From The Atlantic:
This is a time of much division. Families and communities are splintered by polarizing narratives. Outrage surrounds geopolitical discourse—so much so that anxiety often becomes a sort of white noise, making it increasingly difficult to trigger intense, acute anger. The effect can be desensitizing, like driving 60 miles per hour and losing hold of the reality that a minor error could result in instant death.
One thing that apparently still has the power to infuriate people, though, is how many spaces should be used after a period at the end of an English sentence.[Full story]
I wanted to put in a plug for my friend Michael C. Keith’s latest book, “Let Us Now Speak of Extinction” from Mad Hat Press.
Keith’s opus possesses shades of Sylvia Plath, Edgar Allen Poe, and aNew Yorker cartoon for extraterrestrials. Let Us Now Speak of Extinction is eerily addicting. ––Jo Maeder
Michael C. Keith’s short pieces seem relatively benign at first, but wait a moment and you feel the snap of his literary whip. Keith subverts things with a smile––like putting a dagger in the back of the iconic Jack Kerouac by posing whether his girlfriend was a better writer than this Beat patriarch. He brings an amused eye to our inevitable demise, our strutting and posturing before the black void. Keith is a writer who can shake your hand or use a well-appointed whoopee cushion to blow the hot air out from where the sun don’t shine. He keeps you honest. He keeps you thinking. He keeps you reading. –– Doug Holder
Buy it. It’s money well-spent.
I wanted to put in a plug for Duotrope. It’s a fabulous resource for writers. I’ve been a subscriber now going on six years.
Duotrope is a subscription-based service for writers and artists that offers an extensive, searchable database of current fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and visual art markets, a calendar of upcoming deadlines, a personal submissions tracker, and useful statistics compiled from the millions of data points we’ve gathered on the publishers and agents we list.”
…The only true measure of whether a piece of writing is any good is the impact it has on its intended audience.
Did it engage them? Did it move them? Did it change them?
1: Flat regions on either side of the forehead 2: Places or things regarded as having within them a divine presence 3: Devices in looms that keep cloth stretched to the correct width during weaving 4: Buildings reserved for a highly valued function: libraries, temples of learning 5: Phil Temples.
I thoroughly enjoyed last night’s readings by Heather Madden, GennaRose Nethercott, and Julia Story at the Červená Barva Press Reading Series in Somerville, Massachusetts. Gloria Mindock has tentatively invited me to read from my new story collection “Machine Feelings” in the near future.
“Thomas R. Bransten has conjured up a wickedly delightful ‘Who dunnit?’ murder-mystery set in the fictional African country of Zembeylia. There are a multitude of suspects who also just happen to be professional travel agents visiting on a tour. Oh–and a government coup thrown in for good measure. Weaving a rich tapestry of eccentric characters, exotic locale, and downright slaphappy action, The Journey to Zembeylia is one you’ll not want to put down.”
-Phillip E. Temples, “Machine Feelings and Other Stories”
I’m happy for my spouse, Barb Ariel Cohen, on her debut publication in The Penmen Review, Southern New Hampshire University’s Online Journal for Creative Writers.