I once drove a forklift in a magazine distribution warehouse for a living and got to know romance, action adventure, and western paperbacks of the 1980s and 90s fairly well, since we handled a high volume of grocery store book sales. I read the cast-offs that got damaged in the sorting process on my breaks. … Continue reading What if it’s all just pornography?
Living the Dream
News this good doesn't arrive every day. My third collection of stories, Living the Dream, just got accepted by Terror House for publication in 2021. I will be updating my websites when I have more information. Thanks to everyone for following my writing. It matters. Michael
I lead a mostly inward existence. The part that isn’t, my small public-facing side, is bound up with my art, with what I write and submit for publication. In this way, I’m constantly reinforcing and reiterating my identity, performing it. I have to do this. We all do if we expect to survive, immersed in… Continue reading Disappear Here
Writing the Hard Thing
If I could tell you the number of stories and novels I’ve begun writing and not finished, we’d be here too long. But “not finished” doesn’t mean “discarded.” It means what it says. The difficulty comes when I’ve convinced myself that I’m one sort of writer (the consistent, cheerfully productive kind) as opposed the other,… Continue reading Writing the Hard Thing
Solving climate change one slick magazine at a time.
Read my latest in Splice Today: https://www.splicetoday.com/politics-and-media/jonathan-franzen-can-t-solve-climate-change-for-anyone-who-matters
First, a Sincere Declaration of Thanks I’ve spent most of my life running in circles looking for something authentic, then waiting for permission to explore it, and harshly criticizing myself when I didn’t get that permission. Maybe other people have different experiences, but this has been mine, my personal through-line from childhood to the present. … Continue reading 2010
Moving Forward, Cutting Loose
So the holidays are over. I spent mine reading obscure horror stories from the 19th century and the nonfiction writing of various friends, drinking too much Tetley's tea, and enjoying myself at home. I mostly stayed in Oxford this year; though, I did have fun going to London on Christmas Eve. It is, without a… Continue reading Moving Forward, Cutting Loose
Seeing the Cranes: Double Dickage, the Dragon Tower, and Felicia Day
I was sitting in a cafe across the street from Rundetaarn, a Masonic dragon tower in Copenhagen, trying to make progress with William Gibson’s novel, The Peripheral, when I realized it’s constipated with words and it wasn't going to get any more regular after 100 pages. It’s so self-referential, so overwrought and self-conscious that it broke… Continue reading Seeing the Cranes: Double Dickage, the Dragon Tower, and Felicia Day
Kill the Beta Reader
I'm sitting in a cafe in downtown London with a show tune version of the Doors' “People are Strange” playing overhead. At some point, some focus group, some collection of sample listeners employed by a marketing concern or polled through a survey, decided that this schmaltzy cover was better than the original. Based on their… Continue reading Kill the Beta Reader
I spend a lot of time writing about writing, but I don't say very much about reading. Since the line between what we write and read is always very thin, I think I should remedy that. I'm planning a "creative writer's reader response" post sometime soon. For now, I think it would be fun to… Continue reading Cognitive Bric-a-Brac