The Next Big Thing

Thanks to Donna Hilbert author of the new poetry collection The Congress of Luminous Bodies (Aortic Books) for tagging me in THE NEXT BIG THING

What is the title or working title of your book?

Tripwires and Trigger Fingers.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

For my first book, Teacher at Point Blank, I explored about how we can work and live under bizarre, unhealthy conditions that encourage a certain amount of denial. As I was waiting for the book to be published, I had to keep revising the last chapter because it began with a litany of rampage shootings at schools, and for about five years I had to keep adding names and dates to the list. It was a hideous feeling. It’s still true that every time a drastic event happens, we tend to treat it like something from Mars. But there I was, facing that list in my book. I wanted to examine that phenomenon of denial on a larger American scale, connecting different public performances of “mass violence” we have buried or forgotten about–starting with UT Austin in 1966. 

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Writer Ninja Podcast Episode 8: Starting from Scratch

What have you made from scratch lately–whether it’s something to eat, wear, use at home, or give away? We may live in a world that often feels prefabbed, but there are plenty of opportunities for us to contribute pieces of ourselves to make things better or more interesting. Tune in to the Writer Ninja Podcast, available on iTunes and on this site. Then post your ideas in the comments section below!

Also listen to Jo’s interview with four smart writer-editor-artist people–John Brantingham, Ann Brantingham, Elder Zamora, and Scott Creley–who came together to organize The San Gabriel Valley Literary Festival from the ground up.

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Writer Ninja Podcast Episode 7: Boundary Crossing

You may have missed Stephanie Barbé Hammer’s fabulous reading from Sex with Buildings (Dancing Girl Press) at Riverside Arts Walk September 6, but it’s never too late to visit her website, Magically Real.

Also catch our chat about genre bending and blending on the latest Writer Ninja Podcast, available on iTunes and on this site.

Recommended books from this episode include:

Short Takes, edited by Judith Kitchen

Flash Fiction Forward, edited by Robert Shapard and James Thomas