Thursday, September 29, 2011

The View from My Keyboard

Here is where I play with my imaginary friends
My good pal Patty McNair has put a great spin on the idea of a writer's blog by featuring writers' workspaces. She calls it View from the Keyboard, and in it she includes pictures and short essays featuring the spaces where writers put together their words.  I'm glad that she invited me to contribute. She says some nice things about me, too, and if any one of them proves to be true, I'm super grateful.

While you're checking out my workspace at her blog, you might also take a look at her new short story collection, The Temple of Air. It got a great review from Booklist, the American Library Association's magazine, and it's on my list of must-reads.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen! Boys and Girls! It's a cover!

Many, many thanks to Laura Gleason, the design and production manager at LSU Press, for this stunning work.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Here's a nifty, sad thing.

A fellow named Curtis Eller, who calls himself a banjo-playing punk yodeller, or something like that, released a song a few years back about the Hartford Circus Fire. I’m late to the party, but that’s because I only just got my invite. Curtis the Man hisself sent an e-mail to those of us in a Facebook group dedicated to the circus fire.

An angry yodelling banjo player
On Curtis’s website, some unidentified scribbler writes in first person that Eller’s band American Circus “plays more waltzes than any band I know, though no one ever feels like dancing.” That’s probably because the songs are all grim and sad, having to do with John Wilkes Booth and Richard Nixon and the Triangle Shirt Factory fire and a burning circus tent.

I love sad walzes.

My favorite part of Curtis’s circus-fire song is the line about how “the ashes still stick to our shoes.” That’s some good gritty realism.

And except for the nightmares and the coughing 
It’s like the circus never passed through
Enjoy your own sad turn…