Monday, October 25, 2010

Being Andy Devine

Being Andy Devine (BAD), the national book tour for Andy Devine's first book, WORDS, is underway. The next stop is Providence for couscous sur l'herbe on October 26. From 9-10, there is music with Jonathan Bonner Cape Breton Fiddle and Laila Aukee Ukelele plus Vocals Extraordinaire. From 10-11, it's Andy Devine with Mairead Byrne, Karen Donovan, Rachel Glasser, and Mike Young. From 11 on, Dave and Mark play the blues.

Mudluscious Stamp Story Anthology

The mudluscious 2011 titles are up for looking at their covers and subscribing and such. I have a little piece in [C.] the stamp story anthology, as does Andy Devine.

Literary Fundraising

There's a great post about literary fundraising (and other kinds of fundraising) and kickstarter by Rebekah Silverman over at htmlgiant. It mentions The Understanding Campaign, which is making its last push for funding. There's also Ampersand's re:Telling anthology, in which the postcard life story project is part of the $100 premium.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

#255: The Alphabetical Andy Devine

Andy Devine was born in Flagstaff, Arizona and it is probably significant that his first name begins with the letter A. From an early age, Andy loved to play with his wooden letter blocks and as he got older he would alphabetize them into walls of letters. In kindergarten, he was mesmerized by the alphabet that hung over the chalkboard—both the uppercase and the lowercase. Andy did not talk much, though, so it was a while before his parents realized that he had a speech impediment, a kind of stutter (which some have sited this as a possible explanation for his conceptual fictions). When he was 8, there was a terrible incident concerning the family’s baby being killed, though it is unclear how and who killed the baby. It is known, however, that Devine was sent to live with his maternal grandparents in Toms River, New Jersey after this and worked in the family grocery store growing up there. He spent a lot of the daytime in the backyard where he taught himself to sit so still that birds would land on him and squirrels would crawl over him. In middle school, Andy started reading a lot of books, his favorites being dictionaries, encyclopedias, and thesauruses—anything that arranged the material alphabetically. In high school, Andy was a small forward on the basketball team and a middle-distance runner on the track team. He began to notice girls and fell in love with girl after girl whose names started with the letter A—Abby, Alice, Amy, Angie, Ann, Anna, Audrey (in that order). The first girl he ever kissed was named Birdy. In college, Andy played in a punk band called Babylonia that only played covers of songs that were written in languages they didn’t understand. And Andy studied library science and, after graduating, worked for a time at the main branch of the New York Public Library, but he eventually became disenchanted with the Dewey decimal system as an organizational system. While living in NYC, Andy developed a hatred for actors and a taste for a thoughtfully constructed indexes. In his late 20s, his girlfriend Zooey broke up with him and she was the last woman that he ever loved. Andy tried to read novels to console himself, but he felt as if novelists were choosing the wrong words. In response, Andy started creating lists of words that should and shouldn’t be used in fiction, works that became implicit critiques of contemporary writing and publishing. In spring 2010, Publishing Genius will bring out his first book, WORDS. Other acknowledgments of his remarkable work are the fact that Andy Devine Avenue (in Flagstaff, Arizona) is named after him and his mention in a Frank Zappa song (“Andy”). Someday, there will probably be a bridge or maybe a mountain that is named after him.

[Update: Andy Devine is currently on a national tour for his first book, Words (Publishing Genius). See Being Andy Devine for tour dates.]

Monday, October 18, 2010


I'm very excited to be a part of Meowpolis, a show of cat art, as is Moose the Cat. The show will open on October 19th at Baltimore's Whole Gallery, which is 405 W. Franklin Street, which is the H&H Building, 3rd Floor. Thanks to Rahne Alexander and Freda Mohr for putting it together.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Being Andy Devine

Being Andy Devine (BAD), the national book tour for Andy Devine's first book, WORDS, is underway. The next stop is Philadelphia, October 16, 7pm, Fergie's Pub, which is 1214 Sansom--with Andy Devine, Jamie Gaughran-Perez, James Belflower, Kate Greenstreet, Joe Hall, Steven Karl, Lauren Bender, Dan Magers, Adam Robinson, and Ben Segal.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

#237 Jason McCormick: Tuition Instead of Rent

Jason McCormick was born and raised in Hawaii. He was the only kid with blonde hair at his school and the locals called him the haole kid (meaning tourist or mainlander; that is, an offensive term that insults somebody’s skin tone). At 9, Jason moved to California and attended Palo Alto High School in the Bay area. He started playing golf and his grades improved. He moved to San Diego and studied philosophy at San Diego State University. Then he moved back to SF and then back to SD to study philosophy. The most important decision that Jason ever made was deciding to pay for tuition instead of paying rent. In early 2009, he had just been laid off from his job and had 2K in his bank account and paid his spring tuition instead of his rent. He stashed his stuff at a buddy’s house and crashed there twice a week while living in the campus library the other 5 days a week. Jason looked for a job every day, but was homeless for 3 months. In fact, there was a small community of homeless college kids who befriended the security guards and stayed floors of the library that security never checked. Jason read a lot of books during that time. His grades improved and he felt like a free man. But being homeless definitely took its toll on him. Jason hardly slept. He had to carry his backpack filled with my school stuff and a duffle bag filled with clothes and a shaving kit. He exercised and showered at the student gym. At the end of that spring, Jason signed a contract to coach youth golf at a summer camp in New York. Jason made some money here and there, sold some stuff on Craigslist, worked a few tutoring gigs, and an hour after he finished his last final exam his buddy Jon picked him up at the campus parking lot and they left San Diego to drive cross-country. After Jason coach at the golf camp, he moved back to SF. In SF, he worked part-time as a golf instructor for kids. He also read and wrote a lot (mostly stories about how he breaks the rules, but he still manages to save the world). Then Jason moved back to SD to finish his BA in philosophy. He still plays golf, but his grades are slipping. Over the years, Jason has had a few serious girlfriends—a 4-year thing and a 3-month fling, but he’s been single for a year+. He’s been dating a pretty cool girl, Savannah, for a few weeks. They met at a kegger. She has long brown hair, smells like vanilla, and makes him laugh. Right now, Jason is pursuing an American dream. He plans on writing fiction for the rest of his life and he wants to write a great American novel. Then Jason will escape from the real world and live like a recluse somewhere near the Adirondacks.

[Update: Jason McCormick lived in the Adirondacks, off the grid, for the last few months. If you didn’t get an email back from him, that’s why. Jason also graduated from college and is a philosopher now. He feels pretty good about it, but he’s not sure how the job market feels about it. Jason is also writing a philosophy column at Outsider Writers Collective and Press and a weekly humor column at Hobo Pancakes. He’s also co-hosting (with Meg Pokrass) Fictionaut's reading series in San Francisco.]

Monday, October 11, 2010


I have a new piece called T-SHIRT that is about a t-shirt up at Blip (formerly Rick Magazine and, before that, formerly Thanks to Blip's This Week editor Meg Pokrass.

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Monument to Love

There's a great review of Lo Que Queda de Nosotros, Tusquets' Spanish translation of How Much of Us There Was. Pepe Rodriguez calls the novel "a monument to love" ("un monumento al cariño").

New York Tyrant will release How Much of Us There Was in the US in early 2011.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Andy Devine Tour

The Andy Devine Tour kicked off in Baltimore, made its way to NYC (attached), and will move on to dates in Muncie, Indiana -- Portland, Oregon -- Nashville, Tennessee -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania -- back to Baltimore, Maryland -- Ann Arbor, Michigan -- Brooklyn, New York -- et cetera. Even if you don't live in any of those place, you can still read WORDS to yourself.