I just finished, perhaps way behind everyone else, Kelly Link's latest collection 'Magic for Beginners.' I think I started reading this book several times and each times didn't make it very for reasons I didn't realize until after I'd read them all. Some of the stories, and I think the first one in the book, just didn't hit me and I kind of started thinking of the book in the wrong light. The stories that did work here for me completely shredded my head. I think one called 'Stone Animals' I think is a perfect story and is a story I've tried to write many times. I think it's one of my favorite stories. I like the way she can throw things in and go way out with bizarre details but still end up feeling like she's not just jazzing around to be weird or funny, but she also doesn't try to tie everything up, either. She leaves a lot to rumble around and a lot is playful and smart and sloppy in a smart way and still manages to cause an effect, however indefinable. I like things that meld fantasy with reality, in a Barthelme way, or Marquez. I like to laugh or say 'fuck that's good'. I also know I liked the last story 'Lull' a lot, though I can't remember what it was about or why I liked it because I don't have the book in front of me. I could go get it because it's just in the other room but I don't think I'm going to because I'm lazy. I didn't much care for the title story, though I didn't not like it. I think I really liked this book a lot and I'd recommend it to people, though I think a lot of people already read it.
Miranda July's promo site for her forthcoming book is really good. Tao linked it and I went through it twice. It's smart. Click on Tao's link here and there's a post there with a link to her site. I've never read any of her stories. I want to read her stories now. I liked certain things about her movie 'Me and You and Everyone We Know' but I didn't like it completely. I liked it more several days after I watched it than I did immediately after watching it. The little black boys typing on IM is very good. I imagine her story collection will be very good and I plan to read it.
I have a bunch of other little things here and there I think are coming out soon. A lot of short pieces pending that I feel good about. S0me print and some online. Outside fiction and poetry, I have an interview with Dennis Loy Johnson, in which he talks about the threat looming over small presses right now and it kind of socked my gut, some of his answers. It's going to be a good interview. I never heard back from Sonora Review when I told them the story that they wanted to run had been online, which makes me think I made them mad for not telling them already, which I feel bad about. I feel conflicted about the whole thing. If anyone else reads this, what do you think about simultaneous submissions and maybe allowing things to get published in more than one place? I can't figure out how I feel about it. I do a small online lit journal sporadically Lamination Colony and I wouldn't care if someone sent me something that'd been published before. If it was good, I'd want to publish it. But that's just a tiny web-based site, so it's probably different. I understand somewhat and I don't. If it's been in the New Yorker or VQR or something huge that a ton of people read, then I'd understand why they wouldn't want to republish. There's so much out there and people want new things in their magazines. I get that. If it's new to them though, it must be new to most people. I don't know. Tao talked about first serial rights a lot on his blog for a while when he had some rigamarole over a previously published piece at Pindeldyboz. That was a good post. I need to read that again.
I need to go to bed.
I need to get my wisdom teeth pulled.
I need to not be dumb more often.