Monday, January 14, 2013

The new phone book is here!

Another bright idea. Last summer during the Iowa Summer Writing Festival I went to see author Carmela Ciuraru at the Prairie Lights Bookstore. She wrote this great history of pseudonyms: Nom de Plume  Each chapter is a mini-biography of dead authors who used pseudonyms (the one on Patricia Highsmith is reason alone to read this book). Belgian author Georges Simenon, who had an affinity for lots of different pseudonyms (as well as multitudes of sexual partners) kept telephone directories from around the globe to help him name characters. Wow! Great idea! In fact I'd forgotten that I used our tiny rural Wisconsin book to find a character name in DAMAGE. So I've been asking my friends who live and travel afar to send me phone books. They're a disappearing commodity, however, and some countries are no longer printing them. But my awesome friend Regina sent me this one from New Zealand.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


My short-short fiction piece Shadow is now available in the winter issue of Minerva Rising. One of the extra-cool things about this lit journal is it donates ten percent of its proceeds to Women for Women International, and organization that helps women rebuild their lives in areas torn by conflict. I had the chance to meet Women for Women founder Zainab Salbi when I was an editorial writer in Maine -- she has an amazing story. Here's her book, Between Two Worlds: Escape From Tyranny: Growing up in the Shadow of Saddam.