John Lennon was shot Dec. 8th, 1980. We listened to the radio reports in my mom's tan Impala wagon. I remember wondering if I'd earned the right to be sad. The next day I was sitting in Modern Music (the kind of class I'm sure no longer exists in a single middle school in America) and everyone was making jokes. The teacher (young, Sears sweaters, mustache) was usually friendly and enthusiastic even though our class was full of knuckleheads. Most days we listened to and deconstructed albums (Heart, Wayne Shorter, Zappa, Godspell). Normally mute tough guys actually paid attention and even made intelligent comments. We debated the relative merits of Ozzy. We tried to describe tempo. We argued Pert v. Bonham. But on this day the teacher snapped. He rushed into the room, shut down the jokes with a slash of his hand. Was he actually almost in tears? We listened in silence as he went on an extended rant about the shooting, about the incalculable loss to popular culture. He concluded, with pure conviction, that Mark David Chapman should be executed.
I remember the rest of the day walking around in trance, relatively sure that something important had finally happened in my lifetime.
Just sent three signed books to the Ferguson Municipal Library for the Hope Through Stories program started by author Joelle Charbonneau. You can read about it here, send books also, or just donate. It's a great idea. Support the students of Ferguson and the work the library is doing.
Love Gone Girl? Feel the need to have it hotly debated along gender lines? Is it about time we made Yawning at Affleck a spectator sport? Are you dying to read my true feelings on Nancy Grace? Is this P/CP the absolute best way to waste most of your afternoon? The answer to all and more is a resounding YES! Diana Spechler brought the charm and I brought the pastry. And then the gloves came off. Check it out here.
Hey, from now until Halloween the excellent Candlewick Press is selling The Infects e-Book for a buck ninety-nine. Which is probably sixty cents too high, but still. And as part of the promotion, it will infect your Kindle with an ineradicable virus that swallows the code of all your unread novels and re-writes them as Elizabeth Wurtzel's Prozac Nation. Zombies and October are like peanut butter and jelly and spleens. You so can't afford not to jump on this opportunity.
I have a story in the new
London-based ebook anthology TRANSATLANTIC. It's available in the US through Oyster Books.
Really worth checking out, packed with great writing. Support the arts!
Hey, Wise Young Fool is a finalist for the Washington State Book Award. Very cool to be on a slate with books by Jess Walter, Ed Skoog, and Peter Bagge, not to mention pals Suzanne Selfors and Nicole Hardy. When do novels about punk rock ever win anything? Never, that's when. Still, being on the shortlist feels good. I'm gonna go to the ceremony and eat my bodyweight in skirt steak appetizers and spill a gallon of Prosecco in my lap and then clap like hell for whoever takes it home.