5 November 2013, Chicago, IL

Dear Overlords at Munster Taverns:

Let me preface this email by saying that Lady Gregory's is one of my favorite places in the world.

This afternoon I ordered a Daisy Cutter with my burger. When my beer was close to the bottom, my server Jose offered to bring me another. I gladly accepted.

When he arrived with my second Daisy Cutter, I still had about a quarter-inch of beer in my first glass. He tried to grab my old glass, but I put a hand up to stop him. "Leave it." I said.

"Oh, I was just going to do this," Jose said, and he POURED THE DREGS OF MY FIRST BEER INTO MY SECOND BEER.

Well, I was stunned. I didn't say anything, but please, NEVER LET HIM OR ANYONE ELSE DO ANYTHING LIKE THIS IN YOUR RESTAURANT AGAIN. True, I would have finished what was in the first glass anyway, but you don't pour old, warm, backwashy beer into a new beer. It is DISGUSTING.

Christ. Kids today, uncivilized.

Sincerely,
Bill Shunn


Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
Back in May as we were preparing to move back to New York, I realized that I had a visitor sitting on my desk. My nephew Mark in Utah had sent Flat Stanley my way, and for months I'd done nothing with him. The school year was soon to end, so Stanley and I headed out for a Chicago adventure. Here's the letter Stanley wrote to accompany him on his trip back home to Utah.




Dear Mark & everybody--

It's nice to see you again. How have you been?

I've had a good old time in Chicago. Thanks for sending me there! I'm sorry I was gone for so long, but I was having such a good time I almost didn't want to come back!

Flat Stanley and I wait for the el train You should see all the amazing things they have in Chicago (which by the way is the biggest city in the state of Illinois, and the third biggest city in the whole United States!).

The second tallest building in the United States is here. It used to be called the Sears Towers, but they recently changed the name to the Willis Tower. I went all the way to the 103rd floor. There's an enclosed balcony on the side of the building that you can stand in, where the floor is glass and you can look alllllll the way down to the street 1,353 feet below. Scary! Fun!

Flat Stanley goes to Wrigley Field Another cool landmark that I saw in Chicago is a big sculpture in Millennium Park. Its real name is Cloud Gate, but everyone calls it "The Bean" because it looks like a giant metal bean that's been polished into a mirror. People like to walk up to it and underneath it and try to find their reflections in it. It's harder than it sounds because the curved surface distorts all the reflections. I put a postcard with a picture of it here in the envelope.

Chicago has TWO baseball teams, the White Sox and the Cubs. Your uncle Bill took me on the elevated train to see the Cubs. The "el" train runs on tracks way up high above the street. In my first picture we're waiting for the train to come. We took the train to Wrigley Field, which is the ballpark where the Cubs play. You can see us out in front of Wrigley in the second picture. Too bad the Cubs lost that day!

Flat Stanley and the demolished building After the game, Bill took me to get a Chicago-style hot dog. On the way to the hot dog stand, though, we saw a big apartment building that was being torn down by a giant crane! You can see me near the building in my third picture.

Flat Stanley's about to become Fat Stanley People in Chicago really love hot dogs. There are hot dog stands EVERYWHERE! People like to pile really weird stuff on the hot dogs in Chicago. In my fourth picture, you can see me with my Chicago dog. It's a hot dog with tomato slices, relish, celery salt, diced onions, hot peppers, melted cheese, and a pickle spear! Can you believe all that crazy stuff? It's hard to eat without things falling out and making a mess. But it's so good!

By the way, they don't like ketchup on hot dogs in Chicago. If you put ketchup on your hot dog, people will give you dirty looks.

It probably won't arrive for another day or two, but I sent some special Chicago popcorn for everyone in your class to enjoy. A place in Chicago called Garrett Popcorn makes a mixture of caramel corn and cheese corn. I hope you like it!

Love,
Stanley


Crossposted from Inhuman Swill

Poem: "We"

Oct. 1st, 2013 03:59 pm
"We got our asses kicked yesterday."

Monday morning at a diner in the suburbs,
the words spiral over from the next table.
The men have been talking about work,
and at first I think they mean on the job site.

But of course by "we" they mean the Bears,
and the ass-kickers are Detroit, I realize,
as the sentence stutter-steps around the offense,
drops through an alternate parsing route, and scores.

This "we" that makes such strange linguistic sense,
I still can't wrap my hands around it and tuck it under my arm.
I'm not a part of this "we," this synecdoche,
the "we" meaning "they" meaning "us all."

My ass suffered no kicking on that gridiron,
nor did the asses of my two neighbors,
and Chicago's still intact, as far as I can tell,
her buildings straight, her storefronts unsacked.

This allegiance, this adhesion, it's all Greek to me,
an apostate, an infidel to the geography of devotion.
Betrayed by congregations of "we," cast out,
I stand apart. No border could make "we" of "they" and "me."

Until this morning's news intrudes. Dateline: The Capitol.

We got our asses kicked yesterday.


Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
Glitter & Mayhem: The Speculative Nightclub Anthology It was almost a year ago that I received the invitation—would you like to contribute a story to a speculative rollerderby/nightclub-themed period anthology? Well, yes, obviously!

But what was not so obvious was what I was going to write about. I mean, I was a good little Mormon kid back in the mid-'80s. I went to shows, sure, and I went dancing at a few clubs, but I wasn't exactly seeking out the seedy side of the scene. I remember going to see Gene Loves Jezebel at Club DV8 in Salt Lake City in probably 1986 and being distinctly uncomfortable at all the androgynous twin-brother sexuality on display. That was about as seamy as things got in my world.

But Laura was quite a bit more familiar with the corresponding Chicago scene, so I thought would be fun for us to collaborate on the story. We talked the story through as we walked the dog, and we took the milieu and its underlying ennui straight from her memories. (Other details of the club where much of the action takes place came from the Gapers Block article "A Look Back in the Mirror at Medusa's," by Sheila Burt.)

Right at the deadline we sent "Subterraneans" off to the editors. I felt like a complete poseur submitting a story of this sort, but Laura's memory was validated when this reply came zinging back from Michael Damien Thomas:

I went to Medusa's in the early 90s. It was EXACTLY THE SAME. :-)

Bullseye!

Glitter & Mayhem: The Speculative Nightclub Anthology is out and available now! It's filled with amazing stories by the glittery likes of Rachel Swirsky, Christopher Barzak, Seanan McGuire, Daryl Gregory, and many, many more. You can read more about it here, and you can purchase your very own copy of it here, in physical or electronic form.

Oh, and one last thing. Laura and I created a Spotify playlist to accompany our story—a soundtrack, more or less. We tried to include every song either referenced or explicitly mentioned in "Subterraneans." Not every one was available on Spotify, though, so we made a few judicious substitutions. It's heavy on the Bowie. We hope you dig it.




Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
As a board member for the Chicago Writers Conference, I'd like to encourage you—nay, urge you—to support this worthwhile endeavor at its annual benefit party!

The benefit takes place tomorrow night, Thursday, August 29th, at 6:30 pm, and will help support CWC's programming and outreach efforts. The $40 ticket includes food and drinks from Trader Joe's and Revolution Brewing. Along with mixing and mingling, guests will enjoy readings by Andrew Huff (Tuesday Funk co-host, editor and publisher of Gapers Block), James Finn Garner (The Politically Correct Trilogy, Apocalypse Wow!), and Hannah Pittard (The Fates Will Find Their Way). There will also be a silent auction featuring:



Tickets are now available. Space is limited; if you would like to attend, please send an email to contact@chicagowritersconference.org.

Date: Thursday, August 29, 2013
Time: 6:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Location: Lakeview neighborhood
Admission: $40 - includes drinks, appetizers and dessert, silent auction and readings

Contact CWC for your ticket now! Especially since I won't be able to be there myself.

Chicago Writers Conference Fundraiser Invitation


Crossposted from Inhuman Swill

Tell it

Apr. 24th, 2013 10:30 am
Late yesterday I received an email rejection in response to my recent audition for a popular Chicago-area reading/performance series.

This is the second year in a row I've applied. Last year my submission showed "a lot of hard work and potential" but wasn't right for the series. I would not have bothered applying again this year except that one of the directors of the series saw me read one of my personal essays at Tuesday Funk and urged me to submit it.

Well, I did get the audition this time, but while my piece was "engaging" with "funny moments" and "strong" writing, there were doubts about my ability to "command the entire room." ("Think of how you might tell this story to a group of friends in a bar.") Which is potentially fixable, of course. All I need to do is pay for one of their workshops.

You know, I think I'd rather spend the money on beer, telling the story to a group of friends in a bar.


Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
I'll be appearing next week in not one but two of Chicago's most electric reading series—or "live lit," as we call it 'round these parts. They'll be on consecutive nights, no less, so please block out April 16 and 17 on your calendar and be there.

The First Time: First Crime, April 17, 2013, UP Comedy Club First comes WRITE CLUB on Tuesday, April 16th, at The Hideout. In this bare-knuckle series, three pairs of writers square off with essays on opposing topics. The audience decides who wins, with all proceeds going to charities of the winners' choice. I'll be defending GOD over DEVIL, for the One Tail at a Time dog rescue organization. Tickets are $10 cash at the door. Arrive early!

And the following night, Wednesday, April 17th, I'll be part of CHIRP Radio's THE FIRST TIME at Second City's new UP Comedy Club. This monthly series assembles seven or so writers to reminisce about an important "first" from their lives, backed with specially chosen songs by The First Time Three. For April the topic will be "First Crime." Tickets are $10, and buying in advance is strongly recommended. (And get preferred seating with a dinner reservation!)

To recap...

Tuesday, April 16, 7:00 pm
WRITE CLUB: CHAPTER 43
The Hideout
1354 W. Wabansia Ave.
Chicago, IL 60642
773.227.4433
www.hideoutchicago.com
Tickets $10 at the door





Wednesday, April 17, 8:00 pm
THE FIRST TIME: FIRST CRIME
UP Comedy Club
230 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
312.662.4562
www.upcomedyclub.com
Tickets $10 in advance







Hope to see you at both events!


Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
I've been playing around quite a bit with the new Vine app, which lets you post six-second looping videos to your Twitter stream or other social media service. You can create animations or employ other goofy effects, but everything must be shot in order. No after-the-fact editing is possible.

Something else that doesn't seem to be possible, as many disgruntled users are discovering, is reuploading a Vine that fails to upload in the first place. If your upload fails, it looks like you're shit out of luck. I found this out on Saturday morning when a Vine I'd been planning in my head for days failed to upload. If I could have taken the Vine app out of my iPhone and smashed the code on the sidewalk, that's just what I would have done.

Rather than trying to reshoot my video, though, I found a workaround. Vine does save your little square video to your phone, and from there it can of course be uploaded to other video-sharing services. YouTube doesn't seem to allow embedded videos to loop, but Vimeo does, so that's where my lost Vine now lives:



Take that, Vine.


Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
shunn: (Elder Shunn)
Back in September, I took advantage of the chance to support a very worthy-seeming Kickstarter project—helping to fund the completion of a documentary called Mormon Movie.

The director, Xan Aranda, also made festival favorite Andrew Bird: Fever Year, but this new project is something more personal. Check out this preview reel to see what I mean:



The Kickstarter campaign is long done, but you can still help support Mormon Movie at The Hideout this weekend in Chicago. Just buy a ticket to their third "They Shoot Indies, Don't They? Dance Derby Fundraiser Spectacular" and show up to dance and win prizes. It all gets started Saturday, February 2, at 7:00 pm at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia. Tickets are just $10 in advance, $12 at the door.

theyshootindies.jpg

I'd be there myself, except it's bowling night.


Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
Some time ago, Halsted M. Bernard tagged me in the Next Big Thing meme that's been going around. The intent is to share details about one's current writing project by answering a canned set of questions, so here goes.

  1. What's the title of your latest story?
  2. I've actually been working on various non-fiction projects lately, big and small, including a new epilogue for my memoir The Accidental Terrorist (which, yes, is still being shopped around). I'll soon be diving into a new short story for the Glitter & Madness anthology project, but that one doesn't have a title yet. So instead I'll talk about the novel I finally finished in November, which is called Waking Vishnu.

  3. Where did the idea for the story come from?
  4. For more than a decade I've been envisioning a fictional universe where physical items can be "magically" manipulated via hand gestures, as if they were blobs in an object-oriented programming system. I'd tried again and again to work out the story of the person who stumbles onto this magic system, but when I finally pictured the protagonist as a teenage girl the whole thing started clicking into place.

  5. What genre does your story fall under?
  6. Young adult science fiction, though it's designed to look a whole lot like urban fantasy at first.

  7. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie?
  8. This one is difficult for me to answer since most of the huge cast of characters are teenagers, and I'm not so familiar these days with what teen actors are out there. I guess my dream cast would include a bunch of young unknowns who all become stars as a result of Waking Vishnu. But I'd love to see the main villain of the novel, Ken "A.A." Sunshine, played by Christoph Waltz, who has the right combination of charm, smarm, and lunacy. I could see Danny DeVito and John Goodman as Lamm and Kray, two of the other important antagonists, and Emma Thompson as Principal Armisted.

  9. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your story?
  10. When an Indian-American girl named Hasta Veeramachaneni discovers she can control objects and people with hand gestures, she and her friends must race to discover the origin of the power while saving the world from destruction.

  11. Will your story be self-published or represented by an agency?
  12. The novel is represented by Joe Monti at Barry Goldblatt Literary.

  13. How long did it take you to write the first draft?
  14. The first draft took me about 18 months and tipped the scales at 175,000 words—way too long for what it was. I've done two more drafts since then and trimmed it down to 120,000 words.

  15. What other stories would you compare it to within your genre?
  16. It's hard to make the most apt comparisons without giving a lot away about the story. If you compared it to something like Fair Coin by E.C. Myers, though, you'd be in the general neighborhood though not quite the same ballpark.

  17. Who or what inspired you to write this story?
  18. Two main factors conspired to inspire me to get started on Waking Vishnu. First and foremost is my wife Laura Chavoen, who works tirelessly to support my writing career. Second is the city of Chicago, which we moved to in 2007. Most of the novel is set in the same Chicago neighborhood where we live. Exploring the streets and alleyways while walking our dog helped me picture and block out a whole lot of the action of the book.

  19. What else about your story might pique a reader's interest?
  20. Again, I don't want to give too much away, but the book dabbles in Hinduism, hacking, and theories of consciousness. There are some awesome fight scenes (if I do say so myself), a helpful dog, an interlude at White Castle, a road trip to Mount Rushmore, killer demons (or are they angels?), a rebuke to God, various possessions, enemies becoming friends (and vice versa), a red Barchetta, and an implicit critique of a certain blockbuster sci-fi flick that I should not mention here (though its makers have a small, secret production facility in my neighborhood). Is that enough?
I'm not going to tag anyone else here, since all the people I was going to tag were tagged by Holly McDowell as I was about to tag them. (Don't worry, Holly. I'll get you back.) But if you want to be tagged, drop me a comment and I'll be happy to oblige you.


Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
oubliette.jpg Happy New Year! I mostly try to keep all the news about Tuesday Funk, the Chicago reading series I help run, over on its own blog, but today I can't help trumpeting our mention in this morning's Chicago Sun-Times:

Article: Drink it in: Beers paired with the wisdom of Chicago authors

The feature by David Hoekstra in today's Entertainment section introduces four of tonight's five participants, who each discuss the pieces they'll read and suggest the perfect beer from Hopleaf's vast menu to drink as accompaniment.

Check out the accompanying slideshow as well, and if you're in town I hope to see you tonight upstairs at Hopleaf. The free reading starts at 7:30 pm, but you should arrive at 7:00, when the doors open, if you want a seat. You can find all the relevant information here.


Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
Last Friday night, Laura and I went out for pizza with a couple of good friends. We were driving back home afterwards, north on Damen Avenue, when I thought I saw the silhouette of a small critter amble through the headlights of an oncoming car.

"I think there's a possum in the street up ahead," I said.

I slowed down, and as we got closer we saw that there was indeed an opossum in the middle of the street, just our side of a stop sign and crosswalk. It was walking in a slow circle, while cars alternately stopped and drove carefully around it.

"That poor possum," Laura said as we in turn drove past. "It looks scared. It's stuck in the middle of the street and doesn't know which way to go."

"Should we go back and help it?" I asked.

"I don't know. Yes."

So I swung us around the block, through an alley, and back onto Damen going south. As we approached the intersection again, we could see the opossum still waddling in a circle in the middle of the street. I pulled over and put on the flashers. Laura went to the trunk and retrieved our new snow shovel and windshield brush. Her parents had recently given them to us, and we'd had no opportunity yet to use them for their intended purpose.

Laura gave me the shovel and we headed toward the opossum. She held up a hand to stop traffic. On the west side of the street was a CVS with a big parking lot. On the east was a row of houses and small businesses. When the opossum came to a point in its circle where it was facing east, I put the shovel down beside it to force it to keep going in that direction. Laura kept the brush against its other side, and in that configuration we minced our way across the street. We must have looked like we were curling, with the opossum as our stone.

When we reached the curb, the opossum tried to turn again, but I kept the shovel firmly in place until it climbed up onto the sidewalk. We guided it across the sidewalk and through a wrought-iron fence into someone's yard, where it waddled off into the bushes.

Duty done, we dashed back to the car and stowed our gear. As we drove down the street, I could see that the opossum had left the yard and was now in the entry way of a business a couple of doors down. A pedestrian stopped to take a picture of it.

I sure hope that was the side of the street it wanted to be on.


Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
Whether you'd like to join today's Unofficial Worldcon Pub Crawl in Chicago from the start, or want to meet up with us somewhere along the route, here's the revised itinerary I've come up. It involves three train rides and only two cab rides, and gets us all over the North Side to some great brewpubs and beer bars:

11:00 am: Group meets at front entrance of Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker Dr.

Transit: Walk to CTA Blue Line at Clark/Lake, ride (in direction of O'Hare) to California stop

11:30 am: Revolution Brewing, 2323 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Transit: Cabs to 4300 N. Lincoln Ave. (Lincoln & Cullom)

1:00 pm (approx): The Bad Apple, 4300 N. Lincoln Ave. (main lunch destination, excellent burgers and beer)

Transit: Cabs to 5148 N. Clark St. (Clark & Foster)

2:30 pm (approx): Andersonville beer bars (all of which have very good food)
        Hopleaf, 5148 N. Clark St.
        Lady Gregory's, 5260 N. Clark St.
        Acre, 5308 N. Clark St.

Transit: Walk to CTA Red Line at Berwyn/Broadway, ride (in the direction of 95th/Dan Ryan) to Belmont stop, transfer to Brown Line, ride (in the direction of the Loop) to Diversey stop

5:30 pm (approx): Atlas Brewing Company, 2747 N. Lincoln Ave.

Transit: Walk to CTA Brown Line at Diversey/Sheffield, ride (in the direction of the Loop) to State/Lake stop, walk back to Hyatt

7:00 pm (approx): Arrive back at the Hyatt Regency Chicago

CAVEAT: This itinerary is subject to change, so watch the hashtag #ChiconPubCrawl on Twitter if you want to meet up with us along the route. I'll be posting our locations all day.


Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
Chicon 7, the 70th World Science Fiction Convention, gets underway tomorrow at the Hyatt Regency Chicago! In case you're interested, I'm so far scheduled to appear on two panels:

Sunday, September 2, 4:30 - 6:00 pm, Columbus CD

Incorporating the Personal into Speculative Fiction

If the sampling of short fiction presented and discussed in the New Yorker Fiction Podcast is any indication, mainstream literary writers draw heavily on events from their own lives, sometimes barely veiled, as inspiration for their work. Since science fiction is generally regarded as writing of ideas, is there any room for this same mining of one's personal experiences? Our panel will discuss to what extent when writing the fantastic they are writing about themselves.

Moderator: Cat Rambo
Panelists: Inanna Arthen/Vyrdolak, Gwynne Garfinkle, Nick Mamatas, William Shunn






Monday, September 3, 10:30 am - 12:00 pm, Columbus EF

Getting the Most out of Writing Groups

There are all kinds of writing groups for all kinds of writers. What should you look for and what rules should you follow to get the most out of the experience? How do you handle conflicting suggestions and how do you comment on others' writing effectively?

Moderator: William Shunn
Panelists: Derek Kunsken, David McDonald, Sarah Stegall, Tim Susman






That first panel was a programming suggestion of mine, so I guess it's only fair that I should be part of it.

I've been told there may be an opportunity to get slotted in for a reading sometime this weekend as well. I'll be sure to post an update if that happens.

Also, and most importantly, on Thursday, August 30th (tomorrow!), I'll be leading a small group on an unofficial daytime pub crawl to various breweries and beer bars around the North Side. We'll meet in the front lobby of the Hyatt at a little before 11:00 am, then take cabs and trains to Haymarket Brewery, The Bad Apple, Revolution Brewing, and more. We should be back no later than 7:00 pm, probably earlier.

The route is subject to change at a whim, so if you can't meet us at the start, watch the hashtag #ChiconPubCrawl on Twitter and come join us along the way!


Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
It was not without some trepidation that Laura and I embarked on the Active Transportation Alliance's Four Star Bike Tour yesterday. After all, we had to get out of the RAGBRAI kitchen last month because we couldn't stand the heat. Who know how we would fare on this route?

Actually, I was fairly certain we'd do fine. The Four Star Bike Tour, which takes its name from the four stars on the Chicago city flag, offers a 62-mile tour of various Chicago neighborhoods and western suburbs, none of which are particularly hilly. And since we wouldn't be likely to encounter any triple-digit temperatures, we figured this ride would be a good way to restore our cycling confidence in ourselves.

What we didn't count on, about 26 miles into the ride at not yet 10 a.m., was the early arrival of the torrential rains that were predicted for the afternoon. The rain did ease up or stop from time to time, but there were also stretched where it rained so hard we could barely see. We were navigating by a combination of route map and green stars painted on the street. With the rain so heavy it became almost impossible to use the map, and it was very easy to miss the street markers.

There was also another dropped-chain incident with Laura's bike that required the application of an Allen wrench to fix, and the occasion bit of backtracking, but we persevered and made it through in about six and a half hours. Along the way we saw some of the toniest neighborhoods around, and some of the poorest too. As a study in contrasts without borders, it was instructive.

We arrived home waterlogged and mud-spattered, having learned that it's still possible to push on when you're carrying an extra twenty pounds of water weight—in your shoes alone.

Laura quipped that she was docking the Four Star Bike Tour half a star because of the rain. All in all, though, not a bad day in the saddle.

Wet, dirty feet


Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
milepost 0

a bike towing a dog with its hindquarters on a cart

a totem pole

a line of hand-holding kindergartners being urged by their teacher in French to move quickly across the path

statues of chesspieces

volleyball players ripening like wheat in the sun

a golden retriever running full-tilt to the edge of the lakewall and leaping far out over the water

so many drinking fountains, but never when I want one

a red-winged blackbird blocking my access to its drinking fountain until I'm standing right there

a cellphone-talking hipster's Smart Water bottle and Starbucks coffee cup blocking my access to a drinking fountain until I'm standing right there

a sexy blonde runner next to me at the multi-spigot fountain moaning so loudly between slurps that I have to put it out of my mind and ride away thirsty

Navy Pier

an gray-haired man on a bike who knocks a younger cyclist into some tourists on that crowded bridge over the Chicago River and doesn't stop to apologize

the Field Museum

the Shedd Aquarium

the Adler Planetarium

a flying saucer parked atop Roman ruins, or rather Soldier Field

a guy who looks just like Starburns from "Community," down to the top hat, but with normal sideburns

an Orthodox woman walking with conviction in the 90-degree heat

geese that never flinch no matter how closely I pass them

a beached yacht rocking on the shore, emergency trucks all around

a Chicago Police boat searching the water

a man walking backward up a hill

a hundred feet of the pathway ahead covered in drifted sand

the Museum of Science and Industry

a broken fountain spraying water thirty feet

the turnaround at milepost 18

the same man an hour later, still walking backward

the Chicago skyline like a tiny sapphire city

my wife, her mouth stained orange from an impulsive snow cone




Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
A few weeks ago, Andrew Huff of Gapers Block issued me a fascinating challenge: to take a piece of original poster art by Chad Kouri and produce a piece of writing of between 1,500 and 2,500 words to accompany it.

The resulting art/writing combo, along with seven other collaborations between artists and writers, will be on display and on sale at The Coop on May 18th. All the info is below. Hope to see you there.

8x8.png

8 x 8
Friday, May 18, 2012
6:00 pm until 10:00 pm

The COOP | A co-working space in River North
230 W Superior, 2F, Chicago, IL 60654

In the spirit of artistic collaboration, The Coop and Gapers Block teamed up to produce 8x8, an experiment in writing and design. Eight Chicagoland designers were paired with eight local writers to create collaborative works, with text informing and influencing art and vice versa. The results of this experiment are presented in limited edition poster form, with writing and design back to back.

Writers:
Patrick Somerville, Claire Zulkey, Ramsin Canon, Kevin Guilfoile, William Shunn, Veronica Bond, Wendy McClure, Scott Smith

Designers:
Jesse Hora, Andy Luce, Chad Kouri, Ina Weise, Letterform, Ryan Sievert, Paul Octavious, Kyle Fletcher

Proceeds benefit Open Books.

More info: http://blog.coworkchicago.com/post/22148593743/the-coop-presents-8x8
RSVP on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/375591619149230/


Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
The Chicago Writers Conference is Chicago's only homegrown mainstream literary conference focusing on practical business advice for fiction and non-fiction writers alike. The brainchild of Mare Swallow, it will feature such editors, agents, and authors as Chuck Sambuchino, Christine Sneed, Robert K. Elder, and Jennifer Mattson.

But it can only happen with support! The CWC is in the final eight days of its Kickstarter campaign and still needs to raise over $4000 for equipment rental, web development, speakers' travel expenses. There are lots of great incentives remaining for various donation levels, including art, signed books, and query letter or story manuscript critiques from Chuck Sambuchino and, ahem, yours truly.

But here, let Mare tell you more about the conference, and why you should support it:



So please help, and support Chicago's long tradition of literary excellence!




Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
Biking on Bryn Mawr Avenue,
clear sky, afternoon sun,
I pull over to the curb
for the ambulance
hurtling my way.

But it turns on Clark,
and as I pass through
the intersection I see
the gapers gathered,
the body in the street,
face down, lying twisted
like a crash-test dummy.

I have to look.
But I can't look.
I make myself not look,
face forward into traffic,
lest I become the thing
I gaze upon.


Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
Chicago is getting its own down-home writers conference! The Chicago Writers Conference will take place September 14-16 at Tribune Tower in beautiful downtown Chicago. Speakers and presenters include Chuck Sambuchino, Robert K. Elder, and Cinnamon Cooper, while special readings will be staged by both Essay Fiesta and Tuesday Funk.

But the Chicago Writers Conference can only happen with your help! I'd explain why the conference deserves your support, but there's already a compelling plea from organizer Mare Swallow, Write Club founder Ian Belknap, and yours truly up on Kickstarter. Check us out:



So please kick in a few shekels and help support the Chicago Writers Conference. Several great incentives are still available, including a story critique (up to 10,000 words) from me for a mere $175 pledge. (The custom poem is already gone. Sorry!) Please help, and we'll looking forward to seeing you at Tribune Tower in September!


Crossposted from Inhuman Swill

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