Friday, February 25, 2011


First things first. I had a story published on Monkeybicycle. It's about ghosts and glitter and women and men. It's extremely short. That means you have no excuse.

Second things second (but really this should be first). I got the best gift this week. It was not a new car. It was a story from a writer I love. This writer sent the story to me, to my email. I paced the house for an hour, seriously. You (you know who you are) made my week.

Third things third. It snowed. Yes, it's winter, it snowed. I drove in the snow this morning, and my car got stuck on a hill. Guys, it was so embarrassing. My car is stupid and messy. I agreed to give a friend a ride when his car wouldn't start. I have a chicken foot and an alligator foot hanging from my rear-view mirror. My friend didn't say anything about them, but I'm certain they didn't escape his notice. In the spare room at home, I have a cabinet full of things even weirder than that.

Fourth things fourth (go forth, go forth). I had a story accepted this week by a Canadian lit mag. I will tell you all about it when it hits in April. It's a special story. It's inspired by a friend. Something terrible happened to her. She's stronger than anyone I know. She didn't run away. She is Kentucky to me. When I think about her, I think about how she doesn't give up. I talked to her on the phone last night, and there she was, not giving up.

No more numbers. I was asked to collaborate with a local performance artist (and friend). I'm going to be honest, I don't usually "get" performance art. This is my fault, probably. I was asked to provide a sort of script for this artist's performance. I did. Apparently, it went well. I didn't go to the performance. That probably makes me an awful person. I was nervous. And it snowed. And I was busy crocheting breasts. Yes, breasts, not beasts. Usually I crochet beasts, but this guy on the internet wanted breasts (HA HA HA), so breasts it was.

I have plans this weekend. They involve: eating dinner with someone I only ever met once at a party, eating lunch with a lady I last saw in 2003 on a camping trip, and finishing a story about something that happened to someone else. I also hope to see each and every one of you, somehow, someway. No way! Yes way.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Almighty Sound

Something I didn't say about being drunk with Josh's family is that we talked theology. I don't usually talk about God or eternity or anything like that. I don't need to. I know what I believe, and that's about all I need to know. Some people believe in certain things, and if they believe in those things, they never have to die. I found out Josh's family believes in some of those things. Sometimes, I wish I could believe in some of those things too.

I went to a barbecue place for lunch today. I was with some ladies. They are pretty amazing ladies. Two teenagers came into the restaurant wearing spandex body suits. They got their barbecue to go. One of them was wearing a red body suit and the other was wearing a blue body suit. I think they were nude under their body suits. They covered their junk with cupped hands. One of them was really skinny. The type of skinny where the spine resembles the notches on the back of a dragon. I was hoping for some sort of performance, but I didn't get one. They got their barbecue and left, just like everyone else.

One of my idols (yes, she is that amazing) turns out to be super approachable and awesome. She's a writer. She wrote one of my favorite stories. If you buy your books at B & N, you won't know her, but one day you will, I promise. She'll be the literary goddess you envy. Even if you don't really read, you'll know who she is. You'll say, "God, her words could make dead birds fly."

I wrote a bloody finish to a story today. Something gets bisected, that's all I can say. It's not dicks, if that's what you're thinking. For dicks, see below.

I have to crochet a bunch of dicks tonight/tomorrow. Yes, I do. You may not know this, but my crocheted dicks were featured in Playgirl magazine a couple of summers ago. How about that?

Like all the people around you, I've been listening to FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE.

A former classmate and I went for milkshakes last night, but the milkshake place was "out of" milkshakes. I think they just didn't want to make them for us. I had a cheeseburger instead. I don't even like cheeseburgers, but now I think I might.

Josh is listening to some pretty awful music. I want to slap his computer. I imagine the music would skip a beat even though it's playing over the internet. A laptop is not a jukebox. Oh, wait--I like this song. Yes, keep playing this song, whatever it is.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Where They Shrink His Gold

When I start drinking, anything that could be used to transmit a message should be taken from me. Maybe even pen and paper. I drunk texted someone last night. Yes, I did. I made sure to tell the recipient that although I was drunk, I could still spell. I've joined a comically shameful club.

Josh's family came to town yesterday. My family came to town last weekend. My family didn't come into the house once. Josh's family stayed at the house. Our families are so different.

I got extremely drunk with Josh's family last night. I saw some things I'd love to write about, let me tell you, but I won't, ever. What I saw was complex and amazing. What I saw was love, duh, and it is none of your business, but it was beautiful. Everyone should be so lucky to have a family like Josh's.

We all went to brunch this morning, unshowered and looking HAWT. My hair was the best it's been in a while. There were some attractive men serving us our biscuits and gravy, and for that, I'm so thankful. This one guy had lots of arm tattoos. It pressed my buttons. I had a slice of peanut butter pie. It tasted better than any other slice of peanut butter pie I've ever had.

I brushed my teeth this morning, but my mouth still tastes like the air in an old pickup truck. Josh's sister was plying me with cigarettes last night. Cigarettes remind me of home. Not home as I've defined it now, but home like my childhood. That home. I think that's why I don't consistently smoke. I don't want that feeling of home to be replaced with routine. I want it to be on command when I'm drunk and nostalgic. I want to be dizzy with it.

One of my vegetarian friends had the unfortunate pleasure of debating food ethics with Josh's drunken family. We wondered whether we could kill the animals we eat. I said I could maybe kill a chicken. Last summer, I accidentally ran over a snake with my car. I don't think I could really kill a chicken.

Later in the night, there was crying. Sometimes when you're drunk, you cry. I didn't cry. While the other people were crying, I had to cover up a smile. I was so happy to see other people feeling something. After three bottles of wine and countless beers, you should be feeling something. They were feeling such pain. Years and years of pain. Their voices disappeared. It was all faces and feelings. They knew what they were trying to say. I just sat there and watched. There was no way for me to participate in this profound event.

Yesterday at lunch, Josh's brother told us about LEPRECHAUN 4: IN SPACE. We laughed and we laughed, our fingers yellow with curry.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Question and Answer

I was interviewed today. People ask me questions all the time, but I never actually think about the answers. Today, I thought about the answers. I'll let you know when and where, of course.

I live in a duplex. The top floor is one unit, the bottom floor is another unit. Make the jokes you want to make, but Josh and I are the bottoms in this scenario. The problem is, our landlords want to move into one of the units. As of Tuesday, they didn't know which unit. Long story short, our neighbors have volunteered to move out. I love our neighbors. I will miss them. Their unit looks like something from a magazine. Our unit looks like something from a movie about downtrodden youth. Our neighbors have a cat the size of a small tiger. I will miss that cat, too.

One of my new friends went to lunch with me yesterday. It was the first time he'd eaten Indian food. He pretended to like it. Maybe he really liked it. I tend to view my new friends with a paranoid dose of skepticism. Honestly, I can't believe anything they say. At the same time, I want to believe everything they say. I think this is only natural.

Sometimes, I actively court friends. This is one of those times. My new friend plays the fiddle. When he grows his facial hair out, it's red. I'm trying to get him to play the fiddle on my front porch. You will have to believe me when I say, I have the perfect front porch for fiddle playing.

I submitted a story and had it rejected all in one day. It was like when someone answers a question before you finish asking it. The answer was no.

You deserve an update about that yellow snow. The snow has melted, but the yellow remains. It has dimension. It looks like scrambled eggs. I'm kind of afraid to go near it.

I used to have a jar of moonshine. I don't know where it came from. Maybe it appeared on my front porch in a tiny basket. Maybe the basket was tied around a dog's neck. Maybe the dog left once I untied the basket. Maybe.

One of my friends tried to sip from the jar of moonshine. She was able to swallow her vomit before it became a problem. I was only able to drink the moonshine in shots.
Some moonshine is flavored for the benefit of the drinker. My moonshine was not. I've never been so drunk. If you want me to do something I wouldn't normally do, give me moonshine. I will be yours.

Is this the year I'll finally look good in shorts?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


First, I have a story at DOGZPLOT. It's a tiny story. DOGZPLOT does a magnificent trade in tiny stories. I feel very honored to have this story published. In it, I get to be very gay, very nostalgic, and very brief all at once.

There's a place in my hometown called Ghost Bridge. I've been there. When you're in high school, you go there. When you're home for break in college, you go there. There's other places like this in my hometown. When you live in the country, every little thing is haunted.
There's a small cemetery in my stepmother's backyard. It's strange to sit on lawn furniture and wonder about the bodies just beneath you while your father barbecues on the patio.

My mother lives on the upper floor of an old house. It's haunted too. Once, when I was in town visiting, I was in bed, and something started pulling the sheets. How about that? I pulled them back and went to sleep. I haven't had a problem since. I may have heard voices. Voices don't bother me. I like to listen.

Josh took some pictures of me last night. I look like an even mix of my mother and my father. I'm their first child together. My brother is turning out to look more like my father. There are no judgments attached to these observations. In the end, we just look like ourselves.

I'm writing another ghost story.

Valentine's Day is something you may or may not want to hear about. Josh and I treat Valentine's Day like the rest of our week but all rolled into one day. We eat more than we should. We don't get each other anything. I think Josh got me a cookie one year. We did go to a wedding this Valentine's Day. It was a very short wedding. I'm so happy for these people, you have no idea.

It sometimes occurs to me that I have a stepsister. We are not competing for the same prince. If we were, this would be a fairy tale. We went to high school together. She has babies and a husband. I have a "husband" and one of those tiny plastic babies you find in king cakes at Mardi Gras. It's sitting on a bookshelf. It will not grow up to be a doctor, which is a shame but not a surprise. My stepsister and I are both housewives at the moment. I wonder if she can cook? I can cook, in case you didn't know.

The things that matter to me could probably fit into a large tote bag. I am, of course, counting the things that cannot move of their own accord.

It seems like it might rain.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Lots of Magical Thinking

All of the sudden, I smell like cigarettes. How is that possible? I've not been smoking. I haven't smoked since this dream I had last night. Don't say it's impossible. You've had sex in dreams, at least, and woken up spent. I know, it's not really the same. It's EXACTLY the same.

Egypt is having a moment. Let's have a moment for Egypt. Let's not be cynical, let's be hopeful.

I have a weekend full of eating ahead of me. Tonight, barbecue. I will take the extra pickles. I will have equal amounts of pork and pickle on my buns. That was a joke. Feel free to throw tomatoes at me. I will eat them like apples. If you throw a pie, aim for my mouth. I'm partial to any fruit pie, any cream pie, and any seasonally too sweet pie (pecan, chess, derby).

I'm liking my haircut. I think you'll like it too, especially if you're fond of Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell from HOOK.

My father and my stepmother are in town. I hate to inform you that my stepmother is not evil. She's very nice. She wants to go shopping. Where do people go shopping in this town? We just had coffee/tea and they wanted to know what they should do next. I have no idea. We do not do the same things. I'm going to send them to Crate & Barrel. People like that sort of thing, right? Maybe they will buy me a coffee table. I've been using a storage tub.

One of my besties is doing some artwork for a story I wrote. It will be up on a website I'm so fond of. I'll let you know which website it is on March 7th. You'll have no idea what I'm talking about. They only publish the best, which makes me wonder how I ever got selected. Editors work in mysterious ways. I like to imagine they wear robes and use complex magic to shape their respective literary magazines into something special. It's the only way I can wrap my head around their apparent super powers.

Read a book this weekend.

I'm getting to the point where my arms are lean and muscular. My legs are on their way. They are always late to the party. My ass will arrive in its own sweet time. By summer, I might be able to take my shirt off when I mow the lawn. Might. I will drink a beer and say, "Ahhh."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Never Too Much, Always Enough

I received an excellent rejection yesterday. I know you want to hear all about it. There's this magazine I love (I only submit to magazines I love, because DUH) and they liked my piece but felt it lacked sufficient conflict. I get that. They want me to send more work, though. It was a very flattering rejection. I blushed all over. My hands were red like I'd been punching people all day.

My cell phone doesn't have a functioning camera. I don't have cable. I get water from a well. OK, not that last one, but can you imagine? Nothing I own is smart. My books are only smart if I read them. I have a bunch of crocheted artifacts, but they only move when I'm not looking.

I scrubbed a toilet today. There should be a robot for that. It should be smart enough to recycle the scraps of toilet paper that cling to the bowl. Don't ask me how this would work. Do I look like an engineer? The answer is no. I look like someone who buys their hipster clothes on clearance at Target. The flannel shirt I'm wearing was totally 70% off. RED TAG, BABY!

I made a new friend. Hooray! He's wildly inappropriate. I need more wildly inappropriate people in my life. My crazy tempers best with other crazy. This guy flattered me with compliments. He knows how this works. Food is the next step. I'm obsessed with lunches. Also, the phrase, "Let's do lunch." Sure, why not? How could you ever turn down lunch with me? If you were sane, you could not. Let's do lunch.

I just flexed my forearm and said, "I look like Popeye." Josh said, "No, you don't." Truer words, etc.

Speaking of Josh, he gave me an excellent haircut last night. Well, he says it's excellent. I've not tested it in the field. We'll see how many heads I turn when I finally leave the house. With the recent shaving accident, I'm afraid a pride of lesbians will confuse me for one of their own. My hair's all short and choppy, my face is smoother than a belt buckle, and my fashion sense is squarely between Rachel Maddow and anyone in line for a Sufjan Stevens concert. My lips also have a certain soft and full quality, despite their winter chappiness. When I drink, I look like one of those algae eater fish at the bottom of an aquarium--all lips, ass, and slobbery glass. Unlike algae eater fish, I do not get territorial with age.

I'm thinking this house needs a cactus. I'll crochet one. It'll look like a green and prickly penis, just like a real cactus.

I read this story today about a girl who covered a bleeding ghost in slices of white bread. It made me want to work on some of my weird fiction. I have this story about a harpy you wouldn't believe (and God, I hope you don't; it's fiction, after all).

Tell me the last time you felt like a fool. I need details, people, embarrassing details. I walked around all day with a dry flake of skin on my nose. That's not even the last time I felt like a fool. That's just something stupid that happened today. Give me the real deal.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Full to Bursting

Dear Vicious Cycle readers, all twenty or so of you, you are important. I appreciate each of you. I am sometimes an unbearable person. Bear with me.

(If I were writing a different blog, I would post a picture of a teddy bear here. The teddy bear would be holding a stuffed heart or an even smaller teddy bear.)

I feel better about lots of things. I won't tell you about them. They're mostly boring things. The things that aren't boring are none of your business. Naturally, I will write about all of those things in my fiction.

I was jokingly asked to write more about rejections. It turns out rejections are pretty boring to write about too. Most of the rejections I receive are impersonal notes. But I will let you know the next time I get one. Any day now, I'm sure. If it's boring, I'll try to spice it up with sexual connotations or something. You know, like, "Best of luck placing your story elsewhere. . .in bed."

There were noises in the house again today. Door knobs turning and the like. I'm going to chalk it up to ghosts. I'm OK with ghosts as long as they're OK with me. I don't need homophobia from the spirit community. I will banish you, ghostly presence, if you call me a fag.

I made a mistake today. I started to trim my whiskers, but I forgot to check the setting on the electric razor. I now have a nearly clean-shaven face. This has not been the case since 2006. I can tell I've aged. I've lost weight, though, so a few points for me. Still, I don't want to go out in public with this face. It's strangely androgynous. Like I'm a librarian from a planet of genderless aliens.

My father and his wife are coming to visit this weekend. I get defensive about the city when I have visitors. Sometimes I feel embarrassed. It's like when someone comes to your home unannounced and you say, "Oh, there aren't usually dishes on the couch." But there are. All those things are always right there.

I saw piss in the snow today. It was Mountain Dew yellow-green. (Maybe it was Mountain Dew?) You wouldn't believe the volume.

There's talk of gender disparity in lit mags. Essentially, men are published more often than women in the major publications. My tiny amount of experience in the indie lit community suggests more equality and variety than you'd find in the major publications. And that makes sense to me. I think the best new voices can be found in online lit mags and small-press publications. Of course, I would say that. Most of these new voices I'm reading are women or gay men. I don't know what that says. Or maybe I don't want to say what that says. Maybe I'm tired of certain stories and these ladies and gentlegays are refusing to write those old stories. The romantic in me says the disparity is becoming less of an issue even as we argue about it, but I know it's not quite so simple. It never is.

Last night I had a dream about tame tigers. They lived in a penthouse suite. I roomed with them for one night. Every time they moved, I feared for my life. In this dream, I kissed a prince. Then I made him dinner. The housewifery is bleeding over into my dreamspace. I was not wearing an apron.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Canine Skin Conditions

My social life is better than it was yesterday. I have been "friends" with another local housewife for several years now. I think today we became friends (no quotes, ya'll). Why did it take so long? Because I've been known to be terrifying. Not in any violent way, but maybe I was an asshole for a very long time. I mean, not a real asshole. I didn't ACTUALLY hate people, I just couldn't be bothered to speak to them like we existed on the same level. I was also medicated (for epilepsy), but I don't want to blame everything on that. Anyway, now I'm not an asshole (all the time).

That's all to say, I like the housewife time I spent with this wonderful lady. We ate quiche and macaroni and cheese, went to some stores, and bitched, bitched, bitched. It was glorious. The housewife's dog has dandruff. I had no idea that was possible. Duh, but did you? Did you know some dogs get dry skin in the winter? The housewife illustrated by lifting the dog and exposing his pink, flaky belly. He seemed to know and he was embarrassed, I could tell.

I've received two acceptances in the past two days. Two wonderful publications want MY stories. Can you believe it? I still cannot. I keep expecting them to say, "Whoops, we meant the other guy." One of the publications is even going to interview me. It stretches credulity.

I'm reading Alissa Nutting's Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls. It's a golden egg in a novelty carton of decorative ceramic eggs. If you know what's good for you (and many of you have no idea), you will get this book. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll make fun of the cover because the font's not great. But the words, THE WORDS.

I'm going to celebrate my acceptances by watching a TV show I hate. I'm not going to tell you which show. Most of you like this show, I think. I hate it, but I will not miss an episode. The foundation of any good relationship is hate. This show hates me with its awful writing.