There was something evil in the glow of the room’s blue lights. I felt the weight of the man on top of me. He could no longer move. His eyes were closed. I stared long into his face. I realized that I wanted him. I wanted the passion he had until a moment ago. I wanted his shoulders, which were quite muscular for his age, and his naturally tan face. I got out from under his body, sat in a chair, and lit a cigarette. I had to wait like this until he fell into a deep sleep.
It was raining outside.
— The Kingdom, Fuminori Nakamura (trans. Kalau Almony)
Category Archives: reading
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A recent short short of mine, “You Are Somewhere Else,” is forthcoming in Visitant and should be available online. As usual, I will post the links when the story comes out. – M
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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 post something like an annotated bibliography of current reads.
Websites & Blogs: Here is a short list of some of the things I read online. I’m fascinated by blogs that show me something new, and I find the following sites really interesting. The subject matter skews sharply toward my interests in architecture, civil engineering, creative writing, Asia, funerals, life-hacking, languages, and abandoned places.
- The Forgotten City of Iram – Natasha Edgington’s image blog.
- Bones Don’t Lie – A PhD student in anthropology who specializes in mortuary archaeology.
- Bridgioto! – A gifted animator who isn’t afraid to show her work toward becoming a better painter.
- Grinding.be – Articles about dystopias, architecture, and post-humanism.
- I’ve Infused Myself with Puppy DNA – Voice-driven creative nonfiction by a gifted, if sometimes unfocused, writer.
- Japanese Rule of 7 – Ken Seeroi’s thoughts about living in Japan as an English teacher. Smart and often very funny.
- My Hong Kong Husband – Multicultural marriage, Hong Kong, strange things afoot.
- Functional Shift – Lisa Minnick is a linguistics professor and a gifted teacher. Her thoughts on the implicit and explicit uses of English are fascinating.
- Ribbonfarm – Venkat Rao’s writings on the relativity of perception and other interesting concepts. Very smart guy.
- Rune Soup – Gordon White is a funny, insightful, somewhat pissed off, chaos magician. Reading his blog gives me story ideas and that would be reason enough, but I should note that he is clearly one of nature’s prototypes.
- Order of the Good Death – Caitlin Doughty, licensed mortician and founder of the Order of the Good Death, a blog dedicated to fostering an intelligent discussion of death and “death theory.”
- Things I Don’t Understand And Am Definitely Not Going To Talk About – Jen Snow’s small, highly absurd posts sometimes read like status updates and other times like well-crafted micro-fiction pieces.
- Judecca – a webcomic by Jonathan Meecham and Noora Heikkilä about three lost souls who live on an island in one of hell’s rivers. It’s well done. A love story in hell.
- Damned to Deutschland – Poems and short shorts.
- The Witch of Forest Grove – Sarah Anne Lawless is a real-life witch / shaman as well as a very talented crafter, illustrator, and herbalist.
- Du Fuchs – Photography and urban research in Tokyo.
- Life in Russia – Traveling through post-Soviet spaces.
Books: What am I reading right now? What will I be reading after that? (I do update Goodreads from time to time as well.)
- The Beautiful and the Damned – F. Scott Fitzgerald.
- The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea – Yukio Mishima
- The Walk – Robert Walser
- Oxfordshire Folk Tales – Kevan Manwaring
- The Melancholy of Mechagirl – Catherine Valente
Waiting on my desk:
- The Informers – Bret Easton Ellis
- Amerika – Franz Kafka
- Chasing the Dime – Michael Connelly
- Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell – Susanna Clarke
- The Prague Cemetery – Umberto Eco
Welcome . . .
I write fiction and nonfiction for magazines, work as a freelance writer / editor / journalist, and teach composition and fiction writing.
This blog is mostly dedicated to travel essays, creative non-fiction, discussions about books, the MFA experience, publishing, and short stories I’ve already placed in magazines. But I might write anything.
If you enjoy my free content, please consider supporting me on ko-fi.com: http://ko-fi.com/mdavis
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“One of the functions of art is to give people the words to know their own experience. There are always areas of vast silence in any culture, and part of an artist’s job is to go into those areas and come back from the silence with something to say. It’s one reason why we read poetry, because poets can give us the words we need. When we read good poetry, we often say, ‘Yeah, that’s it. That’s how I feel.’” — Ursula K. Le Guin
Email me at:
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“If I were talking to a young writer, I would recommend the cultivation of extreme indifference to both praise and blame because praise will lead you to vanity, and blame will lead you to self-pity, and both are bad for writers.”
— John Berryman, The Art of Poetry No. 16, The Paris Review
“You Are Somewhere Else” – Visitant – July 2018 (https://visitantlit.com/)
“More Than Just a Familiar Formula” – Splice Today – February 2018 (https://www.splicetoday.com/moving-pictures/more-than-just-a-familiar-formula)
“STEM, Scientism, and the Decline of the Humanities” – Splice Today – February 2018 (https://www.splicetoday.com/on-campus/stem-scientism-and-the-decline-of-the-humanities)
“The NRA Isn’t the Problem” – Splice Today – February 2018 (https://www.splicetoday.com/politics-and-media/the-nra-isn-t-the-problem)
“Altered Carbon’s Love Affair with Central Casting” – Splice Today – February 2018 (https://www.splicetoday.com/moving-pictures/altered-carbon-s-love-affair-with-central-casting)
“Cui Bono: the Latest Conspiracy Theory in the Ongoing Disintegration of the GOP” – Splice Today – January 2018 (https://www.splicetoday.com/politics-and-media/cui-bono-the-latest-conspiracy-theory-in-the-ongoing-disintegration-of-the-gop)
Cruel Stars – Thrown Free Books 2017.
“You Can Do Magic, Honey” – Splice Today – December 2017 (https://www.splicetoday.com/moving-pictures/you-can-do-magic-honey)
“As the Leopard, So the Coliseum” – Splice Today – November 2017 (https://www.splicetoday.com/politics-and-media/as-the-leopard-so-the-coliseum)
“Hurricane Dreams” – Splice Today – August 2017 (http://www.splicetoday.com/writing/hurricane-dreams)
“Burning Down the House” – Splice Today – August 2017 (http://www.splicetoday.com/politics-and-media/burning-down-the-house)
“My Friend Has Gone Nazi” – Splice Today – June 2017 (http://www.splicetoday.com/writing/my-friend-has-gone-nazi)
“Fatal Vision: The Precipitous Exile of James Comey” – Splice Today – May 2017 (http://www.splicetoday.com/politics-and-media/fatal-vision-the-precipitous-exile-of-james-comey)
“Money is Thicker Than Blood” – Splice Today – April 2017 (http://www.splicetoday.com/politics-and-media/money-is-thicker-than-blood)
“The End of the Hustle” – Splice Today – April 2017 (http://www.splicetoday.com/politics-and-media/the-end-of-the-hustle)
“The Crying of Lot 45” – Splice Today – April 2017 (http://www.splicetoday.com/politics-and-media/the-crying-of-lot-45)
“Planespotting and the Persistence of Facts” – Splice Today – March 2017 (http://www.splicetoday.com/writing/planespotting-and-the-persistence-of-facts)
“Sater, Cohen, and the Collapsing House of Cards” – Splice Today – February 2017
“Speak of the Devil” – Splice Today – February 2017
“Bora Bora” – Human Parts – Winter 2017 (reprint)
“Bora Bora” – Ink & Coda – 4.1 Winter 2017 (http://www.inkandcoda.com/issues/4-1/bora-bora/)
“A Good Day to Die” – Splice Today – November 2016 (http://www.splicetoday.com/politics-and-media/a-good-day-to-die)
“When The World’s Turned Upside Down” – Splice Today – November 2016 (http://www.splicetoday.com/politics-and-media/when-the-world-s-turned-upside-down)
“Mother Blackbird” – Student Voices – November 2016
“The Witch!” – ReVue – November 2016 (http://bit.ly/2fxuQw5).
“Year of the Bastard,” “October Plums,” and “Burying Terrance Jackson” – Literati Magazine – November 2016 (http://bit.ly/2frHVbC).
“The State of Emergency” – Splice Today – October 2016 (http://www.splicetoday.com/writing/the-state-of-emergency).
“The Debate Did Not Take Place” – Splice Today – September 2016 (http://www.splicetoday.com/politics-and-media/the-debate-did-not-take-place).
“Weirdo: Visions of Future Past” – The Blather – Summer 2016 (https://t.co/3NGZ0k6nTO).
“Harmful if Swallowed” – Ginosko Literary Journal – Summer 2016.
“Cruel Stars” – The Writing Disorder – Summer 2015.
“The Forbidden City” – Forge – 8.4 April 2015.
“Ex Inferis” – Small Print Magazine – Winter/Spring 2014.
Winner of Redline magazine’s 2014 Urban Fiction contest and will be featured in their “Best of the Year” annual issue.
“Far Tortuga” – Isthmus – Issue 1. (http://www.isthmusreview.com/current-issue-2/)
“Some Go Dancing” – Earlyworks Press Short Story Contest Anthology – Winter 2013, Earlyworks Press.
“Ghetto Fabulous” – Atticus Books (The Atticus Review – http://atticusreview.org/ghetto-fabulous/) (2013)
“The Catherine Wheel” – Painted Bride Quarterly Print Annual 6 (2013): 115-120.
“Truffaut died, and we all felt awful about it, and there were the appropriate eulogies, and his wonderful films live on. But it’s not much help to Truffaut. So you think to yourself, My work will live on. As I’ve said many times, rather than live on in the hearts and minds of my fellow man, I would rather live on in my apartment.” — Woody Allen
- Rara Avis June 11, 2018
- Writing out a few sentences by Nakamura to see how they feel. May 22, 2018
- 2010 May 15, 2018
- This Mad Dance April 28, 2018
- FYI: New Story Forthcoming in Visitant Magazine April 24, 2018
“I make the road. I draw the map. Nothing just happens to me…I’m the one happening.”
—Denis Johnson, Already Dead
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“At the age of 25 most people were finished. A whole god-damned nation of assholes driving automobiles, eating, having babies, doing everything in the worst way possible, like voting for the presidential candidate who reminded them most of themselves. I had no interests. I had no interest in anything. I had no idea how I was going to escape. At least the others had some taste for life. They seemed to understand something that I didn’t understand. Maybe I was lacking. It was possible. I often felt inferior. I just wanted to get away from them. But there was no place to go.” — Charles Bukowski
“You could lose it, your right big toe, leave it here, in this mud, your foot, your leg, and you wonder, how many pieces of yourself can you leave behind and still be called yourself?”
— Melanie Rae Thon, First, Body
“After you finish a book, you know, you’re dead. But no one knows you’re dead. All they see is the irresponsibility that comes in after the terrible responsibility of writing.” — Ernest Hemingway
“When one is too old for love, one finds great comfort in good dinners.” — Zora Neale Hurston