Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Red Letter Days

I swear my synapses aren't firing on all cylinders. This is the trouble with being a full-time freelancer. You get distracted, scattered and fractured by the innumerable subjects you’re sworn to render faithfully. In the past two days, I’ve written about hand-made vodka (yes, as an assignment), eulogized Mercury Seven astronaut Wally Schirra, and talked cubism with a hyper-hip graphic novelist. My brain throbs. Somebody give me a gig writing about a consistent topic, heavens to Murgatroid!

Until that happens – or hell freezes over - you can peruse one of my few quasi-chronic mutterings. It’s the fifth anniversary issue of Bookslut and includes my own meditation on all things Russian, “Crime and Punishment,” the latest installment of my mystery column.

Also in the issue: Nathan Englander talks up the Dirty War, Mark Solms talks brains, and the lovely Marguerite Abouet speaks of West Africa. In columns, Colleen Mondor delves into fantastical murder mysteries, Eryn Loeb eulogizes Sassy, and Jeff Vandermeer interviews his fellow Eisner judges, including the profoundly hip Whitney Matheson.

In other news…

The LA Times talks to Frank Miller about Hollywood n’ stuff.

Elmore Leonard’s new novel has snuck onto shelves. The LA Times (again) examines Up In Honey’s Room. Tomorrow, there should be a new interview by Duane Swierczynski at his paper.

Ali Karim talks to Robert Ferrigno. Who was not in the 1970's television series starring Bill Bixby, although that always leaps to mind.

More fitful murmurings about the decline of book reviews. Oh, the humanity!

The Associated Press talks to Amy Hempel. Remember that old chestnut about a thousand monkeys and Shakespeare? That’s how I feel about her. You could stick a regiment of me into a room for an eon and not get a single story of hers. She’s the Raymond Carver of…well, maybe she’s not a moody, temperamental, creative alcoholic perfectionist but you get the point.

Alright, the fit is over. Someone has stuck a belt in the writer’s teeth and the twitching is dying down. Nothing to see here. Move along.

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