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Sad, Complex Story #1

Traffic in Prague / Photo by Rob McLean


The First in a series of Response Blogs -- a reader's comments to a previous post -- Guest Blogger Cousin Rob McLean (from Prague, over there in Europe) responds to Tony, The Goundhog, and the Shovel., concerning Fragility and Fatigue, Talking to Animals, Arrogance among Readers and Dieties, and Succumbing to the Digital Age.

I was like, running, yesterday and was listening to a book at the same time. Not that I'm going to mention the title because you'd accuse me of literary snobismus. I'm near the end of the run, meaning I don't exactly have full control of my limbs, as in, fine motor control. So it can be a bit disconcerting when a hedgehog scuttles (looks like it sounds) right out in front of me.  Read More 
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Succumbing to Modern Life #1

Summer in New Hampshire


The First in a series of short dramatic works by Guest Blogger John McLean, this one concerning Modern Medicine, Modern Aging, Modern Memory, Lost and Found Objects and Artificial Flavorings. (This is the piece that many of you were hoping to hear read this summer at The New York State Writers Institute at Skidmore. Enjoy.

Where is that stuff asked Marsh?
What stuff answered Cindy. You know that jug with the powder in it that we have to mix with water and then you drink it to clear out your bowels  Read More 
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Elaboration #1 / Mac and Cindy / New Hampshire

Little Spider


The first in our series of ELABORATIONS, this one dealing with Lost and Found Objects, Boredom, Dirt and Size as a Factor.

1. Cindy finds Mac's missing address book in a junk basket behind the couch -- missing for several months -- walks it over, offers it to Mac, who is reading The New York Times and drinking coffee:

"Thanks Cindy, that's great. I've been looking all over for that."

Mac takes the address book upstairs. Hides it. Returns to reading.

2. Cindy finds a dirty tin-can lid Read More 
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Groundhog ReDUX

Red Patent Leather Penny Loafer


The latest in a series of inventive dialogues between Fish Obit Editors Cousin Rob, as well as Margaret, and Robin, concerning Complaints, Ambiguity, Editorial Disagreement, Crowd-Sourcing, Migrational Topics and Weekend Sales.

Rob: So we've gotten some pretty grumpy calls about the groundhog story. People don't get what happened with the poem.

Margaret: Bummer, but oh well, hey, this is Art. Read More 
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BOOK REPORT #1 / Big Progress / 4 Items

BOA Image by Roberto Labron


I promised some of you a Report on the Book(s), so here goes:

1. After a years of dreaming of my first book cover, I got the draft design of Reptile House in my inbox today. Wow can't express it. My dad was trying to talk to me about a fleas in their rental house in North Carolina -- more dogs, yes or no? -- and I just trying to feast my eyes.

I'm biased, but the book is going to be so beautiful. It will be up on this site soon. The designer is another of those geniuses from Rochester, Sandy Knight at Hoopskirt Studio .

Progress!  Read More 
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Tony, The Groundhog, and The Shovel

Tony with beets.


The latest in a series of inventive dialogues, this one between Cousin Rob and Margaret (while Robin is in the bathroom), concerning Farm Yard Pests, Crossroads and Dictatorships.

Margaret: I have to say, I'm really not into this groundhog story.

Rob: Come on, Margaret! People are begging. It's got everything. Drama. Death. A complex inner story.

Margaret: I feel we are at a Crossroad with the blog here.

Rob: So, you want a cotton candy blog?

Margaret: Does shying from murder make me a sell out?  Read More 
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TRUE CONFESSIONS: Death of the Newts



A guest blog (already) by Debbie McLean on the subjects of Divorce, Canniblism and strategies for ridding yourself of the Pets with Long Life Spans.

Ok, the Newts...I have been tormented (a little) with guilt since they died. So the best thing to do is come clean and process my feelings with close family and friends (who I know care -- a lot!)

I'm not sure when they died. It was July (I think). I found them in their tank one day waterless and sort of crunchy. I know--a horrible way to go. And here's thing--I was relieved! Maybe even a little happy. I hated those newts. They ate their babies...and by the way,  Read More 
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Sidewind Across America Tour -- Pencil Yourself In

Sidewind Across American Range


Hey as some of you know, next summer, after Reptile House comes out in May, Pearl and I are taking ourselves on a Sidewind Across America Tour. The SAA Tour is intended to squeeze as much fun out of this book as possible. (You never know if it will happen again.) The idea is go visit all my favorite friends/writers, to read in bookstores or living rooms or campgrounds (reptile houses at a few zoos, if possible). To act like famous writers together. To have a blast together. To SEE AMERICA together.

My dreams is that all my pals will drive a leg of this trip with me. Some of you have already penciled yourself in.  Read More 
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Where are the Newts? Where is 'Lil Jimi? Sweet Arlene

Attach Dog


An inventive dialogue between Cousin Rob, as well as Margaret and Robin (also Debbie McLean as guest) on the Blogging Classes, Animal Violence, and Big Brother.

Rob: So Debbie, where is your piece on the dead newts? You promised it weeks ago.

Debbie (robin's sister): Do you think I'm just sitting around doing nothing? I've been fighting off attack dogs and creepy neighbors with web cams.

Margaret: We all have to deal with attack animals sometimes. There was a bear in our neighborhood in Fairbanks this week, for example. William left dog food on the porch.

Rob: But we do need those newts. We promised everyone. People will think this is an all-talk-no-action blog. We should take a class or something.

Robin: I just went to a blogging class at Grubsteet in Boston. Seven hours of blog shit with the famous blogger, Hollis Gillespie. My head is still spinning.

Margaret: Impressive. Did you tell her about Fish Obits?  Read More 
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