Small-Press Shoutout: Overlook Press!

Stop me… stop me before I small-press shoutout again!

I know, I know. I promised one last shoutout before the holidays. But then I ran across Overlook Press. They are bigger than some of our other shoutoutees, but I’m not holding that against them. They have that indie spirit – and if anything, their size is a testament to the success you can have if you publish good things and hang around for a while.

Founded by a publishing bigshot who wanted to give overlooked titles a chance (I guess the name really should have been “No Longer Overlooked Press,” which is obviously not as catchy), Overlook’s catalog of authors is self-described as eclectic. I would describe it as the deep-dive authors.

What do I mean by that?

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Charlie Brown Is Alive and Well

Apparently he’s now running a Travelodge:

I notice the lights are plugged in but aren’t on.

Glad to see the sly dog still has the Christmas spirit!

Image Credit: http://www.breakingnews.ie

Kafka: The Videogame

Definitely will need to get this when it comes out

National Nightmare Alert: Why Haiku Fails in America

Still thinking about yesterday’s Terrible Poem Breakdown entry, which I compared to haiku, which led me to think about the role of haiku in America. Haiku in America is terrible and I think I know why.

I don’t mean there aren’t (a small number of) Americans who truly get haiku. There is some good haiku out there, to be sure. Robert Hass should probably be given a Japanese passport for his efforts.

What I mean is that every time I see some kind of contest in America for writing haiku I cringe. Because inevitably someone writes something like this in the comments:

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Small Press Shout-Outs: Last Call for the Holidays!

With a week left until the Great Opening of The Presents Day, just a very quick reminder of all the holiday gift ideas we’ve had here lately:

And finally: check out Jacke’s suggestion for the greatest gift idea ever for a writer.

Carry on, people. Happy shopping!

Three Bits of Holiday Cheer

Okay, enough with the bad news. The doom and gloom. The oh-so-bleak writing. Let’s bring ourselves into the proper mood for a December post!

How about this?

And this?

Or this?

We’re getting there, people… turning things around… and check back tomorrow for (hopefully) some good news from Jacke… some developments brewing…

Killer Stories

Yesterday we talked about George Carlin and training your brain to be your creative partner.  Which got me to thinking about the new novella I’m working on, which starts out bleak and just gets darker and darker. It felt good to write it – not unlike the purgation of negativity I recently attempted on this blog – but it made me wonder: has there ever been a documented case of a writer being killed by the thing they’re writing?

I mean this: if you’re writing something so filled with hope, and your mind is getting more and more trained to find darkness and futility, and in a way it makes you feel good because it’s what you’re looking for…

I don’t mean driven to suicide (so many examples of that). And I don’t mean a Steven King scenario in which the evil character knocks on your door. I mean something else… what if your brain just gave out? Overloaded by the search for darkness?

Hmm. I’m now revising the new novella – again, it’s the bleakest thing I’ve written, by far. I almost can’t imagine reading it again, let alone going through the words, sentence by sentence. Maybe it will only work if I view this as a sort of scientific experiment. Will it be the same process as writing it the first time (which I survived, of course). Better? Worse? What approach will my brain take?