to other editors, I’m shopping Ash around to more small presses.

Finally, I just realized my first line sounds like a McDonald’s commercial, but I’m not going to edit it. Instead, I’ll let us soak in the colloquial rhythm and decide how depressed to be about that insidious unrealized representation of capitalist America that crept into my prose.

Writing the Veteran Experience Summer Workshop, July 8, Dunwoody, 6-8

The Hooch: News & Events

The Chattahoochee Review will hold a Summer workshop for new and returning “Writing the Veteran Experience” participants on GPC’s Dunwoody Campus, Tuesday, July 8, from 6-8 p.m., in room A 2110.

The free workshop is designed for participants to write about their own experiences of military service or to share stories of the impact on their lives of others’ service. Although the main participants in this session will include returning vets from our Spring session, the workshop welcomes participation from GPC students who are ASMs, OIF vets, and/or OEF vets. GPC alumni, faculty, staff, the general public, and members of student veteran organizations attending other colleges and universities are also welcome to attend.

Prior writing experience is not required; however, since returning participants will bring drafts or completed compositions to share with the group this session, new participants are encouraged to bring creative work as well. All GPC student compositions will receive consideration for inclusion in GPC’s award-winning student publications. Editor…

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TCR in Best American

The Hooch: News & Events

onlinefeaturesvolume32.1

As we look forward to the new Best American anthologies in October, we celebrate Lamar York prize Winner in Nonfiction Greta Schuler’s “Empty Boxes” as a notable essay in The Best American Essays 2013, and our Irish issue as a Notable Special Issue. “Empty Boxes” also received recognition in Best American Travel Writing, as did Rita Welty Bourke’s “The Larry Brown Discover Tour”! Interested in reading “Empty Boxes”? Visit our TouchNet TCR Storefront to buy a sample copy, and be sure to specify issue 32.1, or subscribe to enjoy excellent writing year-round.

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Spike Jonze’s “Her” and Other Human-Computer Stories

Monster Maven

artificial_intelligence_002
Robot:
mechanical or virtual agent, usually an electro-mechanical machine that is guided by a computer program or electronic circuitry

Cyborg: (short for cybernetic organism) being with both organic and mechanical parts

Android: robot or synthetic organism designed to look and act like a human, especially one with a body having a flesh-like resemblance
her-film-02

2013’s “Her” is a softly-spoken, gently filmed look at artificial intelligence set in a post-Macbook-empire LA. The operating system Samantha (referred to colloquially in the film as an “OS”) is voiced with great care by Scarlett Johansson. This is one of Johansson’s most engrossing performances, rivaled by her turn in 2013’s “Don Jon,” as a fake-fingernailed Jersey princess. Both Samantha and Barbara, Jonhanssen’s character in “Don Jon” are female love interests for their soul-searching, confused male counterparts. The only difference is, Samantha is a computer program designed to facilitate and enhance a human life.

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Historical Slang We Love from the ‘Oxford English Dictionary’

Flavorwire

All hail the silver fox of dictionaries. The Oxford English Dictionary turns 130 today. The first published installment of the definitive dictionary was printed back in 1884. The OED took more than 40 years to reach completion — all 400,000 plus words and phrases in 10 volumes. One thing that makes the OED special is its inclusion of historical (and modern) slang. Endangered, archaic words need love too, so we’ve picked a few of our favorites from the OED and its family of dictionaries. Feel free to share the old-timey words you can’t live without, below.

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On Waiting

Great story. What a wonderful request by your contest winner. I love King’s On Writing, too. I often assign sections of it to my comp classes.

Hazy Shades of Me

Some time back I held an “appreciation”for the growing audience my blog was accumulating. I had hit 400 followers and in my euphoria I offered Stephen King’s book “On Writing” to the first person to like and comment on that particular post.

A man named Jim over at “Life Choice” won, but when I contacted him for an address, he, very generously, asked if I could please donate the book to someone who may not be able to buy it for themselves. He also asked that I name him and myself, and include the story of how the book found its home.

I was thrilled. And then…

I waited.

Why? I don’t know. Procrastination, had a headache, needed coffee, had to go buy gum.

It took me way too long a while, but with the help of a friend, I decided to gift it to our local…

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Things Librarians Look At.

Eleventh Stack

Gorgeous-Librarians-2-via-Roadsidepictures-photostream-450x322

When I started as a clerk at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh- East Liberty, I had no idea that being a librarian was a thing. I just needed a job. I didn’t even care about libraries!

It is totally a thing. We do things like this. And there are lists like this. Even Legos!

Here are some funny yet  informative things librarians look at (during lunch breaks of course.)

Awful Library Books

Sometimes books need to be thrown away. Sometimes a librarian can’t do it. These are the (often unintentional) hilarious results.

Book Porn

It’s exactly what it sounds like. Sexy pictures of all things book-related. Unlike regular porn, this will lead to DIY projects.

Book Riot

Book review websites can be so pretentious. As a voracious reader who will read anything, I love that Book Riot covers everyone from J.K. Rowling to Dave Eggers to James…

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