Wednesday, March 16, 2011


…I have a new things:
--An interview and five flash stories: "The Stranger," "The Things I Do For Love," "The Hidden Cost," "Have You Seen Me?" and "What Happened To All The Readers" at Connotation Press.
--"Tin" at The Literary Burlesque.
--"Triplets" @ 52/250 A Year of Flash
--And "Waterbed," which won the Flashfire 500 Contest. I'm very humbled and thrilled by this. "Waterbed" has always been a favorite of mine.
All of these are always here under "Words In Print."

...I was in NY for a few days. Got to see the incredible Rae Bryant read at The Cell, along with Robb Todd and John Gorman. Watching Rae read taught me a lot about cadence and control when it comes to putting one's words out to an audience. O. Henry Award winner, Karen Heuler hosts the monthly readings. It's a great space and there was a terrific turnout.
I also got to have some killer guacamole with some writers and the fabulous Lisa Marie Basile, who is a remarkably sharp writer, as well as publisher of Patasola Press.
...New York has to be the greatest city in the world. Manhattan alone is mind boggling. More than once I sort of shook my head trying to fathom how the place could even function with such a mass of people everywhere. Soho is changing. I'm not sure that I like that--the bland, generic creep of mall stores like Old Navy, Banana Republic and whatnot--but it'll just (hopefully) cause the lesser-known, hip stores and boutiques to find other locations like Nolita or the Meat Packing District.

...Pete the Eagle just flew by my window, no more than five feet away. He looks so focused on what he's doing, totally indifferent to what the world might think of him. I hope to have his powers of concentration today as I go about getting caught up on things after having been away.

...Here are some random things I like this Wednesday:

--"I want to assure you with all earnestness that no writing is a waste of time--no creative work where the feelings, the imagination, the intelligence must work. With every sentence you write, you have learned something. It has done you good. It has stretched your understanding." Brenda Ueland
--"In the olden days, one of the intrinsic rewards for writing the sonnet was that then the nobleman knew and understood his own feelings better, and he knew more about what love was, what part of his feelings were bogus (literary) and what real, and what a beautiful thing the Italian or English language was." Brenda Ueland
--"I wish to do nothing for profit. I wish to live for art. I want nothing whatever. I am quite happy." William Blake
--"I've stopped drinking, but only while I'm asleep." George Best
--"I was coming home from kindergarten--well they told me it was kindergarten. I found out later I had been working in a factory for ten years. It's good for a kid to know how to make gloves." Ellen DeGeneres
--"Life is just one damned thing after another." Elbert Hubbard


  1. Hi Len,

    I wanted to thank you for the comment you posted on a piece of mine at 52/250. I also wanted to see if I could ask you a couple questions. Obviously, I hope that you're the answer giving type, but you don't have to be. I was just wondering if you had a methodology for submissions; I don't mean a boardroom agenda kind of methodology, but based on self-observation what are your natural tendencies? Do you submit first to litmags you have been published at or ones you haven't? How do you choose what litmag to send a piece to? Do you continue submitting a piece to new markets after its initial publication?
    Thanks, keep up the good work.

  2. rahqwood,
    thanks for asking. yes, I am the answer type. plus I love writers and all things writerly.
    your questions are good ones. my answers might be different than most people's, mainly because I write A LOT. for instance, in the last two years I've written two novels and 700 pieces of short fiction. of those 700, 370 have been published, so that means I've still got 330 pieces laying around, and more coming every day. I much prefer to let the stories live rather than have them sit around dorman and dead in a drawer. submitting is a bit of a pain and I try to minimize it as much as possible. I know it's nice, and to a degree important, to get published in the elite journals, but for me, I'd rather have the story birthed somewhere rather than have it tied up at Glimmer Train or Anderbo where they take less than 1% of what is submitted.
    when I first started sending work out--or rather, before I started sending work out--I didn't really know what I was doing. but I closely followed writers whose work moved me--brandi wells, xTx, roxane gay, meg pokrass, mary miller, kathy fish, kim chiquee--and I watched where they were published. then I read those lit journals in their entirety to get a feel for their persona so I could be sure my own submissions matched the flavor of the lit mag. that's the best way to do it. duotrope is helpful, but you still have to read the journal to get a feel for it, to not waste your time and theirs.
    in the beginning I actually made a list of the 200 sites I wanted to be published in, lead off by places like Juked, Pank, Elimae. my goal was to get in every one of them. I've gotten in nearly all, but anymore it's not so much about that for me. I have favorite places and people--The Camel Saloon, Necessary Fiction, Clutching At Straws--that I like a lot and so every six months or so I'll send them something. I never, however, send a story out after it's been already published.
    hopefully that helps some. if you have any more questions, feel free to ask and I'll be happy to assist if I can.
    best regards,