Archive for the ‘Fun’ Category

Friday, August 19th

Sneak Peek.


Matt Bell came in town last weekend and we worked on a secret project together.


It’s only a secret because we can’t tell you about it until next year.


That’s when this project will be finished and it will coincide with a very cool event. You can probably figure out what the secret is by these photos. Sorry for being secretive. Anticipation is always the best part though, right?

Wednesday, July 13th



Check out this week’s feature story “South Beach” by Ryan Rivas. This one’s excerpted from Annalemma Issue Eight: Creation (which is is available for pre-order now for $5 off the cover price!). It’s a quick scorcher of a piece, make you laugh, make you think, make you smile, make you wince, type of story a.k.a. the best kind. I read it at the Issue Eight release party at Bookcourt two weeks ago and it brought the house down. Photos from that one are coming soon.

Go check out Ryan’s story and if you like it you should understand that story is indicative of  the quality of writing published in our print edition and you should strongly consider picking up a copy of Annalemma Issue Eight: Creation.

Monday, June 6th

Cover Songs.


If you’re our facebook friend, over the weekend you caught a glimpse of the cover for Issue Eight: Creation. For the anti-social networkers, here she is in all her glory. The image is by contributor Amber Albrecht. Hope this whets your apatite for beautiful things.

Friday, June 3rd

The Lit Pub.


I’m very psyched about a new venture bounding from the loins of Vouched Books impresario Christopher Newgent and author Molly Gaudry. Though you’ve most likely heard about it by now, The Lit Pub is a marketing, promotion and representation source for independent writers and publishers. It’s a place where the current curators are pumping up books worth reading, it’s a place for people to hang out and chat about books and, most importantly, it’s a place promoting a sustainable literary publishing community.

To learn more, read an interview with Molly at TFT and HTMLG.

Thursday, May 19th

Short Story Month 2011.


Short Story Month has been burning along like a furnace in January, but it’s May right now. So the furnace metaphor isn’t really a proper one. It’s not that hot out either, otherwise I’d use the sun metaphor. Burning like a Jalapeno? That’s also bad. Burning like spring fever in the pants of sexually mature human beings? Meh, that’ll do. Let’s move on.

Looks like a new issue of PANK dropped last week with weird and enticing stories. I don’t really understand Lidia Yuknavitch’s piece On Being a Woman Writer, but the language and movement of it has an interesting/intriguing/seductive quality to it. Check it:

I saw a sign.  The sign said, this way to the other within.  But there was another sign next to it, big ass flashy neon sign that said, this way to language, culture, and subjectivity.  The two signs made my skin feel hot and my thighs itch.  Was one of the signs a trick?

I saw a guy go by, following the language, culture and subjectivity sign—without hesitation.  He looked really confident.  He looked unified.  He had a really good tan.  He was a snappy dresser.  He looked heroic.  But I was naked, sweaty, and I kind of had to pee.  I just felt hot, itchy and like I might die if I didn’t move.

I decided to follow the ‘other within’ sign.  Then I felt like masturbating, so I did that, there inside the white, and I heard a noise back down the direction the heroic guy had gone, and I looked back, and he’d tripped on something and fallen.  Weird, I thought, and then I finished and came really hard and let the wet be what it was—salty ocean goo–and kept walking.

Then I saw another woman.  She was tall, and her hair, unlike mine, was black as sun.  Her name was Julia, she said.   She said, “It is probably necessary to be a woman, not to renounce theoretical reason but to compel it to increase its power by giving it an object beyond its limits.”

Also notable is Mary Jones’s Burglary:

Carol decided to burglarize her neighbor’s house. She was a friend of the family, but there were things she wanted that the family had. She was tired of seeing the things, leaving them for the family.

And Three Stories by Adam Peterson:

The rest of the world watched through binoculars as the Americans changed. They were glad there was an ocean again but sad that no one was on the right side of it except for Michael Jackson and his best friend Pepsi.

Matt Bell‘s up to his old tricks, being his usual ambitious self by posting about 31 stories in 31 days. He’s getting some help from writers like Nancy Smith and BL Pawelek and, hey, look at that, Tom Williams did a write-up of Amber Sparks’s “You Will be the Living Equation”, originally published in Issue Seven: Endurance. Tom says some good things:

Sparks’s story is one to celebrate, both because it shines so brightly as an example of the unexpected things a short story can do, and because it deepens the use of second person, keeps it vital and thriving, and worthy of the next writer who—as Amber Sparks did—will find a way to make it sing.

Thanks Tom and Matt! And don’t forget to head over to Short Story Month official headquarters, EWN, where the mad genius behind Dzanc books, Dan Wickett, is posting about some killer writing. Happy SSM everyone!

Thursday, April 21st

Susan Hope Lanier.


This week‘s image contributor Susan Hope Lanier submitted so many good images for publication that I wanted to show the outtakes here. They’re from a series of her friends and family members dressed as these beautifully rendered characters from a story unknown to the viewer UPDATE: These images are actually self portraits of Susan dressed up as different family members. These are the best kinds of photos: the ones suggesting a full story you get to fill in the blanks in your head.




Thanks Susan!

Monday, April 11th



Last Saturday we competed in the Scrabble for Cheaters Tournament for 826 NYC tutoring center and the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. Depending on how much money you raised for the tutoring center the rules allowed you to buy however many “cheats” you wanted, stuff like adding 10 points to a tile, adding Q or X or Z to a word. The big money cheat was to make up a word. This cheat would be our undoing.


We won our first round! And only used a minimal amount of cheats. I get heavily competitive at board games and it creates an atmosphere of tension that I enjoy but I realize probably makes a lot of people around me uncomfortable.


The spoils of victory. Alas, this would be as close as we ever got to cheating glory.


The bracket.


The game field.


The decimators. We got obliterated in the second round by these two folks, “Justice Mispelled,” they call themselves. They cheat like masters. Make sure not to tangle with these two if you find yourself in a back alley Scrabble match.


We lost, but the sting of failure was soothed by the balm of charity. We raised a little bit of money for a very cool place that helps a lot of kids. So we had a ball.

UPDATE: more photos of the whole day at the 826 NYC flickr.

Wednesday, March 30th

Fleeting Pages = Cool.

Screen shot 2011-03-30 at 11.43.48 AM

What do you do when Borders goes bankrupt, leaving 275+ empty storefronts? Take one back in the name of independent publishing.

Enter Fleeting Pages: A pop-up bookstore in Pittsburgh taking over an empty Borders retail space and filling it up with self-published and independent publishers. As described on the website, “It’s sort of an ode to the transformation of the publishing industry and a way to comment on the irony of the big box bookstore’s demise giving rise to the independent book creators and sellers who were pushed out by box stores.”

How do you get involved? If you’re a publisher, go to the contact page and send them info on your titles. If you’re a reader, live in Pittsburgh and keep up to date on the site when/where the shop is opening up. Hat tip to Galley Cat.

Thursday, February 17th

Annalemma @ AWP – Day 2.


{pics courtesy Tim Schreier}

A lot of people think AWP is a fun and good spirited chance to commune with writers and find out about new places to publish. Nothing could be further from the truth. AWP a ritualistic bloodsport activity, a kill-or-be-killed, knock-down-drag-out, fighting-by-tooth-and-nail, backstabbing, betrayal-riddled hell mouth. This is the gaping maw that consumes the hopes and dreams of all who dare to attend. Abandon all hope ye who enter.


Gaze upon the chaotic bloodlust that consumes the eyes of the attendees: writers, professors and students all looking for the slightest hint of your weakness. Once the weakness has been exposed, it is doomed to be exploited.


Feast your eyes on the hellacious blood orgy of organizational networking.


There in the distance, among the rabble and static, shines a dark beacon of demonic power known as the Hobart table.


The horror… the horror!


Tucked in the blackest corner of this hoary underworld resides these perverted minds peddling seeds of evil to corrupt the minds of innocents.


Beware this twisted carnival of soulless ghouls. Beware.

Thursday, February 10th

Annalemma @ AWP – Day 1.


Peace out, New York. We took the Bolt Bus. I will gladly shill for the Bolt Bus if they want to advertise with us. $25 or less and you get a comfortable, swift ride from NY to DC. Free Wifi, free electronic outlets, free beautiful scenery. There were other AWP’ers on this particular Bolt Bus. They will back me up on this.


DC’s public trans is ominous and monolithic. The escalators are poorly oiled and they groan like wounded animals. Inspiring and unsettling at the same time.


Here is the floor of the book fair. We were next to Salt Hill which was real cool fortune. The floor is very quiet on Thursday. Sometimes you get the feeling that there is more people sitting at tables than there is people walking around and visiting the tables…


Here is Matt Siegle. He is nine feet tall and must adjust the microphone to accommodate this fact. We threw a reading with PANK and Mud Luscious and called it Divination in DC. About 50 writers descended on an Irish pub with about four families trying to have a nice dinner on a Thursday night. They were unprepared for what was about to happen to them.

Steve Himmer riffs on the Chuck Norris jokes that were oh-so-popular at the end of the aughts and ramps up the pathos on them.

Mathias Svalina read a poem about the end of the world and its relation to the television show Cheers.

Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz smoked everyone with this poem about a drunk boyfriend at a poetry reading. The first second got cut off. The piece starts with the words “The drunk boyfriend at the bar, he groans…” I really love this one a lot.

And then she read some transcripts from porno movies. She is my new favorite poet. Thanks Cristin.