Category Archives: Writing Updates and Links

News Items!

Well, here in Orlando, we’ve survived Hurricane Matthew…mostly…until it swings back around and pops us in the eye for gloating.

I wanted to make a quick Fall 2016 posting to share a couple links.

The first is about my “Rhetoric of Comics” course. I was recently interviewed by a student in the College of Arts & Humanities about the course and its purpose, and you can find the final article here at NSM Today: “UCF Professor Uses Comic Strips to Teach Social Understanding.” There’s a picture of me drawing a picture on my office wall. Is that enough to entice you to follow the link?

Also, I forgot to share (back in July) a really cool online article about the literary community’s reaction to the Pulse shootings. This is from Sarah Nicholas at Book Riot, and–despite the horror of that day and its aftermath–I think this article is a really joyful look at a community coming together and doing beautiful things: “#Litlando Meets #Orlandostrong.”

And here’s a link to video of the monthly lit event “Loose Lips,” wherein I was recently invited to read an original piece of fiction called “Gabby Douglas Will Destroy Us All.” It’s a fun story, I think, and because it was topical in nature (the event essentially asks you to write about a current event) I don’t really have plans to seek publication with it. It lived at Loose Lips, in that bar, under the haze of two full beers (it was a week night, come on), and it now lives here in this video, and that is enough.

Soon, I hope to have another link to share, as one of my recent comics was accepted for publication online. Until then, it’s October, Scary Movie Month, so you know what I’ll be doing! That’s right! Falling asleep at 9 PM without watching a scary movie!

Orlando

Oh. hello there.

The week after the shooting at the Pulse nightclub was a difficult one for many of us in Orlando. I tried to organize my thoughts in comic form, posted the images on Facebook, and then was deeply honored to have Green Mountains Review publish the final comic on their site. I often use writing to make sense of things in my life, but this was probably the first time that I’d ever used the medium of the comic. For some reason, it just felt right.

You can see the final product here.

Coincidentally, I was also interviewed by the journal Prick of the Spindle about (among other things) how I write Florida fiction, and how I write the city of Orlando. That interview was written up last year sometime, and was slated to be published online on Father’s Day of this year. (A great deal of the interview focused upon my book The Things I Don’t See, which was really all about fatherhood.) Father’s Day, of course, came one week after the Pulse nightclub shootings.

It felt in poor taste to make too big a deal of this interview, since so much of it was about the city of Orlando as a setting for fiction, and yet the interview didn’t (obviously) acknowledge the shooting…I was really thankful to Prick of the Spindle for still running the interview, even though the tone of the piece (written before anyone could’ve predicted what would happen) is so at odds with what had just occurred. I haven’t reread the bits of the interview that discuss Orlando, but soon I will. It’s probably the closest I’ve come to writing a personal manifesto about “how I write about Florida” and “how I write about fraternity life,” so it’s definitely something that I feel strongly about, and–if you’ve read any of my work, and dig what you saw–it’s totally worth a read.

Thanks for reading and/or visiting this blog. Enjoy your summers: we’re just getting started, and already I feel like I want to go live in my freezer.

An Essay, and a Review

Last week, The Orlandoan was gracious enough to publish a series of my essays analyzing the depiction of Orlando in three young adult novels. The essay was occasioned by the release of John Green’s Paper Towns (which takes place in Orlando). I haven’t seen the movie yet, so feel free to post comments about it if you have…I love The Orlandoan, though, and was excited to be a part of their site.

Also last week, Entropy Magazine reviewed my book The Things I Don’t See, and critic Lavinia Ludlow had some great things to say about it. Follow the link, and read more! Here’s a brief excerpt:

This novel is a prime example of how our individual fears and insecurities might possibly be more mutilating than reality itself, and how we unintentionally punish those closest to us for fear of them making the same mistakes, especially children. A quick and well-written read, Nathan Holic’s The Things I Don’t See is an extraordinary piece of work.

Launch Week

Here goes!

So my new novella, The Things I Don’t See, has technically been “available” for a little over a month. If you pre-ordered, you should’ve received it in the mail by now. If you’ve seen me walking around town, you should’ve seen that I wear it around like a sandwich board. And if you’re friends with me on Facebook, you should know that I did a “soft release” at the first-ever “Wine and Sign” for BookmarkIt in East End Market. But, for about a thousand different reasons, I haven’t planned a much-larger “release party” (confetti, party hats, people yelling “whooooo!”, etc.), and I haven’t been very active in trying to “market” the book (shouting constantly from my Facebook pulpit, participating in reading events, etc.).

The reason for this, as you’ll see, is that I have a very big week ahead of me. I’m just going to call it “LAUNCH WEEK” because why not? Yes, the book is out. But seriously, does the ENTIRE WORLD know that it’s out? If not, then it’s time to launch the thing.

This coming week (4/12 – 4/18), there are three places where you can catch me reading from The Things I Don’t See, and where you can pick up a signed copy. That’s right! I’m peddlin’ and hustlin’ all week long (in a totally non-dirty, non-creepy way). And, as far as I know, none of these places/events interferes with the Game of Thrones season premiere, or the Daredevil series premiere (that’s totally on the Netflix, peeps, so you can actually watch that WHILE attending one of my events!).

Looking forward to launching my book with style, and with large drunken crowds whose noisy chatter overpowers my reading voice. So mark your calendars! Bring your checkbooks! And see you soon!

Tuesday, April 14: There Will Be Words

7:00 PM. Reading with Cate McGowan and Jamie Poissant (both of whom also have new books out!). For more info, and directions, check out the Facebook event page.

Wednesday, April 15: UCF Town & Gown Luncheon

11:30 AM, Morgridge International Reading Center (technically, this is a private event…so let’s hope there’s purple lettuce and interestingly shaped butter for the rolls!)

Saturday, April 18: UCF Book Fest

The UCF Book Festival is an annual event coordinated by the College of Education. It takes place over the course of a full day, and features a wide range of authors, from memoirists to novelists to children’s book authors to food writers.

Check out the full schedule and list of authors here: http://education.ucf.edu/bookfest/schedule.cfm (Links to an external site.)

I’m reading from my new novella at 2 PM, but there are some great panels and events throughout the day.

LAUNCH WEEK! BOOKS FOR EVERYONE!

Hope to see you there!

Things I Dont See

 

Speech and Consequences

For your afternoon reading, here in May, my final personal essay for my year-long stint on the UCF Forum (a group of eight faculty and students who wrote a syndicated column every week on an alternating basis). To read a little more about the UCF Forum itself, check out this article in the Central Florida Future.

My final column, which has a different name depending on which publication chose to pick it up and run it, was one of my favorites from the year, and actually surprised me by getting republished in the Ocala Star-Banner. At the start of the year, the columns were getting syndicated and picked up mostly by online publications (Huffington Post, notably), but the last couple have appeared in print newspapers as well. Below, you’ll find links to a few of the publications that have run this final essay. Let me know what you think, and if you haven’t read any of the other essays from the past year, head over to the “Publications” tab at the top of the page, select “Nonfiction,” and you’ll get a rundown of them all.

This is What Happens When We Forget That Speech Has Consequences.” At the UCF Today web site.

This is What Happens When We Forget That Speech Has Consequences.” At the Huffington Post.

When We Forget That Our Speech Has Hard-Hitting Consequences.” At Ocala Star-Banner.

This is What Happens When We Forget That Our Speech Has Consequences.” At ContextFlorida.

You’ll also be able to find it in the print edition of the Brevard Business News, but I’m not sure that’s out yet. They republish online as a pdf edition, and here’s a link to the pdf where they published my “Digital Decluttering” column.

The most interesting part of this experience has been the online feedback and reader response that I’ve received. The past few days, especially, after I was published in the Ocala newspaper, I’ve gotten emails from a very different set of readers than I’d initially expected when I signed onto the project…these were newspaper readers in Ocala, not UCF students and faculty/staff who just happened to be reading the UCF Today web site online. I’d never expected to have a column in a newspaper, and yet there I was, there I am, and it’s been pretty damn cool.

Thanks to everyone for reading. Now: back to writing fiction.

UCF Book Fest

The UCF Book Festival schedule is out!

Check it out here, and be sure to visit my two panels/events.

The first is: How Fiction Writers View Orlando with Burrow Press, at 11 AM on Saturday, April 5 (on the UCF Arena main stage).

The second is: The Life of an American Fraternity Man with Nathan Holic, at 1 PM, in Room Cypress B.

All is free to the public, and copies of my book will be available (for sale by the UCF Bookstore). Yes, I’ll obviously be signing copies.

Other Notes:

I unearthed another review of my book. Check it out here: Quite Spectacular.

And I wrote another column, which is currently up at the UCF Today web site: it’s called “The Anxiety of ‘Read It Later.'” I’ll post links when it goes to Huffington Post and Context Florida, also.

Oh, and finally, I’ll be leading a workshop called “Revising Your Novel” on April 1, at the Orange County Public Library. More specifics on this very soon.

Ahh, January

Start of the year. Time to clean out the closet to make room for all the new crap you got over the holidays (including the new, larger pants you’re now forced to wear after having torn through the bottom of the last pair).

In the spirit of Spring-cleaning and de-cluttering, check out my latest column, “The Struggle of Digital De-Cluttering”, here at Huffington Post, and here at UCF Today. You can also download the podcast version and listen to me read at WUCF here. There is an ALF reference, and a Boyz II Men reference. So.

And in the spirit of starting the year off right, and positive, and excited, let me share with you some upcoming dates that, should you be interested in hearing me speak or read, you might want to jot down real quick-like.

Friday, February 14: Blank Pages Conference at the University of South Florida

Reading and Book-Signing (time TBA)

Saturday, February 15: Florida Writer’s Conference at UCF

1:00 PM – Panel and Book-Signing with Vanessa Blakeslee and David James Poissant

Wednesday, February 19: Bentley College, Boston MA

12:00 PM – Guest Lecture

Friday, February 28: AWP Conference

10:00 – 1:00: Book Signings at the Beating Windward Press table (Table K12)

1:30 – 2:45: “Building a Space For Comics in the Creative Writing Program” (panel)

3:00 – 4:15: “Writing Comics the AWP Way” (panel)

April 4 – 5: UCF Book Fest

Panels and Book-Signings (times TBA)

 

Oh, and I’ve been remiss about posting various book reviews for American Fraternity Man that have popped up across the inter-tubes. So here are a couple links to articles and reviews, if you’d like to read what others have written, or if you’re still on the fence about whether to invest the paltry sum of $15 into my son’s college savings account.

Orlando Weekly suggests AFM as a great holiday gift idea (I’m a little late in sharing this, but hey, Valentine’s Day is coming up, right?)

Dudette Reads (book blog) reviews AFM, says that: “As a graduating senior at university, a lot of the very pressing issues were raised, so I would definitely recommend this book for university students. At the same time, I think anyone can benefit from reading it for the laughs but also for the heavy inspection of fraternities that shows that no matter how well stereotypes hold up, things aren’t always as shallow as they might seem to be to outsiders.”

TNBBC (The Next Best Book Club) contributor Lavinia Ludlow lists 15 Views of Orlando Volume II: Corridor as her top selection for the year 2013. Hot damn.

There were a few more here and there, so I’ll post links when I remember. Until then, happy January 16th, everyone!

Award Nominations

Really excited that  two of my short stories this past year have been nominated for awards.

The Adventures of an Elderly Couple…” was nominated by Barrelhouse Magazine for the storySouth Million Writers Award.

And “Submission Guidelines” was nominated by decomP for The Best of the Net 2013.

Now that I’ve written this blog post, I’ve doomed myself, of course. Don’t talk to a pitcher in the middle of a no-hitter, and all that. But whatever. It’s fun to share good news.  Heck, if you’re an Orlando writer and you stumble across this blog…feel free to share your good writing news with me anytime.

The Reviews Are In…

I’ll be flying to Chicago tomorrow to say goodbye to a much-loved uncle. I write a great deal about the struggles and difficulties that we face when attempting to be “the right kind of man” in a culture that’s tugging us in a thousand different directions, a thousand different conceptions of manhood, and I should say that my uncle was definitely one of those guys who epitomized everything you’d want in a man, a family member, a father, and he didn’t even make it look tough. Great man, and we’re all going to miss him.

I’d planned to write a couple posts over the last two weeks to spotlight some different Nathan Holic links and interviews, etc., but the virtual world of my blog has to take a back seat to the real world. I figured I’d gather these links into a single blog post, and post them into various pages throughout this site, and boom: you’ll have them all in one place, and I’ll still catch my flight.

So what’s happening? What’s new for me?

“Don’t Critique Me”: I read with Chicago author Lindsay Hunter at Functionally Literate in downtown Orlando this past Saturday. The video should be available soon, and I’ll post it when it’s up (Lindsay was freakin’ awesome). We were old grad school cronies, too, so in anticipation of the event, I wrote an essay for the Burrow Press blog in which I found my old fiction workshop critiques for her stories, and then critiqued my own critiques. Check it out here. If you’re a Lindsay Hunter fan, you should also check out The Drunken Odyssey’s podcast interview with her, which was recorded directly before the Functionally Literate event.

Review in Scene Sarasota: Sarasota’s arts & culture magazine, Scene Sarasota, just ran a great review of 15 Views of Orlando in their September issue. They wondered if there would ever be a “15 Views of Sarasota,” to which I can only tell the online world: if there’s a demand for it, we’ll do it. But you’ve gotta let us know. And you’ve gotta get Stephen King on board.

Interview at Knightnews: I spent about an hour talking with the folks from Knightnews.com, the online news hub for University of Central Florida students. It’s an attractive site, very multimedia heavy, and I got the chance to talk about American Fraternity Man, the culture of the National Fraternity, the hazing and alcohol culture at campuses across the country, and my own thoughts on both student and administrative successes and failures. It’s a video, so watch on the device of your choice.

American Fraternity Man reviewed: the first reviews of AFM are in, and while I’m always nervous/anxious for each one, I’ve been really happy with what folks are saying about my book. Here are some quick quotes and links:

“This book is hard to put down…It is a reminder of the complexities of this system, but most importantly a reminder that, at the core, relationships and influence are the most important and most effective tools we have when developing students. American Fraternity Man is everything you love and hate about fraternity life. It is a great story for anyone who knows what it is like to be miserable, challenged, and still love their job.”- Association of Fraternity/ Sorority Advisors, “Essentials” Newsletter
“American Fraternity Man is many things at once–funny and tragic, pro-Greek and anti-frat, bildungsroman and travel narrative, indictment of whiney millenials and the adults who made them that way. For GDIs (I’ll let you read the book for a translation of that abbreviation), the novel is a window into a world that is often misunderstood, even hated, but whose inhabitants are no less human, whose stories are no less worthy of telling.” – Dianne Turgeon Richardson, Sundog Lit
“I feel that all college students should take the chance to read this book…This book was an eye-opener to me…” – Books With Bite
Okay, so that’s the link round-up for this week!
It’s awesome to get great reviews, but I’ve gotta tell you: it’s just awesome that people are reading the book. So if you’ve been to any of my readings lately, or if you’ve picked up the book, or if you’ve finished plowing through it: thank you so much. I don’t take any of this for granted, and I appreciate any support you’ve given me.

When We Say We’re Bored

I’ve got a new column up at the Huffington Post (it was originally part of UCF Today‘s “Forum” series, and it’s also been re-printed at Context Florida).

Follow this link to get to Huff Po, and give me a like/share/comment if you dig the column. Here’s the opening:

“When We Say We’re Bored, What Are We Really Saying About Ourselves?”

In late August, three teenagers in Oklahoma targeted and killed a random jogger for no other reason than because they were bored. The story is heartbreaking, maddening, and chilling, and it’s made even more so by their explanation: boredom.

 

Were these kids really saying that their own entertainment was the most important thing in the world, more important than other lives?

The more I thought about the story, the more I moved beyond my repulsion at just these three teens and considered the word “boredom” itself, how quickly we all employ it, but how little we deserve to use it.

Read more