On publishing stuff at medium.com…

So I’ve been re-publishing a few of my published stories on medium.com this month. Medium can be described as many things, but one thing it is… is a site that looks beautiful where people can self-publish their writing. It has been on my mind to do this, because many websites – even sites that post amazing content – are not so pretty. Either they are poorly designed or they have intrusive advertising or something else. I have no grand plans here, I just thought it would be fun to post some of my favorite stories on this uncluttered site so a few people could read and enjoy them. Or at least if they don’t enjoy them – it is entirely my fault. So here they are, in case you want to check them out. Most are quite short…

when my body smashed into the sidewalk my last thought was this: i should have bought my mother a birthday present…
WHEN MY BODY SMASHED INTO THE SIDEWALK on medium.com
it was hot that day, sitting in the backseat of our mother’s car in the piggly wiggly parking lot. she was in the grocery store. she had told us, “don’t talk to a soul,” before she left…
HEAVEN on medium.com
“let’s go bowling,” she says. “i know a place that has guardrails so you can’t roll a gutter ball.” your first thought is, “aren’t those for children?” but then you realize that a man as nervous as you are should accept all the guardrails that he can get…
BLUE on medium.com
first thing you should know about me: i’m into buses. the 57 is bumpy and dreary and it twists you out of the beautiful belly of portland and into the strip mall nightmare of beaverton. i used to take that one to get to work. but now i’m free of that job…
GOD AND BUSES on medium.com

more stories and essays…

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My Hilarious Depression

I like to tell people—uncomfortably early in the conversation—how I’ve had three times more therapists than lovers. When someone asks me why I stopped responding to email communication for two weeks, or why I disappeared from Facebook for three months, I might say that I was busy weeping under my desk while curled up in the fetal position. I tell people that I can’t go out on Wednesday because I’m scheduling that night to bathe in a tub full of gin and self-loathing. Or that I can’t go out to lunch because I’d like to dwell on the accumulation of my failures. I can’t make it to the party on Friday night because I am too upset about being unable to masturbate due to an overwhelming sensation of self-disgust.


There are some exaggerations here. I occasionally just go for a cheap laugh at my pathetic persona’s expense. But every one of those excuses stems from a truth about an emotion that I know well…

To read the rest of my essay, check it out at lunchticket.org/my-hilarious-depression.

This issue has some stunning poems by Gayle Brandeis, an interview with Susan Orlean, a great piece of nonfiction from Lisa Romeo, and much more. Particular thanks to Lise Quintana, who is the fabulous editor for that site.

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Brave on the Page

Have you heard of the Espresso Book Machine?

No?

Well I hadn’t either. Until my friend Laura Stanfill told me she was publishing a collection of interviews and essays on one of these things.

What I love about the this device is that it seems to embrace both the past and the future. A device that allows you to print a real-life, old-school, physical book. In one way, the machine looks like a relic from another era. But also, this machine is tapped in to an online database of books that can be printed on demand. Within minutes, you have a new, warm book in your hands.

Today, Laura’s book (BRAVE ON THE PAGE) is one of those magical books. It is a fabulous collection of voices and insights about writing, with a focus on Oregon writers. Eerily enough, I’m interviewed in there, and I say the word “shame” seven times in this interview. But there are some great writers in here. And the book is beautiful too.

Here is more information about the book launch (and related prizes).

And check it out at an Espresso Book Machine near you.

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I’m a Failed Publicist (+ New Video)

It’s been a tough month. A tough month with very little writing. A month of reading at bookstores around the west coast and doing interviews and doing a not-so-great job at publicizing the release of my novel. It is amazing how consuming even doing a bad job of publicizing a book can be. I can tell you that I’m not a natural at publicity. Follow my lame Facebook author page to get an idea. (I’m admittedly better at Twitter, but if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll learn more about my drinking and parenting problems than any book news.) Even though there have been plenty of moments this month when I want to hide in my attic and never confront humanity again, there have been some fabulous moments too, like when someone grabs me after a reading and says, “I made my husband read your book. He never reads fiction. But he loved this book… even the weird parts.” Those moments are worth a hundred hide-from-humanity moments (which gives you an idea of how many hide-from-humanity moments I’ve had lately)……

While I get my head on straight with how to proceed after this book tour, I wanted to share the video I used while on my book tour. I billed it as a “MAKING OF… VIDEO” for my book. It was my experiment at finding a fresh way to talk about a book while still keeping the audience entertained. It attempts to address one of the biggest questions I get about my book: What the hell is true and what is fiction? It also addresses another question I get a lot: How the hell did you piece this thing together? (I guess a lot of my questions have the word “hell” in them…)

Consider subscribing to my second-rate blog either by email or RSS. Or, to hell with my blog, just check out my book. Or, to hell with it all, never come back again.

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video: Notes from the (Failure) Field

This round I have a short video with a bit of an update related to what’s been going on with me as my novel approaches the official August 14 launch date (along with, of course, the emotional baggage that goes along with any of my stories). I’ll let you watch the experience for yourself… A crying, drinking anteater can more effectively express the experience than any of my words.

West coasters: check out my event schedule to find out if I’ll be fumbling my way through a presentation at a bookstore near you. (ALSO! Note a few recent time changes on the calendar…)

And don’t forget my passive-aggressive method to get other bloggers to blog about fear and failure the week of August 14th.

And in other news: As former president George W. Bush once said, “Fool Yuvi into being a guest on your podcast once, shame on Yuvi; fool Yuvi onto the podcast twice, shame on you; three times and everyone should be ashamed about being a fool.” In other words, I had a great time on the “Mikes on Mics” podcast talking about the many layers to being “done” with a book. Check it out: Are We Done Yet? with Yuvi Zalkow.

And finally, a moment of respect for the great David Rakoff who died at the young age of 47 today.

Consider subscribing to my second-rate blog either by email or RSS.

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I’m A Failed Writer #7: Failing As A Failed Failure

Here is my video about failure. I talk about my love affair with failure and how it serves me as a writer. I also reveal a bit too much about my psychoses. And I talk about martinis.

You can find a list of all my videos here. And you can subscribe to my second-rate blog either by email or RSS.

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A Brilliant Novel in the Works

Yuvi’s novel will be available on August 14 and can be pre-ordered today:

Here is the semi-authorized trailer (which includes the creepy author pantsless):

[Read more...]

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My Book Deal!

So the exact same week I released my mock book trailer touting my book’s rejections, I received an offer for my book from a really cool small publisher. And I just accepted the offer today. And I am now represented by a fabulous agent too. The book is slated to be published Fall of 2012. Here is more information about the book: A BRILLIANT NOVEL IN THE WORKS

Don’t worry!… I still consider myself a failed writer and the “I’m a Failed Writer” presentations will continue unabated. In fact, I now feel like more of a fraud than ever before!

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I’m A Failed Writer #4: Failed Book Trailer (& Literary Agents)

I have two short videos for you this time. First of all, I made a book trailer for the novel that I was struggling to sell. Instead of talking about the high points, it emphasizes all the rejections. It requires just one minute of your life! Check it out before you get too annoyed with me and my gratuitous and ineffective use of exclamation marks! (WARNING: This one minute video has two occurrences of a neurotic Jew in his underwear.)

And related to this trailer, I created another “I’m a Failed Writer” episode, this time about the balance between the writing and the marketing of the writing, where I tell my own story about re-balancing things to de-emphasize the marketing and focus again on the writing.

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