Saturday, July 25, 2015

Go Yeasties, Go!

Getting there. Once the gravity gets to 1.00, I'll step it back up with more concentrated apple juice. This is an experiment in making brandy without distilling. This yeast should do 20% alcohol.

The little hens are starting to lay. Hoo boy.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Saturday, June 13, 2015

How Iowa Flattened Literature - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education

How Iowa Flattened Literature - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education

I'm going to dig through this more. But from the comments, this struck me as interesting:

"Outsiders are who move culture in new ways. Also, the explosive growth of CW with it's emphasis on biography brings people who are not necessarily writers, to work out their traumas and often the story never ends. CW programs create false hope for many. I suffered as a poverty-stricken adjunct prof for 20 years hoping that the" never give up" idea would finally pay off. It never did. 
That's my problem; my writing was either too weird or no good or too full of personal trauma that I tried to disguise in magical realism as best I could. When I was applying to CW programs, I was driving a school bus, and there was another guy, about my age, who thought of himself as a writer. 
He didn't want anything to do with CE programs and thought I was a fool for buying into it and he just pumped out writing. Don't know what happened to him He never made it either, never saw his name anywhere, but he, I think, had more of a chance because he was being authentic."
Often I am more interested in the comments than the article itself. I go to the comments first, then go back and read. The comments inform my opinion. Trying not to do this but it's a deep influence on anything we read online. I almost have more respect/irritation at any article that turns off comments. . . 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Progress on the Jay Lake Challenge 2015

The Guideline: 1. Write a story every week. 2. Work on one thing at a time. 3. Don't self-critique while writing. 4. Finish everything your start.

Story List:

5/12/15 - An Antique Photograph
5/5/15 - The Demon's Daughter
4/28/15 - Down and Out in Paris, Texas
4/21/15 - Hardees World
4/14/15 - Fecundity
4/7/15 - Third Order Effects
3/31/15 - Cilik's Sword
3/24/15 - The Gonover
3/17/15 - The Gun Became Permission

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Thinking about this week: from Jeff Vandermeer's Booklife

Create a mission statement to keep focused on what's important.
Create long-term and short-term goals documents.
Create a general task list associated with these goals.
Create a specific tasks list associated with these goals.
Work the general and specific tasks into a monthly document broken down by week and day. Include in this monthly document any deadlines and any tasks that you need to perform but that are not connected to your long-term and short-term goals.

Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses and the gray places in-between:

Five Year Plan:

One Year Plan:

Monthly Task:

Weekly Task:

"We all experience life changes, and when we do, we have to modify our goals to reflect those changes. Each change carries with it a range of pitfalls and opportunities."

The Four Rules

1) Write a story every week.
2) Finish everything you start.
3) Don't self-critique while you're writing.
4) Work on one thing at a time.

Jay's Guidelines for Writing Fiction

You never get good at writing

"[Writing] is still hard, too, just in ways that are far more interesting to me. That’s what keeps this business fun. You never get good at writing, you just get better."

Process |

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


A WRITER? Why do you want to be a writer? Writers don’t make any money, said a woman to me once. I remember the way she said writer, as if it were tinged, sullied, a word not worthy of the letters that comprise it.

I Must Write - Felicia Sullivan

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Small Beer Goodies

Got a package from Small Beer Press last night that came with a surprise author signature. Super pleased.

Thursday, April 9, 2015