Vigorously Lazy

with Christopher Heavener


Tuesday, February 28th

Issue Nine: India – Roster


Behold, the roster for Annalemma Issue Nine: India. I’m very excited about this issue, some incredible writing form all over the world, specifically India, but a few western writers too. Click the links below to get yourself aquainted with these fine writers and artists.



Essay: Arvind Dilawar

Images: Topher MacDonald

The Eye of God

Essay: Linda Kobert

Image: Andrea Manica


Essay: Mira Desai

Images: David Lemm

Of Linking Road

Essay: Parul Sharma

Images: Mark Lev


Essay: Paul Kavanagh

Images: Laura Wood


After Five Years in India

Story: Patrick Bryson

Images: TBD

Mister Security Guard

Story: Tanuj Solanki

Images: Shawn Kuruneru

The Woman Who Climbed Trees

Story: Smriti Jaiswal

Images: Karolin Schnoor

The Mochi’s Wife

Story: Murzban F. Schroff

Image: Sergio Membrillas

Interview with Dr. Ana Steele, president, Dalit Freedom Network

Images: Aimee van Drimmelen

Friday, January 6th

Best of 2011 – Books


I didn’t do one of these lists at the end of last year. I didn’t do a lot of stuff on this site. It’s been pretty quiet around here. I got a new job and that pretty much abducted my time. I’m trying to slowly trying to remedy that. I’m slowly trying to regain the joy I’ve felt in the past that comes when connecting with the small press/writing community. I got bogged down in the logistics of running Anna to appreciate the rewards. But that’s for another post.

This is a bunch of stuff that pumped my nads last year and continue to pump my nads. I’m gonna spread these out over a few posts. I was supposed to do this for Big Other, but, job stuff, you know. Sorry John. Here’s some books that opened up a bunch of new neural pathways in my brain, even solidified a few into place:

Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hays –  It’s been a pretty political year. I got involved with a giving circle project that caused me to analyze societal issues in a very aggressive way. This book was the spark that lit the fuse for me. Hayes talks a lot about social change starting within the home, a lot about how the industrial food system and consumer culture is wrecking not just the planet but our relationships and how we interact with each other. She proposes the antidote is making decisions within the home that subvert these systems, everything from choosing to purchase food from local sources, manufacturing your own clothes, houshold products, entertainment, growing your own vegetables, cultivating your own livestock, etc. The most interesting thing was how she tracked the history of the American home maker to the beginning of the industrial revolution when men traditionally had to leave the home to work and how the resulting circumstances lead to a cultural epidemic of “Housewife Syndrome” in the 1950’s, which was a catch-all term for depression and a loss of sense-of-purpose of house wives who’d been reduced to consumers and chouffers rather than the beating hearts of the home.


The People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn – I don’t understand how anyone can read this book and not become radicalized. You’d probably need to be immursed in a deep level of denial or have a substantial amount of emotional and capital investment in promiting imperialism, colonialism, and irresponsible captitalism (or some combination of these things) to not be swayed in a radical direction by the steadfast and unwavering American tradition of opression, subjugation, genocide and unchecked cruelty in the name of stealing resources and hoarding wealth that Zinn plainly lays out.

I couldn’t be more behind the curve with this one. It’s kind of like saying, “Have you tried eating honey? Holy shit, honey is fantastic! I need to spread the word about honey!” But whatever. A good book is a good book whenever you read it.

Thursday, January 5th

Issue Nine: India – Deadline Looms.


{image via Chase Heavener}

Hello potential submitters. If you’ve been waiting until the last second to send something for Issue Nine: India, consider this the last minute. The deadline for all submissions is January 13th, 2012. Now is the time to send your best story, essay, artwork, photography with some connection to the country of India and her people. The submissions have been piling up and some fantastic names and faces have thrown their hats in the ring. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve not gotten close to reading any of them yet, but I have a feeling the submission stack is brimming with nothing short of the most harrowing tales of love, struggle and triumph that I’ve ever had the privilege to publish. Think your work can measure up to that? Click here to find out.

Thursday, December 22nd

Student Writing Contest!


Hey folks. It’s been kind of quiet on this front for a little bit now because we’ve been hard at work developing this project with Page 15 that I’m very excited about: An Orlando public school student writing contest! If the text in the above flyer is a bit too small go ahead and check this out:


Flip open the newspaper on any given day and it’s pretty clear, there’s a lot of problems out there in the world. The good news is you can’t be blamed for most of them. The bad news is, someone can, and most times the people to blame are adults.

Page 15 and Annalemma Magazine are putting together an anthology of student writing on this topic: What do adults do wrong and how you would do it right?

Wars, dictatorships, financial disasters, environmental crises, reality television…It doesn’t even have to be a worldwide problem. You deal with adults every day—teachers, parents, bosses—who have a direct effect on your life.  Adults have got a lot to be held accountable for and we want to hear what you have to say about it.

Tell us in an essay or a short story: How do adults tend to mess everything up? What’s wrong with how the world (your world) works? What needs to be done to make it better? Get thinking. Get mad. But most importantly, get creative!


You must be enrolled in a high school in Orange County.

1 submission per student.

Write up to 1500 words.


All writers whose work is accepted will receive a $50 gift card to Barnes & Noble and your writing will appear in a nationally distributed print publication. You’ll also be invited to an exclusive book release party for you, your friends, family and the community.

Deadline is MARCH 1st.


1. Email with your name, grade, school, a parent’s name, email and phone # in the body of the email. Attach your submission in .doc, .docx or rtf.

2. Mail your submission to:

Page 15 Writing Contest

625 E. Central Blvd.

Orlando, F 32801

Include a cover page with your name, grade, school, a parent’s name, email, and phone #.

Stay tuned for more details or go here to see the exact same information.

Tuesday, December 6th

15 Views of Orlando Pre-Sale.

15 Views Front Cover+Spine

The fabulous brains over at Burrow Press are taking their 15 Views of Orlando project out of the cyber world and into the streets: the print version of the 15 Views project is dropping on January 31st, 2012.

If you missed it the first time around, Burrow commissioned 15 writers with some connection to Orlando to write around 1000 words or less based on locations in and around Orlando city limits. The idea was to show a side of the city beyond the misconception of tourist traps and swamps. Lindsay Hunter, J. Christopher Silvia, Hunter Choate and many more talented folks picked up the challenge and made the project a weird, bizarre and engaging series.

Burrow is pre-selling copies right now. If they sell 100, it covers the cost of printing and all proceeds after that go directly to Page 15, a reading and writing education center in Orlando that offers free after-school tutoring and writing workshops for Orlando public school students. Great people, great project, great writing, great book. Can. Not. Lose. Click here to buy.

Monday, December 5th

Check Out: Pratilipi.

Screen shot 2011-12-05 at 12.00.44 PM

Annalemma’s next print edition theme is India. We’re trying to expand our realms of understanding of Indian literature so I’ve been on the lookout for Indian lit mags. A past contributor, Kuzhali Manickavel, pointed me in the direction of Pratilipi, a bilingual literary magazine. Published both in Hindi and English, Pratilipi is independently funded and serves as an open space for conversation/debate between diverse sorts of writing and writers.

I suggest reading Voices from Chernobyl by Ingrid Storholman, a fictionalized account of one woman’s experience of the nuclear disaster in Ukraine. It’s a story about how power comes in large and small forms, and the disaster and beauty it can cause. Go check out Pratilipi!

Wednesday, November 30th

A Humble Petition.


I know it’s a bit late for Thanksgiving but one thing I’m grateful for this year is the Occupy movement. In the two and half months of its existence they’ve achieved something that was unthinkable about a year ago: they’ve brought the topic of economic inequality to the national conversation. Just a year ago, wealth disparity was something that people simply did not talk about in casual conversation. Now it’s a subject that’s discussed openly, a topic the general public is interested in and getting more emotionally invested in as the days pass. These are the types of things that mobilize a population to make real systemic change. Whether or not that will happen remains to be seen.

But this isn’t necessarily a post about OWS, it’s about another subject OWS has also been successful in bringing to the national discussion: the inextricable connection between corporate interests and our political process. Never before has the deluge of information and infographics documenting the connection between corporate dollars and politicians been so clear and alarming. This country has been awakened to the fact that elections are won not with votes, but are instead bought and sold, mainly by the people who have the kind of money to fund a winning candidate, meaning people running highly profitable businesses i.e. multi-national corporations. What this means is politicians are elected based on the interests of these companies, those interests generally focused solely on the profitability of their company, not the well-being of their employees, their customers, the environment, local communities, etc.

What I’m getting at is this: Our democratic capitalist system is set up so that our dollars mean more than the votes we register in any given election. Which means if we don’t like the way Company A has done business, if it has consistently raped the environment, if it’s exploited cheap overseas labor, if by using the aforementioned practices its offered unscrupulously low prices to the degree that locally owned businesses can no longer compete and are forced to close their doors, we have to understand that relying on legislation alone will not cause Company A to change the way it does business. If you’re interested in ending the cycle of exploitation, it’s as simple as refusing to buy their products.


With this in mind I wrote up this petition, a statement of intent. I’m starting small, by pledging to do all of my holiday shopping with small businesses, and if they’re local, even better. Every dollar I don’t spend at Best Buy on a piece of disposable electronics made from unscrupulously mined conflict minerals is a dollar that will stay in the community. Every dollar I don’t spend at Barnes and Noble is a dollar that will be spent at a local bookstore. Every dollar I don’t spend on a new iPhone or Macbook (Full disclosure: I own these products) that I don’t need and can simply repair the problems arising from their planned obsolescence is a dollar that can be spent to keep a local shop in business.

Click here to sign it.

Your dollars are votes. Vote to keep independent retailers in business and vote to remove unscrupulous and exploitative businesses out of the seat of power. And for the love of god please go to your local bookstore and buy christmas gifts for friends and family this year. Everyone will win in that situation.

Some resources:

Buying Local

3/50 Project

Think Local

And let’s not forget the book world. Amazon is the most egregious perpetrator of  exploitative business practices in order to drive down their price point. If you’re buying books online this year, check out these resources where you can often get used copies of nearly anything you want for just as cheap as Amazon can offer…

Abe Books


And check out Indiebound where you can find a local bookstore near you.

Tuesday, November 29th

Congrats to Jim Ruland!


Big ups to Issue Six contributor Jim Ruland for winning the grand prize in the Reader’s Digest “Your Life” contest! A few weeks back I posted up a blog about voting for Jim and his story of a wandering sailor who eventually found his way. Jim got enough votes and he won. Thanks to everyone who found out about Jim here and clicked on over to vote for him. It’s great to see the community coming out and supporting a great writer like Jim. And be sure to check out his story collection, Big Lonesome, which I interviewed him about here.

Well done, Jim!

Monday, November 28th

Check Out: TRNSFR.


If you’re digging what we’re doing here with the pretty print stuff, you might want to do yourself a favor and check out TRNSFR, a lit mag/print artifact out of Grand Rapids Michigan. The mailman brought me a few copies last week and I’ve been rubbing them against my face.


I love TRNSFR’s format of whole-heartedly embracing the idea of doing things in print you can’t do online: a pullout cover, post card stock inserts, flip book movies on the margins, all the things that make print lovers like me drool with delight.


Not to mention they publish some of my favorite writers including Brandi Wells, Amber Sparks, Roxne Gay, Catherine Lacy, J.A. Tyler, Blake butler, Ryan Bradley, Matthew Simmons, Shya Scanlon and on and on.


These lo res camera phone photos don’t do it justice, it’s really a sharp mag with some very cool experimental print things happening alongside some vital writing.


Big thanks to editor Alban Fischer for sending me these. Go check TRNSFR out!

Monday, November 21st

Check Out: 300KS.

Screen shot 2011-11-21 at 10.26.37 AM

If you’re like me, a surge of happiness washes over you like a floodlight every time you come across a beautiful book cover. If you’re like me, you’re going to love 300KS, a collection of stunning book covers writer Dev Aujla has collected from his travels to used bookstores all over the world. Prepare to get lost in the wonder.