“Failure as Fuel, Staying Hungry, and Wolf Naps” – PBH on the CNF Podcast

Here’s my new interview on The Creative Nonfiction podcast with Brendan O’Meara:

Click to listen.

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New Interview On Too Shattered, Failure, and What’s Next

This interview just came out today. I talk about my new novel Too Shattered For Mending, what a real writing process looks like, having no talent, hip-hop, and my next book – An American Afterlife:

Click to read.

On Writing?

The Argentine poet Alejandra Pizarnik wrote this in the middle of one of her poems in 1965 (when she was 29) and it made me think of the writing process:

“And there is, in this waiting,

a rumor of breaking lilac.

And there is, when the day arrives,

a division of the sun into smaller black suns.

And at night, always,

a tribe of mutilated words

looks for refuge in my throat…”

In Spanish, it’s a little different, but the same idea (for example, “espera” could mean “waiting” or “hoping” in this context, etc.):

“Hay, en la espera,
un rumor a lila rompiéndose.
Y hay, cuando viene el día,
una partición del sol en pequeños soles negros.
Y cuando es de noche, siempre,
una tribu de palabras mutiladas
busca asilo en mi garganta…”

Bridge Jumping: On Writing and Failure (pics and video)

I jumped off of a bridge into the Willamette River after school the other day. It was a cold water day – snow run-off – but some young people wanted to know a safe place to do a big jump into the water, so I showed them where a deep enough channel was. See the pics of that jump below.

This jump reminded me of a story, a failure story, and I told it at my reading at the University of Oregon. Click here to see me tell that story (just posted by my publisher, Ben Leroy, this morning).

Here’s a pic of five of us jumping at once (me on the right). Click to expand the pic:

all five

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here’s the next pic when I’m out of the screen, the other four still in the air:

four

 

 

 

 

 

 

And finally, this is the swim out to the South bank into the cottonwoods, staying together because the water was cold:

swimming out

 

Rejection Limerick?

I just received a rejection from a literary journal, and although I only read the form-rejection email once, I’m pretty sure it went like this:

We just read your pathetic attempt at a story

At the end, three editors were snoring

We turned it around

Flipped the page upside down

Yet the manuscript was still incredibly boring.

On Hosting Ghost Readings (Failing Writer #35).

Did Hemingway ever have a public reading where only his wife showed?

Did Faulker ever talk in front of a crowd that didn’t materialize?

Does Toni Morrison?

I know Sherman Alexie and David Sedaris pull huge crowds.  Always.

But not me (Note: In Seattle).

New piece for Ampheta’Zine:

Click here.