Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sons of Literary Men Who Pump Iron or Parenting and Body Building or My Mom Can Beat Up Your Dad

There's Andre Dubus III. There's Samuel Fussell. There's Paul Solotaroff. What do these men have in common? They are all sons of literary men. These sons have all written about, or "confessed," that having fathers who devoted their lives to letters, as opposed to devoting their lives to their sons, helped to rear sons who devoted themselves to body building.

Recently I heard a little story about a mother who devotes herself to writing. She writes beautiful little entries in her blog, on facebook, LinkedIn, Myspace, MamaBuzz, and of course Twitter. She never feeds her children. The children go about plundering the yard, hunting for rodents and collecting berries; they play happy, unsupervised games and boast about how surviving orphanhood only makes them stronger.

This mother asserts hers is a superior parenting style. She is sure her children will grow up to be gold-medal Olympians.

And the world seems to agree with Mama Tweet because she's won a grant and a stipend and an advance to write a book.

Coming this May, the Raising Rascals Press will unveil Mama Tweet's book on parenting. The title of her masterpiece is SONS OF LITERARY WOMEN HAVE MORE MUSCLE THAN SONS OF LITERARY MEN.

I think they're all just a bunch of sons of bitches. I pump iron. My mom drove an ice cream truck while my dad stayed home with us six kids until he got MS and we had to care for him. I pump iron because I like to watch women in the gym. I bring my kids with me while I lift. They like to shout, "Go Big Daddy, Go!" Women at the gym get a big kick out of that. Shows them all how fertile I am. I hate to brag, but I'm HUGE.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Why Write Flash Fiction


There is a lot of advice and analysis and chit chat out there in print and in cyberspace about the phenomenon of flash fiction.

Just keep in mind, one need not get alarmed.

It is true that writing or reading flash fiction may or may not cause any one of the following: a collective shortening of the attention span, improved love life, loss of appetite, better understanding of the human condition, bed wetting, and fainting spells.

Recently, I came across a website that offers advice to writers about writing query letters to agents and editors. So the formula dictates that a writer give a synopsis of her book in the second paragraph of a query letter. Agents realize this is not an easy task, and whoever wrote this website advice says that as agents, "We don't envy you."

Today's Literary Agent wisdom claims that "Summing up your entire book in an intriguing single paragraph is worse than a root canal."

Summing up may feel like a root canal to those who don't write flash fiction, but for those who do--you know who you are--summing up is a walk in the park.

That's why.

Write on.

Dear Agents, You can envy writers now.