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JANICE LEE

Original art by Janice Lee
Original music by Resident Anti-Hero

 

While you patiently wait for the catalogue and the book to be read, you can take some time out and explore the world of cryptocurrencies.  First you need to understand about the benefits in trading bitcoins. Once you get to know more about it, you will be hooked to it.

The biggest benefit of trading in bitcoin is that it offers complete security.  The trader does not have to give away his credit card or bank details to withdraw or deposit money when you are dealing in bitcoin transactions. Especially if you are trading with foreign brokers, this is a big benefit with regard to financial security and the cost.

Another advantage of bitcoin trading is that the cost of trading is quite low. Most of the online brokerage firms have kept the cost low in order to attract new clients as still it is  a new segment.  In addition to this, the traders only have to deposit a nominal amount to start with.  However, do check all the brokerage firms come under the authorized regulatory.

Speaking of benefits, another benefit of online trading is that anyone from any field is welcome to the market to trade and there are no restrictions. If you are worried that you don’t possess adequate knowledge with regard to trading of digital currencies, then you can relax as there are many automated highly sophisticated software’s available which can conduct the transactions on your behalf.  They have been created solely to help the ordinary people to earn money and be rich.  You can choose the crypto code software as they are the best in the industry.  All the users have good things to talk about it.

Last but not the least, another benefit of trading bitcoin is that there are no global boundaries.  If you use the bitcoins, the brokerage firm in Africa can transact with a firm in UK.  If the broker and trader are willing to conduct business around the globe, then the geographical boundaries are not a concern. The best part is that this market works 24/7, hence the time zone of different countries or continents doesn’t make any difference.  Be it day or night, the transactions can be carried out at any moment of time.  Now coming back to the books, play and its reviews,

ANNA JOY SPRINGER 

Original art by Shelly Jackson, Kristie Fleming, Rachel Carns, Belden Sezen, Annie Sprinkle & Beth Stephens (Love Art Lab),

Rosetta Ballew-Jennings

Rosetta J. Ballew-Jennings is most at ease amidst the moxie of old houses and cemeteries.  She is fond of home concoctions and remedies, half-begun projects, and made-for-television movies.  Her MFA is from Texas State University, and she currently lives in historic Saint Joseph, Missouri.  This is her debut poetry collection.

Rosetta Ballew-Jennings Books

ROOM-cover-bw-webList Price: $16.00
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White Bleed on Cream paper
86 pages
Jaded Ibis Press
ISBN-13: 978-1937543402
ISBN-10: 1937543404
BISAC: Poetry / General

Is The Room Cover

List Price: $32.00
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Full Color Bleed on White paper
Art by Grace Roselli
94 pages
Jaded Ibis Press
ISBN-13: 978-1937543396
ISBN-10: 1937543390
BISAC: Poetry / General

 

Is the room

debut poetry collection

with art by Grace Roselli

“These rich, spare poems are here to remind us that we are mistaken, thinking so rarely of transformations, and when we do, in thinking mostly of the ends of them. Is the room places us in contact with transformation as action, where with this book’s speaker, we come alive to domestic and sentient processes rife with illusion, breakings up and down, passing, being passed, hiddenness, exposure, signs, the failure of signs, waiting, glimpses, dismantling, joy. Rosetta Ballew-Jennings shares Jean Valentine’s love of silences (deep listening is there), but these poems are completely her own, and with this stunning debut collection, ours.
—Kathleen Peirce, poet, The Ardors and The Oval Hour

“In this debut collection Rosetta Bellew-Jennings brings an unflinching attention and a strong voice to the conversation. The crux of this collection of poems comes with a  lot of good memories for each of us. The phrases and situations take us to an all-new experience one which is very special and close to our hearts. Read More Here to know how you can procure the book for yourself. The site of crisis is interior — both inside the house and the that which we must go through alone. In many ways readers are housebound voyeurs, but in the end it’s really us we’re watching in these mirrored walls. Built on fragments that are both elegant and focused, Is The Room draws our attention to the isolation of looking, and the clarity of ‘[s]omething I cannot find.’”
—John Gallaher, poet, Your Father on the Train of Ghosts and Map of the Folded World

“Ballew-Jennings’ poems have us question the nature of relationship and life as people move in and out of our lives, and us across time. If the origin of the word haunt is to pull, claim, to lead home, then Is the Room is a collection of poems that both haunts the reader and feels haunted itself.  Through her mysterious and lovely collection, the poet reveals the boundaries between what/who we know and what/who we think we know, and the variety of separations, however arbitrary, that exist between them/us. Ballew-Jennings leads us, pulls us toward a home that dwells in our collective memories.
—Stacy Christie, writer; editor at Hothouse

“Rosetta Ballew-Jennings’s poems are alive and intelligent. Their deliberate, sometimes disorienting syntax takes us on a multilayered journey through rooms, doors, hallways and windows. The physical as well as the emotional space within the poems is haunted, and everywhere we question what we see, for we witness people and colors ‘change back and forth’ and ‘you may not be/ the you of here.’ Ultimately, this book is about love, a story ‘about something/ you would underline twice.’”
—Katerina Stoykova-Klemer, Senior Editor, Accents Publishing

“Is the room makes poetry out of dream logic and uncertainty, whether it’s a location only specified as ‘left of where you are’ or a phone message from a woman who can’t say why she’s calling. Rosetta Ballew-Jennings’ writing explores stark and disconcerting fragments of a domestic life where even household doors and halls don’t fit together quite right, and where a conversation about cereal and milk shifts abruptly to “I don’t love you, / or something like that.” With mysterious lyricism and echoes of Jean Valentine, this book heeds the author’s plea and applies it to the reader: ‘Please do not forget / what I am afraid of.’”
— Steven Schroeder, poet, Turn and Only Gifts Changing Hands

The Art of the Overshare

Seth-Fischer by Seth Fischer
How many of you want to hear me talk about poop?Don’t worry. I’m not going to talk about poop.

My sister, though — she talks about poop. In fact, when she’s about to start dating a guy, she gives them a litmus test. She says, “I poop. Do you have a problem with that?” If they get weird, she walks.

Out of respect for the Internet, I’ll use Urban Dictionary: an overshare is “way too much information given about (usually personal) subject matter.”

Their example?

“Did I ever tell you how you were conceived? No, mom, that’s an overshare.“

It’s a hard example to argue with. Neither Mom nor kid benefits much from sharing that information, so it’s just kind of a shitty thing to say, if all it does is make the kid uncomfortable. But we don’t have the full context, either; there could be a very important reason for mom to be telling that story, like how her and dad’s tryst in a nuclear storage facility explains the kid’s telekinetic powers. Or the kid might be struggling with her sexuality, and this is a way, however misguided, of the mom trying to reach out. Or the kid might be bullying her mom about her sexuality post divorce, and this is the mom’s way of fighting back. Without context, we don’t know anything.

In other words, accusing someone of oversharing is like saying, “It is what it is.” It’s just another way to silence people before figuring out what they’re really trying to say.

As a writer and teacher of personal narrative, what interests me isn’t so much what an overshare is. I want to know who gets to decide what “way too much information” is.

My knee-jerk thought is that these deciders are assholes, and they sit in a brightly lit corporate boardroom gesturing at charts, their lunches fully catered, drinking brandy-spiked coffee. Or, as is usually the case when I picture assholes in boardrooms, the guilty party lies within.

The most powerful personal essay writing challenges these assholes inside us. And almost always, whether you want it to or not, this is when the writing becomes political. The LGBT rights movement, for example, was and is accused of oversharing, and it’s been personal stories, more than anything else, that’s led to its success. Survivors of sexual abuse are told not to talk about their experiences, but sometimes, when they do, the results can be inspiring, healing and cathartic for everyone. I’d venture that these experiences should be shared, and widely, as long as the storytellers are aware of the risks of telling their stories.

Now, there are a lot of ways to screw up the telling of a risky personal narrative. But they all seem to point to its inherent danger: the ill-considered overshare makes the author appear the asshole because it fails to provide the full context and because it makes people uncomfortable without purpose. In a sense, in the writing of personal narrative, there is rarely such thing as an overshare. There is only an undershare.

My sister also has a girl power bracelet she makes her potential boyfriends see. She knows who she is. She knows what she wants. She knows, sadly, that the cards are stacked against women in many ways, but that if she pushes the right buttons, she might scare the wrong people away or even motivate the right people to think of women in healthier ways. Her oversharing is subversive, and it is awesome.

Is that our job as writers? Is that our job as writing teachers? I think it is. I see my job as helping myself and my students to grow, not just as writers but as people and activists and citizens. I want to create a safe place to explore, but I want it to be clear that the world doesn’t necessarily have our best interests at heart. In the era of social media, personal narrative writing should be required for every freshman, because that’s what they do, what I do, too, all day, every day. A particularly popular Facebook post is likely to reach a hundred times more people than a personal essays published in a small literary magazine.

Yet we ignore this, and this is how we think about the way we tell our stories: “Be careful what you put out there! Don’t overshare! Employers might find that! No one wants to hear about your sex life! Just stop it!” This tactic, if I had to guess, works about as well as abstinence programs.

What if we worked, though, to talk about ourselves intelligently? Can we talk about ourselves in ways that make us better citizens, writers and people? Can we train our students and ourselves to be able to see ourselves from the outside?

Have you ever heard the phrase “throwing shade?” It’s when someone talks shit, but all this does is make it immediately apparent to everyone else what their weaknesses are.

Here’s a somewhat shameful example of this: I moved to LA a couple years ago, and like many people, I’ve struggled here. One day, I posted an obnoxious article from Vice Magazine trashing LA, saying, “I can’t argue with a word of this.” The article said things like, “Everyone is scared of Scientology” and “There are broken dreams everywhere you look.” It was stupid and clichéd. My LA friends were not amused. I backtracked and didn’t at the same time. I complained about working too hard for not enough money. I said, “I am having an LA-is-treating-me-like-a-worthless-piece-of-shit week. I kind of want to punch it in the nose. Can I punch a whole city in the nose?” My ex-girlfriend, who’s from Glendale, called me out, accused me of throwing shade.

I took a step back and looked at the post again. What if I were reading this in a novel? What if a fictional character had written this post? Well, the character would look like a failing writer having a temper tantrum; a man who thought himself more important than the millions he shares a city with; a man who, like so many people before him, couldn’t hack it in Los Angeles. What I’d done is failed to do what creative nonfiction writers have to be able to do — see myself from the outside. If I had voiced my frustration in a way that showed my full situation and with more awareness, I might have had people offering me work. Instead, I got attacked.

And this is the real trick of successfully oversharing: You have to be able to embody your less than perfect emotional states, but you have to be able to do that with clarity, precision, and self-awareness. You have to be able to simultaneously have a temper tantrum with the you-the-character-from-the-past and get across that you-the-narrator-in-the-present are able to access those emotions but still reflect on them.

You should be able to have a control on your emotions. If you are not able to do so and do not trust them, then you need to work on it. If you have plans in trading online currencies, then better use the service of bitcoin code as it keeps emotions apart and conducts transactions.

Here’s a solution I encourage my students to use: do a character sketch of yourself. Answer a series of 20 questions about yourself that you would ask a fiction writer to answer about their characters. It helps you to see yourself more objectively.

I teach students the difference between the character they’re writing about who is usually a persona of themselves from the past, and the narrator, which is usually a persona of themselves from the present. They have to answer questions about both personas — the character and the narrator.

They usually hate it more than anything, but it works.

 

A draft of this essay was presented at the 2013 conference of the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association.

Seth Fischer’s writing has appeared in Best Sex Writing 2013, Buzzfeed, Pank, Guernica, and elsewhere. His essay “Notes From a Unicorn” was named a notable essay in The Best American Essays 2013. He is a contributor and former editor at The Rumpus. He teaches at Antioch University Los Angeles and Writing Workshops Los Angeles and is a Jentel Arts Residency Program fellow.

Dawn Raffel

Dawn Raffel Books

OBJECTS-COVER-WEB

Click cover to buy the print edition. Only $10.

 

OBJECTS-PAGES-6-7

Artwork by Dawn Raffel’s son, Sean Evers, who was 14 when he made the drawings.

 

Selected by O,The Oprah Magazine:

Best 2012 Memoirs
Best Beach Reads of 2012
10 Titles to Pick Up Now: June 2012
Best First Lines

 ** A Wall Street Journal Bestseller **

The Secret Life of Objects

a memoir

 

PRAISE FOR THE SECRET LIFE OF OBJECTS

“Her gift for capturing the nugget of a relationship in a single backward glance works
beautifully in this illustrated memoir.”
The Chicago Tribune

“The Secret Life of Objects is a lean, brilliant, playful memoir.”
The San Francisco Chronicle

“You may never look at that lamp the same way again after reading this evocative memoir…”
O, The Oprah Magazine

“Her memoir reflects on everyday objects such as a cup, a ring… From these memories comes a whole life story.”
Reader’s Digest

“A unique, evocative memoir…written with all the wild bloom of imagination that
fiction brings to the table.”
The Quivering Pen

“This endearing memoir takes an assortment of otherwise ordinary possessions and
turns it into a series of delicate, resonant stories.”
More Magazine

“’Sometimes things shatter,’ Dawn Raffel writes in The Secret Life of Objects. ‘More often they just fade.’ But in this evocative memoir, moments from the past do not fade—they breathe on the page, rendering a striking portrait of a woman through her connections to the people she’s loved, the places she been, what’s been lost, and what remains. In clear, beautiful prose, Raffel reveals the haunting qualities of the objects we gather, as well as the sustaining and elusive nature of memory itself.”
– Samuel Ligon, author of Drift and Swerve: Stories
“Dawn Raffel puts memories, people and secrets together like perfectly set gems in these shimmering stories, which are a delight to read.It is true that when relevant information with appropriate analogies and examples is strung together in a beautiful pearl of thought, it is mesmerizing and interesting besides being coherent and easy to follow. Take the case of the review of the Bitcoin Trader robot at https://cybermentors.org.uk/bitcoin-trader-review-can-profit-bitcoin/ where every aspect of this digital currency is explained in complete detail similar to the novel where Every detail is exquisite, every character beautifully observed, and every object becomes sacred in her kind, capable hands. I savored every word.
– Priscilla Warner, author of Learning to Breathe – My Yearlong Quest to Bring Calm to My Life

Elizabeth Earley

Elizabeth Earley holds a BA in Creative Writing and an MFA in Fiction from Antioch University Los Angeles. Her stories and essays have appeared in Time Out Magazine, The Chicago Reader, Geek Magazine, Outside Magazine, Gnome Magazine, and Hyper Text Magazine. Other fiction has appeared in The Windy City Times Literary Supplement, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The First Line Magazine, Story Week Reader, Fugue, and Hair Trigger. The Hair Trigger piece won the David Friedman Memorial Prize for the best story in that anthology. Elizabeth has  twice been a finalist for the AWP New Journals Award, has received two pushcart nominations, and was a finalist for the 2011 Able Muse Write Prize for Fiction and for the Bakeless Literary Prize for Fiction. A new novel excerpt, “Backbone”, won an Honorable Mention in the Glimmer Train March 2013 Fiction Open contest.

About the artist, Christa Donner

Elizabeth Earley Books

Map-Cover-Color-small

Full-color edition with art created especially for the novel by Christa Donner

Map-Cover-small

Black and white edition.

 

“inventive, searingly honest, gorgeously written.”

– Gayle Brandeis

“eloquent, moody and strangely poetic.”

– Michelle Tea

 

A Map of Everything

a debut novel

 

EARLY PRAISE

“Elizabeth Earley’s A Map of Everything is one of the most structurally inventive and emotionally remarkable books I’ve come across in quite a while. I can draw a parallel to the stupendous success of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies here. Now it is even possible to trade in cryptocurrencies from the comfort of your home if you posses automated trading systems. You can learn the facts here now at https://cybermentors.org.uk/ there are so many systems just like there are writersSo many writers traffic in the sensationalism of event, while Earley wisely knows that this is only the start of the trouble—and that our hearts truly beat and bleed in the repercussions of events. It’s a book that reminds us who we are to each other and to ourselves, and it has a resilient beauty, and a confident and true voice rare in any novel, let alone a debut.”

– Rob Roberge, author of The Cost of Living

 

“The writing in A Map of Everything is beautiful. Never shying away from the difficult, and embracing the big emotions, Earley has given us a strong, graceful and finely-etched novel.”

– Leonard Chang, author of Crossings

 

“Inventive, searingly honest, gorgeously written, this book will both break and heal your heart. With A Map of Everything, Elizabeth Earley charts her own fresh and dazzling territory.”

– Gayle Brandeis, author of The Book of Dead Birds and Self Storage

 

“In A Map Of Everything, Elizabeth Earley has the eyesight to notice what we trample underfoot, the instinctual intelligence to know why we do the things we do, the heart to rise above obliterating darkness, and — from somewhere — the ability to write like a witch.”

– Peter Nichols, author of Voyage to the North Star, nominated for the Dublin IMPAC Literary Award

 

“An exploration of love and tragedy, what we owe to others and what we owe to ourselves, A Map of Everything is eloquent, moody and strangely poetic.

– Michelle Tea, co-founder of Sister Spit, and author of The Chelsea Whistle and Valencia

 

“In a little over 300 pages, A Map of Everything somehow manages to be a novel about everything: surviving tragedy, love, despair, complex family relationships, identity, how to be a good person, how to live in a world full of contradictions and dangers that are as much internal as external.  This is a remarkable debut novel.  Read it and weep – with both joy and sadness.

– Christine Sneed, author of Little Known Facts and Portraits of a Few of the People I’ve Made Cry

 

A Map of Everything is a tender story of personal transformation, addiction, loss and memory. Elizabeth Earley is a welcome new voice to literature.”

– Ali Liebegott author of The IHOP Papers and Cha-Ching!

 

“Elizabeth Earley’s remarkable debut novel, A Map of Everything, deftly follows a family through the complicated trajectory of their lives after one devastating moment on a rain-soaked street. Anne, the youngest, “fifth born”, leads us over the intricate roads of this map, telling stories along the way of June, her beloved, injured sister, and of her siblings and parents. Bold and deeply wounded, Anne is unflinching in her role as narrator and chronicler; we lean in to listen closely to hear. Her voice is full of heat and gravel, of the longing she has for those things she feels she may never fully know: love, a family unbroken, a place to settle. Earley’s rich weaving of time, science, place, point of view, and plot is created with language and form that is surprising and stunning. Pain, joy, loss, accomplishment, need, survival, love, terror, and tolerance are among the roads on this map of everything, and they all—rather miraculously—lead to a certain and satisfactory grace.”

 

– Patricia Ann McNair, author of The Temple of Air

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

Anne’s sister, a bright and lovely teenager, sustains a traumatic brain injury after a near-fatal car accident. As a result, Anne and her siblings and parents are thrown into a decades-long struggle for belonging, deliverance and redemption — with surprising results. A Map of Everything intimately explores the fragile nature of family dynamics, revealing what is salvaged, what is lost, and what is gained after a tragedy hits home.

Cris Mazza

The most unusual love story you will ever read.”*
ABOUT THE BOOK

Original soundtrack composed & performed by Van Decker. With Mark Rasmussen on tenor sax.

Something Wrong With Her is notable author Cris Mazza’s memoir centered around anorgasmia – the inability to have an orgasm.

Research suggests that at least 75% of women cannot reach orgasms through vaginal intercourse, and upwards of 15% are completely anorgasmic. The surplus of contemporary sexual memoirs would have us believe otherwise.

But Something Wrong With Her is not a book about overcoming anorgasmia. Rather, it is a poignant memoir about a girl who didn’t feel the sexual awakenings she knew she was supposed to feel, and about the boy who loved her nonetheless. Thirty years later Cris Mazza went back to find that boy, now a man, only to discover that he’d never stopped yearning for her. Worse, in an attempt numb his feelings for her, he’d sealed himself into an abusive marriage.

Something Wrong With Her is an astonishing real-time testimony of a couple’s reconnection, and their candid wrestling with 30-year-old memories, questions and regrets.

Equally astonishing is the stupendous popularity of bitcoin despite the government being skeptical about it and the likes of Warren Buffet calling it a bubble. Trading in cryptocurrencies has never been easier than at the current time. Check this link right here now https://top10cryptorobots.com/crypto-robots/bitcoin-trader/ to discover the world of cryptocurrency trading.

EARLY PRAISE

“Mazza establishes early on that her sexual dysfunction has been debilitating and difficult on pin to a specific cause. Something Wrong with Her is her attempt to write in what she calls “real time;” to delve into her past with a hyper-focus on the one relationship that’s defined her life: an early romance with Mark… Something Wrong with Her is frank. Bold. Mazza faces head-on that which would give most writers pause. What surprises about this book, however, is how much more cerebral than physical it is. It’s almost all in her head.”
— The Rumpus

“On math exams we were always told to show our work, privileging process over result. An increasingly and pleasingly unhinged experiment in autoforensics and self-consciousness, Something Wrong With Her is stuffed with both show and work. In sorting out the question implicit in the title, Cris Mazza assembles a long paper trail of primary documents: yearbook inscriptions, journal entries, published fiction, emails, personal letters on band stationery, and more, more, more. It’s part sexual history and part detective story. She writes: ‘I thought I had control of the material when I wrote the story…. I’m going back again now to regain control.’ Control’s great, but I’ll take the mess any day: here’s to ‘going back again.’ Here’s to showing your work.”
—Ander Monson, editor of DIAGRAM and New Michigan Press, and author ofVanishing Point

“SOMETHING WRONG WITH HER is certainly the most unusual true love story you will ever read, layering recollected scenes and psychological analysis with journals, emails, letters, yearbook inscriptions, excerpts from the author’s past literary works, jazz metaphors, footnotes and more. Cris Mazza’s indefatigable self-scrutiny creates an experience that verges on the psychedelic. Reading this book is less like reading a typical memoir than like spending time in someone’s else’s head, or someone else’s life. The generous decision of literary love-object Mark to allow his writings to be included here adds a fourth — or is it a fifth? — dimension to this unprecedented document.”
—*Marion Winik, author of Highs in the Low Fifties, First Comes Love, and Rules for the Unruly: Living an Unconventional Life

“Something Wrong With Her turns away from the bogus story of what’s sexually ‘hot’ to finally tell the story of what’s real and human: the other bodies who don’t fit into this culture of idiotic faux sexual excess. By articulating the chronicle of her own body, Cris Mazza successfully seduces us into questioning the libidinal fictions we’ve been telling ourselves about our own bodies. Beyond brave writing.” — Lidia Yuknavitch, author ofChronology of Water and Dora: A Headcase

Davis Schneiderman

DAVIS SCHNEIDERMAN is a multimedia artist and writer and the author and editor of eight books, including the novels Drain(TriQuarterly/Northwestern) and Abecedarium(Chiasmus) and the forthcoming blank novel,Blank: a novel (Jaded Ibis); the co-edited collections Retaking the Universe: Williams S. Burroughs in the Age of Globalization (Pluto) andThe Exquisite Corpse: Chance and Collaboration in Surrealism’s Parlor Game (Nebraska); as well as the audiocollage Memorials to Future Catastrophes (Jaded Ibis). His creative work has appeared in numerous publications includingFiction International, The Chicago Tribune, The Iowa Review, TriQuarterly, and Exquisite Corpse.He is Chair of the English Department at Lake Forest College, and also Director of Lake Forest College Press/&NOW Books. He edits The &NOW AWARDS: The Best Innovative Writing. He can be found, virtually, at www.davisschneiderman.com

Davis Schneiderman Books

the DEAD/BOOKS trilogy

SIC-cover-WEB

Preorder here and save 20% off cover price. Enter Discount Code AQFGX36X when you order. Valid through October 30.

BLANK COVER WEB

   BLANK-COVER-COLOR-WEB

INK COVER copyComing 2014

About the Project

 

DEAD/BOOKS is a trilogy of conceptual works by Davis Schneiderman from Jaded Ibis Productions: BLANK (2011), [SIC] (2013) and INK. (forthcoming). 

 

BLANK is a 200+ page book whose text offers only 20 enigmatic chapter titles like, “A Character Broods” and “They Encounter An Animal,” with audio remixes by Dj Spooky and pyrographic art by Susan White.

If you are lost in the world of words then words like cryptocurrency and bitcoin will be enigmatic too. But much as you love your words it is crucial that you stay connected with the world and know more about Crypto Code bewertung at https://cybermentors.org.uk/crypto-code-scam-detailed-crypto-trading-investigation/ or you will miss an golden opportunity in investment.

[SIC] includes public domain works under Schneiderman’s name, including everything from the prologue to The Canterbury Tales to Wikipedia pages to genetic codes, along with a transformation of the Jorge Luis Borges story: “Pierre Menard, Author of Don Quixote.” The fine-art edition of [SIC] contains a pathogen that readers may deploy onto the text, to become sick— sick about copyright.

[SIC] contains images from visual artist Andi Olsen, an introduction from Oulipian Daniel Levin Becker, and sampling-based tracks, already created for other projects, from Illegal Art label acts Yea Big, Oh Astro, Steinski, and Girl Talk.  The fine-art edition ($24,998.98) will be packaged with a biological pathogen, which the reader may choose to deploy over the text. In this way, the book [SIC] will make the reader sick — sick about copyright. The book is timed to the release of 25 free, full-text e-books — including The Red-Headed League and Young Goodman Brown, now marked with my name.

INK. is all dark, a smear of solid ink over every surface of the book. INK. erases, redacts, and overwrites itself, ink extending and overtaking every surface. The fine-art edition of INK. uses ink sourced from Schneiderman’s blood. Further, Schneiderman will also put his library at risk. Any person who buys INK. may choose a book from Schneiderman’s library, which Schneiderman must then destroy. He will send evidence of the remains to the purchaser.

This e-book forms part of an e-book cache released in time with [SIC], and its familiar text with new attribution interrogates notions of originality and authorship in an age of rapid transformation of the publishing industry, the shape of narrative, and the transmogrification of the printed word.

Writing In A Roomful of Elephants

“If you’re waiting for the perfect time to write, you’re doing it wrong.” —Me, paraphrasing other writers who write about writing

I call myself a writer because I write. I am not well-known. I don’t make a living writing. I haven’t won awards. I do write every day, arranging words to form sentences that tell stories. Still, making time to write is something with which I have always struggled. This is the best confession anyone can make in a clear state of mind.Read review about the many authors and then you come to know that every author is not born but made from some situation or by interest. Being a learned person doesn’t matter but your interest and dedication is the matter of concern.Because writing is hard and anyone who tells you otherwise is either extremely lucky, or they’re lying.

At times, writing does come easily. My thoughts organize themselves and flow from my brain to my fingers onto the page. I find a rhythm and I know I’m doing what I should be doing. I don’t stop, even to eat or to pee. It helps when I’m passionate about a controversial subject or a well-crafted character. Passion creates a space where nothing can intrude. If I’m working on a first draft I don’t care if it’s awful because I can clean it up later.

Other times, my ideas are scattered. I am easily distracted. I feel a foot under my ass pushing me out of my work space. I hear a restless voice telling me I should be doing laundry or paying bills or taking a shower. I often have good ideas during these breaks, and I try to hold them until I can set them down somewhere. There is no flow, however, when my mind jumps from writing to all the other things I should be doing. Still, I get something written. Later, I go back and decide if the crap is worth cleaning up.

Every now and then, I am empty. No matter how deep I reach, I find no words worth writing. I make notes. I outline. I get lost in research. Anything to put off the impossibility of writing. Am I a fraud? A real writer would push through and find something — anything — to put on the page. I’m convinced I’ll never write again. I hate myself. External distractions are not the problem. No housework or errands or personal hygiene. Here, the distractions are internal, emotional.

For writers, emotional issues breathe truth into stories. Major or minor, past or present, we draw on them as inspiration and we find catharsis in storytelling. At times, I try to ignore my issues, but they occupy a large, dusty enclosure down the block, covered by a gaudy circus tent snapping in the wind. If I let them, these emotional elephants trample my thoughts and creativity. Instead of exploring what they might offer my writing, I run away from them.

I suppose this is a form of writer’s block, that letting fear dictate when I can and cannot write means I’m doing it wrong.

***

I started out writing fiction. I was playing with three stories, none of which was enough for a novel. I was in the shower one day (base camp for most of my aha! moments) when I decided to weave all three ideas into a single storyline. I couldn’t get to my computer fast enough.

Writing my first novel wasn’t easy, nor was it tortuous. Still, I found the hard work enjoyable, and I wrote as much as I could each day. I was married then. We lived in a lovely home full of lovely things in a lovely neighborhood. My husband had a good job. My daughter was two, and in addition to staying home with her I worked freelance. We had a part-time nanny and a cleaning lady. Order prevailed externally, if not internally. I was happiest when I was writing, quieting my chaotic mind by creating characters whose emotions and actions I could control. I wrote until I finished.

I was proud of my book. I spent almost a year querying agents, receiving an encouraging number of requests for partial and full manuscripts. But after 60 or so rejections, I decided to self-publish. I wish I hadn’t done that. I wish I had set that manuscript aside and left it alone while I started my second novel. When I open it now and read even a few pages, I cringe. I love the characters and the plot, but the writing is amateurish. It wasn’t ready.

I did one thing right: I started that second novel, a story I had been planning for a while. I found inspiration in a quote from a Los Angeles Times piece: “Failure is commonplace in the career of a writer, and a second novel is the beginning of a writer’s career.”

***

I left my husband and our lovely home full of lovely things. My daughter and I moved five times in five years. I was in a car accident. Financial crises seemed the only constant. The uncertainty of my present and future created tension in my extended family, a family whose raft of conflicts rocked easily and often. I can’t pinpoint the final failure, but my parents and I stopped talking. Chaos reigned, both inside and out. I kept writing.

Seven chapters into my second novel, I reached deep and found nothing. Each time I shared pages with my writing friends, I took their feedback and edited what I had already written. I didn’t make time to move forward with the story, which was far more ambitious than my first novel. Where writing was scary, editing felt safe. Faster and easier than writing new words, cleaning up old words lulled me into feeling productive. I ran out of new pages to share.

Given the uncertainty of my life, finishing another book seemed a luxury I could no longer afford. I failed to finish the first draft before cleaning up the crap. If I couldn’t spend hours writing, why bother at all? I was doing it wrong.

When I stalled at chapter seven, I revived an old blog. I started writing posts that weren’t just about my personal life. I discarded the blogger syntax and wrote more carefully about parenting, relationships, social issues, cultural trends. I had begun writing essays, although that wasn’t my intention. I was still struggling to levy order on what had become a disordered world.

I became a weekly contributor to an online magazine. Instead of veiling my emotional elephants in fiction, or fleeing when they charged without warning, I trotted them out and explored them publicly. Some essays were more personal than others.

At first, writing about my life — family, divorce, friendships — brought guilt and shame. That distracting voice, the one that used to lure me away with laundry? It turned cruel, demanding I shut up. No one cares what you have to say. Narcissist. Fraud. I retreated and wrote a few pieces about current events, avoiding personal experience or emotion. Again, the voice taunted me. So now you’re a journalist? Imposter. Coward.

After a few more personal pieces resonated with readers, I told that voice to shut the fuck up. It hasn’t, not entirely, but it no longer has the power to silence me or dictate what I choose to share. Each week I struggle to balance my personal stories and their relevance within a broader social context. Each week, readers respond with approval, disapproval, or indifference. And I keep writing.

***

My life is much different now than it was when I wrote my first novel. I am happily married to a man whom my daughter and I love like crazy. We live in a crumbling mansion, a month-to-month rental with an unknown expiration. Boxes full of lovely things gather dust, set aside in anticipation of the next move. I cannot imagine being settled. Permanence is a coat that fits other people but doesn’t feel quite safe when I slip it on. For now, domestic contentment helps offset chaos and uncertainty.

I continue my weekly essays. (You’re making a fool of yourself.) I update my blog occasionally, bloggy style. (Who will read that drivel?) Most important, I’ve returned to fiction. (Look how far you got with that the first time.)

Shut up, stupid voice. I don’t need you anymore.

Each writing medium satisfies a unique emotional need, and choosing one over the other no longer seems necessary. When it’s time to begin a new essay, I muck around in my psyche, searching for personal stories to which I hope readers will relate. If I feel like ranting, I do it on my blog. And fiction remains the greatest escape, allowing me to shape characters and worlds over which I have utter control. I’ve finished a short story and I’m letting it marinate before I send it out prematurely. I’ve even added a few pages of crap to my novel, which I will clean up later.

So I write. The mansion crumbles. Little hills of laundry grow in the bedrooms. Unopened mail takes over my desk. But if I wait for order to prevail, I might never write again. There is no perfect time, so I make time. Otherwise, I’d be doing it wrong.

I’m On Fire

Wendy-Ortiz by Wendy C. Ortiz I’m left-handed. Age twenty-eight, in the depths of my Saturn return, I designed a tattoo. An artist etched the two images I had combined into my skin. From that point on, a black cat in mid-run crosses in front of an enormous red flame on the bicep of my writing arm.

 *

I’m in a fecund writing valley right now, where, at this moment in time (not to be confused with the moment you’re reading this, or the moment after, or the moment after), I’m experiencing publication after publication. I’ve heard a constant refrain from friends and fellow writers:

You’re on fire!

It puts me in mind of the afternoons I face most days of the week, when I’m hoping my toddler will fall asleep for a few hours so I can write. But the truth is, I’m wilted by the two o’clock hour. I am lit by morning fires. The dampened afternoons stretch in front of me. I’m overtaken by water, by mud.

 *

Underneath the cat and the flame is a banner. Former Catholic School students always inquire or guess at its meaning. Latin, it translates to “harmony in discord.”

I interpret this in two ways. One: I have found harmony in discord. This is a legacy I keep. Two: I can transform discord into harmony. This is my life’s task. This is a black cat bounding across dangerous territory.

This is trauma finding its escape valve in art.

*

Tinder. Kindling. Oxygen.  This is how to sustain a fire. Let me translate this into something that can sustain me through afternoons, sustain me through the very difficult dry spells that writing, and publishing, inevitability present.

Plastic. Tires. Treated wood. This is how to ruin a clean fire and make toxic the air around you. Let me translate this into how to care for the body writing its way through fire.

 *

My right arm maintains its über-usefulness by completing all actions other than writing.

At thirty-three, I brought images to the same artist: this time, an anatomical heart and tidal waves. She sketched and resketched. Again she etched the designs into my skin. It was not until years later, looking in the mirror, that I realized I had fire and water on opposite arms.

The unconscious knows.

*

 How to sustain “being on fire”? In this metaphor the subject is hot. Maybe, like the wildfires that come in the wake of Santa Ana winds, the subject is fast-moving, carving its anarchic path through what was once not-on-fire.

What happens after someone sets themselves on fire?

The pain is described as ‘excruciating.’

“Once the burn becomes severe, it’s burned down to the nerves so you don’t initially have any sensation in those burned areas. Then the adrenaline kicks in. It’s our mind’s way to protect us from the tragedy that we went through.“*

My mind’s way of protecting me from any tragedy I went through?

Writing.

*

The sign ascending at the Eastern horizon at one’s birth is used to consider how the person presents to the world. One interpretation used to describe one’s ascendant, or rising sign, is the exterior of the house, where the moon is the interior and the sun is the house’s foundation. My rising sign is Sagittarius. A fire sign.

The only other evidence of fire in my chart is not a planet or a star or even a node. It’s Chiron, a comet. The most common interpretation of Chiron’s placement uses the words “wounded” and “healer.”

Meanwhile, my chart is dominated by the other elements — mostly air, followed by earth, then water. Least present is fire. This lack of fire in other areas has sometimes disappointed me. Even my Mars is in Pisces.

Imagine a fighter fish, hiding among the rocks. The moments when I’m not on fire but safe in my cave, surrounded by water.

*

Inevitably, after several times of hearing and reading You’re on fire! I have to think of Bruce Springsteen.

“I’m on Fire,” 1985.

Sometimes it’s like someone took a knife baby

Edgy and dull and cut a six-inch valley

Through the middle of my soul

Yes, that sounds about right. That’s what writing can sometimes feel like.

Tattoo guns like a match caressing the skin.

Fire.

*

I’ve resolved to remain open to the words that will next appear on my skin.

One word hovers in the smoke but I’m not ready to pluck it from the air just yet. There is a period of waiting, stoking, letting embers fall where they may until the time is right to set another wood on the log, etch another design onto my skin. My forearm’s skin is patient. The blue veins show up just enough that I’ve contemplated blue tattoos following their unique rivers.

How, then, to tend this fire, keep it burning?

Writing, of course.

The Jirí Chronicles

A History of The Jirí Chronicles

The Jirí Chronicles is a book without boundaries. Its aim is a multimedia invasion into the real world, where real people interact with a fictional character, Jiri Cech, whether they know it or not. Each project within the Chronicles expands Jiri Cech’s 13-year infiltration and “bastardization” of aesthetic forms, creating narratives within narratives that overlap narratives, ad infinitum. To date, there are over 500 individual works of prose, poetry, video, audio, music, visual art, websites, and ironic consumer products.

Eventual “products” of the Chronicles married two literary explorations. The first began in the early 1990s with the question, “What if fiction wasn’t limited to page and ink?” An unfinished novella, The Second Millennium War: What We Found At Birmenstau, was a first attempt to produce fictive elements that readers could interpret as “real.” Two- and three-dimensional artifacts related to the plot were produced or attempted. Computer technology had not yet advanced to where writers could affordably manufacture believable artifacts on home computers and peripherals. Nor was the Internet or services like personal web site hosting available to economically challenged writers.

By 1998, however, personal technology had exploded, making a wide range of media feasible and the potential for real-world infiltration seemingly limitless. Likewise significant was the increasing shift in speed, consequent reduction of attention spans, and non sequitur thinking produced by the Internet. Reduced to bits and bytes, information grew increasingly fractured, virulent and difficult to separate into truth or fiction. The age of Information Excess had taken root. Thus began the second exploration: an experiment in randomness and meaning.

THE SHORT STORIES
The first short story “Czechoslovakian Rhapsody Sung to the Accompaniment of Piano” attempted to prove that the mind can — and does — (re)form the daily deluge of unrelated information into a narrative with cultural and emotional significance. (Recent studies have indeed located the region of the brain responsible for creating narrative out of unrelated data.) The result was a mixed media fiction utilizing text and white space as visual elements, and incorporating illustrations, footnotes, and text appropriated from ad copy, news headlines, magazine articles and billboards, song lyrics, movie dialog, and genealogical, scientific and historical facts.

The story’s unnamed narrator writes about “You,” a Czech immigrant whose racism repulses her and good looks attract her, to the extent that she wants to have his baby — though plot is hardly the point. Rather, it serves as an entertaining vehicle for process and product, modifications of what is traditionally defined as fiction writing.

In 2002, a conversation with The Iowa Review’s editor, David Hamilton, led to the publication of “Czechoslovakian Rhapsody”, and Jiri Cech officially entered the real world. (The “You” of “Czechoslovakian Rhapsody” soon became Jiri Cech, a name that translates to a fittingly generic “John Czech” with initials J.C., as in “Jesus Christ,” a [very] subtle nod to the conclusion of J.D. Salinger’s Franny & Zooey.)

To date, Jiri Cech has appeared in seven mixed media fictions, two published in The Iowa Review, one in Drunken Boat, one in Notre Dame Review; excerpts in the anthologies I’ll Drown My Book: Conceptual Writings By Women (Carline Bergvall, Laynie Browne, Vanessa Place, eds. Les Figues Press), The &NOW Awards: Best Innovative Fiction of 2004-2008(Robert Archambeau, Davis Schneiderman, Steve Tomasula, eds. Lake Forest Press/&NOW Books: Lake Forest, IL. October 2009), “Glauke’s Gown.” Forms At War: FC2 1999-2009 (R. M. Berry, ed. FC2/University of Alabama Press: Tuscaloosa, AL. March 2009), “Oops. Sorry” Notre Dame Review: The First 10 Years (John Matthias and William O’Rourke, eds. Notre Dame Press: Notre Dame, IN. January 2009); and multimedia presentations at the first biennial Notre Dame’s &NOW Festival of Writing as a Conceptual Art; Riverfront Readings at The Writers Place in Kansas City; at Lake Forest College, Illinois; and T.M.I. (appropriately: “Too Much Information”) reading series in San Diego, California.

THE PRODUCTS
Jiri has recorded and produced five CDs of interviews, music and videos (two taught in a college lit course), now downloadable on 25-50 sites including iTunes, Rhapsody, Sony Music and MusicNet. Jiri’s art metal band, Umlaut with 4 dots not 2 (formerly Umlaut: ultimate uber death metal) received their first royalties check in 2006.

In 2002, Jiri published a collection of poetry, Whither: Poems of Exile, for which he won the Mennstrauss Poetry Award. He most recently completed another collection, Comes Life: A Poetic Chronicle, that brutally documents events from September 11, 2001 to Bush’s Iraq War, using appropriated text from the Old Testament, concerning topics from real newspaper articles, such as the high incident of soldiers committing suicide. A revision of the book includes real bullet holes created by various weapons; a limited edition includes a real spent bullet.

Jiri Cech served as guest poetry editor of the Spring 2004 issue of The Melic Review, in which he earlier published poetry. Other poems have appeared in the online site, Poets Against the War, in Other Voices International Poetry Anthology, and in the notable literary journal, Pleiades, prefaced by a brief essay introducing Jiri, written by poet H.L. Hix. His poems, “I Am A Real Estate Developer,” “I Am a Vampire” and “I Am an Opium Addict” — all written in less than 10 minutes (the longest time Jiri can sit on the toilet without his legs going numb) — were purportedly in an anthology of MySpace poetry, edited by Elinor Brown, United Kingdom. (We never heard back from Elinor. Perhaps she was mortified.)

Jiri has been interviewed about his experimental poetry by the critic and fiction writer Steve Tomasula (excerpts downloadable on most music sites and available and on the CD Steve Asks Jiií: “Does Poetry Suck?”). His illustrated essay, “Bohemian Beasts and Their Buttery Buxom Brides” appears in the anthology, Brothers and Beasts: An Anthology of Men on Fairy Tales, edited by Kate Bernheimer (Fall 2007, Wayne State University Press). In December 2007 Jiri also was the subject of an interview by Dr. Kent Gustavson of Sound Authors (www.soundauthors.com).

Jiri Cech’s visual art has been exhibited in 2004 at Urban Culture Project’s “Alias” exhibition for which he received positive reviews from Review arts magazine and The Kansas City Star. Other exhibitions include Beauty and the Beast art auction, and H&R Block ArtSpace exhibition, Making Meaning: The Artist Book. The majority of his hugely overpriced art therapy drawings appear in the book, When the Bluebird of Happiness Shits On Your Armpit. Two of these drawings (that respond to real rejections from real poetry editors at real literary journals) appear in Clackamas Review.

Also extant: Jiri’s newsletter, 10-Minute-Muse blog, personal website, Umlaut website, MySpace page, Facebook page, and various online interviews, music selections and videos on sites ranging from USA Television Network to Notre Dame Review. His test pilot for Comedy Central and his homage to publisher Ralph Berry of FC2, can be viewed at Youtube.com

His consumer products could once be purchased at jadedibisproduction.com, and included tee shirts and undershirts, boxer shorts, ass patches, magnets, paper bags from which to drink Pilsner in public, autographed gravel from one of his suburban sprawl construction sites, and the newest addition: celebrity scents, Hung and pe, which are still available, albeit likely toxic by now.

Jiri frequently wrote inflammatory letters to editors at various publications and receives less inflammatory letters back, junk mail and spam.

The book, The Jiri Chronicles & Other Fictions, is now on the syllabus at a number of college literature and writing programs, and was the subject of a PhD dissertation by Sheffield England linguist, Alison Gibbons.

REALER THAN YOU
As Jiri Cech’s presence expanded, so did his significance regarding contemporary culture and aesthetics. His website, it’s a man’s world, (the title of a poem by Jiri Cech adapted to video and later featured on the website, Poets Against the War, suggests continuing problems regarding gender and power. The project itself chronicles the issues of our times and the democratization of a vast array of new technology, and how the two may be related. It questions the notion of boundaries — whether geopolitical, socio-economic or aesthetic — and the dangers of categorizing people and things according to our prejudicial standards.

On a more somber level, Jiri’s ability to exist as “real” addresses the apparently burgeoning problem of The Lie in contemporary society, where politicians, media monsters, and corporate and religious leaders are able to spin webs of deceit by means of the very technology that allows Jiri Cech to exist as “flesh-and-blood.” It also surreptitiously explores the contemporary problem of sound bites & bytes, wherein the public’s conclusions about people and concepts are reached without fully receiving and absorbing all information necessary to achieve an objective, rational viewpoint. Further, it illuminates readers’ increasing lack of attention to detail and an unwillingness to spend the time and energy required to understand the relationship of all facets within an issue or narrative.

Finally, and crucially, The Jiri Chronicles attempted to explore and document Systems Theory* via interconnections between media and people, fact and fiction, and the resulting effects on our day-to-day lives.

Jiri Cech was killed by lions while chasing the Bohemia Blonde in Botswana. His funeral was a private affair, held at the 2011 &NOW Conference of Innovative Writing in San Diego, California.

*Systems Theory is the transdisciplinary study of the abstract organization of phenomena, independent of their substance, type, or spatial or temporal scale of existence. It investigates both the principles common to all complex entities, and the (usually mathematical) models that can be used to describe them.