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FISH OBITUARIES:an anti-bloggers's blog

REPTILE HOUSE meets PARIS REVIEW

One Dreams about getting on one of those Best of the Year Lists in the Paris Review

Some dreams come true...

Dec. 11, 2015 --I once sat on a loveseat for several nights in a row, watching a multipart PBS documentary on emotions. What I recall most vividly from this documentary is an experiment conducted on Jason, a young man with Asperger’s syndrome. As he watched a movie, Jason wore a pair of special glasses that allowed researchers to see exactly what he was looking at on the screen. In this way, they could see how Jason processed visual data, and how he created a kind of hierarchy of significance. One scene featured a dramatic and emotional encounter in the foreground—a man and woman, I think, embracing, kissing, whispering endearments—but Jason, as it turns out, was watching the very interesting chandelier in the background. I don’t mean to hard-heartedly ignore or make light of what the experiment reveals about Asperger’s syndrome, but it strikes me that there is an apt analogy here to fiction. This is what good writers do—come at drama indirectly, reverse foreground and background, disrupt conventional priorities, focus on and draw our attention to the “wrong” data. I was reminded of the chandelier when reading the remarkable stories in Robin McLean’s collection, Reptile House . There is no shortage of mayhem and menace in these stories, but they achieve a thrilling and disorienting power by refusing to pay commensurate attention to the life-and-death troubles of people. McLean does not shrink the world down to interpersonal conflict, but instead opens it up to achieve a cosmic perspective that somehow feels both dispassionate and compassionate (Chekhov’s trick). This opening up is wild, surprising, and not a little frightening. I suppose you could call these stories dark, but in their dazzling perspective I find them full of vitality and wonder. Chris Bachelder The Throwback Special, U.S.! and Abbott Awaits.)

Hello Chris Bachelder! Gratitude till the end of Time.
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BACK ON THE TRAIL --- NEW YORK CITY

Back in the saddle again after a little post massive road trip coma.

Please spread the word to NYC folk that Jim Story and I will be reading at the Cornelia Street Cafe this Tues, Oct 6th from 6 - 7:30.

HAVE YOU READ Jim's book? Ok, Problems of Translation.. READ it. I needed this book. You need this book. This book is hilarious, wise, full of adventure, intrigue, sweetness, sadness -- as it follows a fellow traveler, a man with DREAMS, and he chases them on and on. Sound familiar?

Come and hear Jim read!

Come say hi!

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BRIDGE EIGHT

Momentous Issue #2



Thank you Bridge Eight for publishing a most beloved story of mine "Blackberry Winter" in the latest issue.

Friend and Fish Obits guest blogger Kara Lindstrom also has a story in this issue -- "Tee Shirts for the Revolution." CANNOT WAIT TO READ THIS BECAUSE KARA IS A GENIUS.

Please support this wonderful new lit mag that is finding and publishing emerging as well as established writers.

Order it HERE.  Read More 
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WHITE BRAS ONLY

WHITE BRA

In this long awaited Post from guest blogger, John McLean (retired doctor, ceramic artist and mid-western fashion leader) with internal commentary by Cindy McLean with some prodding by daughter Kim McLean exploring issues of Taking Action, Female Under-garments, Tensile Strength, Discomfort, Boredom, Isolation, Experience as well as The Power of Black and White.

JM: It all started because your mother had these motley bras. She didn't comment on it, the condition of the bras. I said, "That is a motley," and she said, "It's the only one I've got," and I said. "We need to so something about it."

It was early in the morning and it looked like the bra had no tensile strength at all and looked floppy, the whole thing. The straps were ok, but the whole other thing, the cups. They were really motley. Clean. I'm not saying they were not clean. And old. But it was, it was, it was.

CM: Dad has not seen too many bras.  Read More 
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THANKS MOUNT HOLYOKE (AGAIN)

Oh Emily, you drop out.


Hey Mount Holyoke College,

Thanks especially to Emily Harrison Weir who did a a fantastic job writing this profile on my changeful career-life -- all culminating (so far) in Reptile House . She caught me on I 70 in Missouri and struggled through an interview with a faulty phone line.

Read it here... HOW POTTERY AND LAW LED TO A WRITING CAREER

It will be on the MHC website for all eternity, I'm told.

It was so cool to meet MHC women in Concord, NH, Hartford, CT, Philadelphia, PA, Dallas TX, Austin TX, San Antonio, TX, Boulder CO, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, and Palmer, Alaska.

Thanks for supporting the book and me! It was humbling and thrilling and inspiring.

Emily Dickinson, I'm gunning for you now.

xo

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After the Storm

Photo by Kim McLean




Newfound Lake, New Hampshire.

Raining today but this is behind the clouds.

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Sidewinder Tour Blog Post #18.0: LAST STOP: A BIG CARBON FOOTPRINT

Lots of Stops

Chicago: just a hop. Three hours / nothing.

Cooled down in nearly men's only coffee shop by Wrigley Field until reading in a nearly woman's only bookshop (thanks WOMEN & CHILDREN FIRST BOOKSTORE) -- got a t-shirt. Hello Mad, Wendy, Paul from U of I, Lois and Tamara from Italy, the Windy City MHC gang, and Sarah from the WCF book club who I just bet but who HAD READ THE BOOK ALREADY, WOW.

5am is peaceful in the Windy City: Pink on the lake, boats bobbing like they own it. Tall gold buildings getting gold. A shimmering stadium, a silver Bean, a zoo with a new baby sloth.

Indiana yawning. Ohio just over there. Read More 
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SINDWINDER BLOG POST #17.7: SERENDIPITY in JAYHAWK COUNTRY

Manda in Lawrence

HELLO Manda at DUSTY BOOKSHELF in Lawrence, Kansas where it was rumored -- by reliable local informants -- that there was a lone (but pristine) copy of Reptile House among ALL THOSE STACKS OF BOOKS!!!

The tour detoured, paid a toll, sidewinded over to Laurence after breakfast. The copy was found and signed on the title page.

A Dusty Bookshelf T-shirt with the cat on it was acquired to added to the growing bookstore t-shirt collection...and it was all Missouri after that.

Next stop: Tonight, August 5th, WOMEN & CHILDREN FIRST BOOKSTORE
-- best bookstore in the Windy City -- 7:30 pm. Read More 
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SINDWINDER BLOG POST #17.8: LONG LONG LONG LONG ROAD

1022 miles

2 days, 2 gallons of water, 2 phone calls to parents, 1 college roommate, 1 Alaskan co-conspirator, 2 sisters, 1 anarchist and PhD candidate, numerous novelists and several poets.

Crossed the Mississippi at Hannibal, Missouri. Mark Twain.

Arrived Land of Lincoln and angled north on some "short cuts".

Chicago Tonight, Aug 5th, WOMEN & CHILDREN FIRST BOOKSTORE -- 7:30 pm. Read More 
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Sidewinder Tour Blog Post #17.5: NEXT EXIT -- KANSAS

Paul Bunyon with Scythe

BILL BOARDS ON THE WAY TO MANHATTAN, KANSAS:

"Rent Your Combine! -- Next Exit"

"Prairie Dog town! -- Next Exit"

"Got Monsters? -- Next Exit"

"The World's Largest Czech Egg! -- Next Exit"

"Garden of Eden! -- Next Exit"

"Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum -- Next Exit"

"Free Land! -- Next Exit" Read More 
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