Tag Archives: Mixed-Media Fiction

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

 

Some Thoughts on Comics and Mixed-Media Literature

As we enter the sauna that is summertime (in Florida, at least!), and as the world searches for great Beach Reads (if you live in Middle America, are they called “Beach Reads” still?), I figured I’d share some thoughts on a few recent books I’ve tackled. Because I’ve been immersed in comic creation over the last few months, I decided to write an essay round-up of all graphic novels and mixed-media books.

Check out the following link to get to “Reading Books While Burping My Baby,” my ongoing column at the Burrow Press Review. In this edition, I discuss Adam Mansbach’s Go the Fuck to Sleep, the old ’90s fantasy comic Warriors of Plasm, Nate Powell’s Swallow Me Whole, and The Best American Comics 2011. And if you still need graphic novel recommendations after all of that, I have a few suggestions for you (which aren’t mentioned in the essay, but should be!): check out Eddie Campbell’s The Playwright, a fantastic comic/novella that starts breezy and humorous and winds up becoming deeply affecting. It truly feels like something out of Best American Short Stories, but the artwork adds an extra layer of depth to the book, complementing and building upon the text perfectly. Also, I recently finished Charles Burns’ Black Hole. It was too massive to qualify as a beach read, but it’s definitely a great summer read, and especially works well on those stormy Florida afternoons when it feels like the world is coming to an end.

And if you want to see what I’ve been up to lately, in the world of comics and mixed-media literature (and really, you should want to see what I’m up to, right?), here are a few links for access on your Kindle or iPad or whatever other techno-device you probably shouldn’t be taking to the beach:

My second installment in the graphic narrative adaptation of Alex Kudera’s Fight For Your Long Day is up at Atticus Review. This has been a true pleasure to draw, and I hope it’s going well. Please leave a comment at the site to let me know how I did!

The latest edition of Palooka is finally out, which features my graphic narrative, “On Seeing Yourself…” (really long title…I won’t re-type it, thus forcing you to click the link and see what the full title is!). This is definitely a journal worth supporting, and worth subscribing to. Some great work by a lot of interesting and varied writers; if you’ve never seen Palooka, I’d compare it to Hobart or Annalemma in execution. Striking, and creative. There’s an excerpt of my comic at the following link, but you’ve got to pick up the magazine to get the full story!

You can also read my graphic essay, “My Life in Gadgets: MySpace, Blogger, Facebook,” in the new edition of Fiction Fix. This is a journal that’s been around for almost a decade now, but I really think that their conversion from print to online has helped them to carve out a true identity. The journal is based at the University of North Florida, and for this edition, they’ve created a graphic literature issue. Some great stuff, including a novel-in-woodcuts, and a comic by the always-entertaining Jonathan Bayliss (author of “So…Buttons,” which was featured on AMC’s Comic Book Men). Go here to download the issue, and read my strange essay on the evolution of my old “Diet Coke Chronicles” blog.

Also, an interesting project called “Story A Day” recently reviewed my short story “Peeling” at Necessary Fiction. It’s a cool project (title is self-explanatory), and for writers, the idea of one story a day (with discussion) is a pretty good goal. Too often, I have student-writers who don’t think that they need to read at all…they think that they’re just naturally good writers. Then: they learn that they need to read, because they really don’t understand what’s out there. If that’s you, you should check out Story A Day, and set that goal for yourself! (Start by reading my story, of course, right?)

That’s all for this morning. I’ll write another post soon, but wanted to make sure to share those links and wish everyone a happy post-Memorial Day Week!

The Evolution of Clutter

The latest episode of my home decor catalogue/ graphic novel “Clutter” is now available at Small Doggies Magazine online. If you’ve been following along, this is Part #9, and the married couple is starting to get down to business in the remodel of their new home. If you haven’t been following along, I’ve pasted the full Table of Contents below…You don’t want to fall behind at all, do you? Better get to reading.

TABLE of CONTENTS

1. a new season, new options (Tuesday, October 4th, 2011)

2. apartment living (Tuesday, October 18, 2011)

3. downtown living (Tuesday, November 1, 2011)

4. neighborhoods of orlando (Tuesday, December 6, 2011)

5. bookshelves (Tuesday, January 3, 2012)

6. entertainment center (Tuesday, February 7, 2012)

7. outdoor living (Tuesday, March 6, 2012)

8. glassware (Tuesday, April 3, 2012)

9. planning your remodel (Tuesday, May 8, 2012)

As a side-note, I’ve been working on “Clutter” for several years now. While it’s now an online serialized graphic novel, it’s had a long and interesting history as a story. It actually started off as a short story, written back in 2008 (around the time that I first moved into my house and began working on my own remodels). But as a short story, it just wasn’t working. I experimented with the length of the piece, chopping it into a series of short-shorts, but even then, I wanted the story to have a sense of momentum, to build toward a satisfying end, and it’s tough to do that with a bunch of individual short-shorts without saying the same thing over and over again.

The next step in “Clutter’s” evolution was as a piece of mixed-media fiction. If it’s not working as a traditional short story, maybe I can turn it into an actual home decor catalogue with real photos of the various elements of the remodel, the tools and the furniture and all of that. But I’m no graphic designer or photographer, and I found myself constrained by the items to which I have access…I felt weird going into furniture stores to photograph their stuff, too…And is there any literary magazine that wants to run a 30-page story structured as a home decor catalogue? Awhile back, I managed to publish a mixed-media short story structured as a long Wikipedia page (it’s called “Gold Saturday,” and appears in the journal Rip-Rap), but it took a long time to find the right home for that piece; most journals weren’t sure what it was, and rejected it immediately.

I decided that “Clutter” could still work as a home decor catalogue, but that it needed to be a stand-alone project…if I wanted to try to build a catalogue, I couldn’t half-ass it and do just 30 pages. I needed to do a full catalogue, with individual sections dedicated to different items, different portions of the house, all of it working together to tell the story of a married couple’s conflict as they buy their first house. And I decided that it couldn’t work as just a catalogue, that it needed some humanity, it needed the characters and not just the objects. And that’s when I knew that “Clutter” was destined to become a comic, where the characters could be displayed side-by-side with the catalogue items, where I could show their possessions as well as their pasts, presents, and futures.

It’s been a long road, from 2008 until now, but hopefully you’ll dig the final result. “Clutter” still has a little ways to go, but follow the links above to read the first nine installments, and then check back on the first Tuesday of every month for the new chapter.