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The theme was "Alter Egos" -- and I had this little story just waiting, called "Criminal Finally."

I love these contests. Sometimes they work.

I just found out that I won this contest put on by The Drum, a fantastic Listen-To-It lit mag out of Boston and Grubstreet, my How-to-Do-Everything-in-Writing Heroes for the Muse and the Marketplace conference next week.

My reward is that The Drum will record my story for all to hear and I will get to READ IT with COLUM MCCANN at the Muse and the Marketplace 2016 Bash -- Grub Gone Drag -- a sold out show in Boston on April 30.

The headliner is Martha Graham Cracker -- the Drag queen of Philly.

Might find wig? Put my NH duds away?

Submit, submit, submit...

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Hello Plymouth New Hampshire and the Newfound Lake area. I will be reading from Reptile House at the Pease Public Library in Plymouth on Wed April 20 from 4-6. Thanks Joan Bowers and Winnie Hohlt for setting this up. Thanks for the Pease Library for having me.

Drop by if you are around!

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THANKS to the Wednesday Night Writers at the Burlington Writers Workshop for welcoming me and sharing your wonderful stories and writing family. Thanks Peter Biello for setting it up and Rebecca Starks for your work with me in the Mud Season Review.

I LOVE BURLINGTON. See you on May 7th for the Mud Season Review Print Issue 2016 Launch Party.

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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 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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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.

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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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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.


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.


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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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