Filtering by Tag: NONFICTION

Wait for It

The nice folks over at Seriocomic have asked me to write a short piece about the comic of my choice. Seriocomic is “a weekly series of enthusiastic posts, contributed by HILOBROW friends and regulars, on the topic of our favorite comic books, comic strips, and graphic novels.” My contribution will be appearing in the spring. For my “comic,” I chose the graphic novel version of Paul Auster’s City of Glass.

Enjoy my work? Buy "The Tumor." It’s been called "a masterpiece of short fiction."

I Wrote A Story While I Was High

Over at Forbes, I wrote about how I addressed a week-long tension headache with a $40 cannabis candy bar. Because why not? In California, it's perfectly legal. All I had to do is walk in the store and fork over the cash, no medical marijuana card required. My bespoke bar contained very little THC and an equivalent amount of CBD. Needless to say, it worked.

From "I Spent $40 to Get High From a Cannabis Candy Bar":

By the second hour, I did start feeling the effects of the THC. I'd taken such a small dose that it was almost imperceptible, but it did become more significant. I wasn't stoned. I was just ... more relaxed. Well, I was a little high. Everything seemed a bit more amusing, and the things I'd been obsessing over earlier in the day were passing by me like a deadheading train.

Buy a copy of my digital short story "The Tumor" that's been called "a masterpiece."

Illicit Objects

I'm excited to report that I've got a short piece coming up as part of the Illicit Objects project. 

Keep an eye on that page for my forthcoming work.

PROJECT:OBJECT is a sequel to the much-discussed quasi-anthropological SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS experiment conducted in 2009–2010 by Joshua Glenn and Rob Walker, culminating in a book lavishly published by Fantagraphics in 2012. PROJECT:OBJECT will publish 100 original nonfiction stories about objects in 2017 — right here on HILOBROW — in quarterly “volumes” inspired by distinct themes. This new endeavor further extends Rob and Josh’s pioneering exploration of narrative, objects, and meaning into the realm of (often unexpected) personal significance.

Quitters Never Win

Dear Susannah, 

Thank you for sending us "[Redacted]." This is an interesting topic, but the piece is missing the connection to a bigger picture idea, the reflection or takeaway that would make it a [redacted] story. 

Best of luck with this, and I hope you’ll pitch us again in the future. To receive future calls for pitches, sign up here: [redacted].
Sincerely, 
[redacted]

Personal Essay Seeks Home With Non-Rejecting Publication

Image via  Drawception

Image via Drawception

Know anyone who wants a nonfiction essay?

This one is up for adoption and needs a home.

Declined by Brevity.
Email:
Dear Susannah Breslin,

Thank you for sending us your brief essay 'It Was Hard'.

Although we do not have a place for your work in the issues for which we are currently reading, we wanted you to know that our readers read your essay closely.

We have been blessed with a large number of excellent submissions lately, and we hope that you understand that we can only publish a small fraction of the material we receive.

We wish you the best of luck with your writing,

Sincerely,

The Editors
Brevity
1/10/2017 (1 month, 13 days ago)

I Spent Too Much Time Focused on Drugs

Well, drug tattoos, that is. I spent way too much time searching Instagram for drug tattoos to create what I think is actually a pretty cool post for my Forbes blog, which should've been titled: "Instagram Your Drug Tattoo And Everyone Will Heart You." Or what have you. Do you know how goddamn hard it is to get good results for #cracktattoo? You're looking for someone who's posted a shot of their crack-inspired tattoo, and you end up looking at people's ass cracks with tattoos in them or on them. Also: #coketattoo. You think it is easy, but it is not. Do you know how many idiots have Coke the soda tattooed on them? Way too many. Also: People, get more XTC tattoos. Or at least let me know what hashtag to search so I can find them. There was also this insanely interesting one that had to do with like heroin and a pregnant woman combined in a tattoo -- or something??? -- and I saw it once, but I couldn't find it again. What I think ended up being the most interesting part were the sobriety tattoos. They were powerful, and I like how they had a function: to remind their owners not to go down the road again. Kudos. Oh, one more thing: Where the hell are all the flakka tattoos? Man. All I got was Waka Flocka Flame.

Buy THE TUMOR! "This is one of the weirdest, smartest, most disturbing things you will read this year."

Rejection, Reconsidered

I get rejected, a lot. These days, actually, you're more likely to get ignored than rejected. Silence is the new no thanks, the muted good luck placing your work elsewhere, the digital version of please keep us in mind in the future. In any case, this week I received a rejection that was, well, different. To wit (in part, it read): "[Redacted] raised worries about the variety of emotional reactions (and toxic feedback) that it might generate from readers." So, the internet lynch mob is working, I guess. Apparently, editors are shuddering from the chilling effects of invisible morons clambering around social media to create a shit storm about whatever something or other that's offended them lately. Too bad. Life is more exciting when you offend a little, when you knock someone hard enough in the jaw that their head turns and they're forced to see things spinning newly.

Buy THE TUMOR: "This is one of the weirdest, smartest, most disturbing things you will read this year."

Write Like This

You want to write like a real journalist? Write like this. That's what I'm thinking. I loved reading this. It's like watching a writer swing from sentence to sentence, hanging by his word choices.

We made our way downslope, to an abandoned mine. The tunnel entrance was twenty feet wide, maybe ten feet high. Ilasaca produced two hard hats and a miner’s lamp from a backpack, and we headed in. “I used to work in here,” he said. “There’s enough oxygen, from old shafts that go to the surface.” He gestured toward the depths of the mountain. As the tunnel narrowed, the air got musty and the darkness, within fifty yards of the entrance, was absolute. Ilasaca was careful to light my way. He showed me mineralized veins in the walls, glittering between rough slabs of black Ordovician slate. When the quijo angled upward, he said, so would the tunnel, and it did. This had all been dug with hand tools and dynamite, he said. “Maybe two metres a day.” Back then, the lamps had been carbide, he said, burning acetylene gas. These nice bright electric headlamps we had, with battery packs that attached to your belt, were relatively new. He stopped to listen to my breathing, which was getting ragged. The tunnel ceiling had been dropping, obliging me to crouch. My thighs were burning from the effort. I was O.K., I said, just altitude weary. More coca, Ilasaca said. I had bought coca leaves that morning, from an old woman on the street in La Rinconada. Everybody here chewed them, I was told, to stave off exhaustion and hunger. I stuffed a wad in my cheek. The leaves were stiff and bitter. Ilasaca also took a wad. The quartz vein in the tunnel wall turned downward, the tunnel followed it, and at a certain depth we found our progress halted by an icy-looking pond. Ilasaca studied the vein, tapping it with his fingertips. I wondered what he saw in its fissures and glints.

Buy THE TUMOR: "This is one of the weirdest, smartest, most disturbing things you will read this year."