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Long-listed for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and finalist for the Crawford Award. Title short story listed for the 2000 O. Henry award.

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Walking Stick Fires in Asimov’s: Infernokrusher Lives

Soooo much to cover of late-we were in the Czech Republic and Austria for 2 exhausting but glorious weeks and immediately afterwards I came down with the flu (and it looks like Kristin is going through the same opening salvos of the disease that I was a few days ago…grrr…). I also thought I should mention that “not a lot of blogging” during my trip was a feature not a bug. First, I didn’t want to announce to the entire world that we were vacated for quite so long, you know? Second, as the years roll on, and this blog enters its almost-ninth year, I’m just not feeling the need or the pressure to chronicle every instance of my life as it happens. Of course I’ve been thinking a lot about how online identities are constructed and intersect with “reality” for quite a while and I’ve been finding that…I’m just not a good chronicler. Or a cautious chronicler. Some of that function has been fulfilled by Twitter to an extent, but even there I’m feeling less urgency to publish myself, to make public my thoughts. These things go in waves, naturally-but anyway.

I do have a story out in the June issue of Asimov’s! It should be to subscribers by now and hopefully on newsstands fairly soon. The story is called “Walking Stick Fires” and it was written within the loose confines of the nascent and/or semi-existent genre known as “Infernokrusher.” For me it was less about the content per se than the writing process; that is, whenever I got stuck in the flow of the story, I moved forward with the insertion of:

(a) an explosion
(b) a car chase
(c) Toby Keith

Failure to adhere to these simple principles led me to get stuck on the middle of the story for months-the roadmap was there, however, right in front of me. (Why can’t all fiction be that easy?)

So you might notice that the activation of the writing process-something of a semiautomatic prompt-IS actually inherently tied to the content of the story, and that is one of the core tenets of Infernokrusher, and can make it so fun to write. Form not only defines function-form is the breeder reactor that burns off the waste material of function. (For more on Infernokrusher’s pleasures and uses, I refer you to the link I posted above, and also Hal Duncan’s seminal conflagration about the subject (and a few others). And I had a few notes on this blog about the subject as well.

At any rate, that’s just context In Case You Need It, but the story has Camaros, kickboxing, planet-eating aliens, a weird guy named Sharon, and yes Toby Keith, in case you need him. Subscribe, pick up a single issue, or download for your e-reading advice!

Sat, April 23 2011 » Fiction, Life Studies

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