Month: September 2014

Raven Book Store

Raven Book Store in Harvard Square is my favorite place to buy used books.  Whenever I’m in there, I wish I could buy them all.  Today I needed to get a new copy of The Great Gatsby, having lost mine.  The only one they had on the shelf was this:

Books_Gatsby

The guy at the cash register took one look at it and said, “Oh, the movie one.  Usually we don’t carry these.”  That was kind of awesome.  I love Raven!

Bonus:

Someone has actually made an old-school Great Gatsby video game.

(Warning: Highly addictive.  And surprisingly challenging.  Watch out for the drunken revelers, and the evil eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg!)

 

Links

Like everyone else, I definitely spend too much time reading stuff on the internet.  One of my goals is to stop doing this.  However, there are occasionally things that are worth reading.  Here is a collection to prove that not all was a waste:

-Rebecca Makkai is not only a great short story writer, she also writes hilarious posts for the Ploughshares blog.  Here are a few:

Writer Nightmares

Amateur Author Spotting

An MFA For the Rest of Us

-This was an interesting review of Stuart Dybek’s latest collection and the state of MFA fiction

-An uplifting essay on how classical musicians are innovating to find new audiences and performance space

-Finally read this great essay by George Orwell today: Why I Write

-A piece on whether or not The Goldfinch counts as “Literature.”  I haven’t read it yet, but I tend to agree with one of the comments: “If a book sells a million copies and wins the Pulitzer Prize, who cares what the critics think?”

Flash Fiction

Some novelists write short stories to take a break from their novels.  I haven’t written any novels yet (though one is hopefully in the works soon…), so, in an equivalent move this summer, I wrote some flash fiction to take a break from my stories.

Some people have asked me what flash fiction is.  Usually it’s defined as a story shorter than 1,000 words, although some flash fiction sites demand less than 500.  The genre seems to have gained a lot of popularity in this age of sound bytes and short attention spans.  I don’t enjoy writing flash fiction as much as stories, but there is something gratifying about finishing a discrete piece of writing, and finishing it quickly.  You can write a flash in one or two days, whereas a story can take months.

So perhaps it’s exciting to say that my first piece of flash fiction has been accepted by Apocrypha and Abstractions, a review dedicated to stories under 500 words.  The piece, which is sort of odd–I think of it as a dark humor piece–will come out in March 2015.