Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mark Baumer's Best of 2008

Untitled by Jason Amos Oaks (this isn't even the best by this guy.)
Advisory Committee by Julie Speed

Glass Baby by E. Franc Arnau (first story I picked for TJ. It's got a special place in my heart and its the start of a long and strange relationship with someone I don't think exists anymore)
The Slow Spin by Brandi Wells
February the Kidnapper by Shane Jones
Letting it Out, Letting it In by George Sparling
Half-Birthday by Sam Pink
Good Time Dan by xtx

And a few poems I remember enjoying...
Pay Stub by Karl Koweski
the trucker's wife by Hyde

Monday, December 29, 2008

Dan Scannell's Best of 2008

Funambulism by D. Harlan Wilson
Wilson uses bizarro well, keeping it close enough to the familiar to hook the reader. You have the elements of excessive safety and the shallow expectations of audiences, but he avoids the danger of obvious allegory. What really drives the story home, though, is the concentration on things.

The Boy Who Ate the World by J.A. Tyler
This story speaks for itself. A statement about the modern world. A focused, purposeful use of magical realism.

The End of Algebra by Jimmy Chen
A look at the narrowness of modern human obsessions. Chen's prose always satisfies.

Opacities by Casey Anderson
An explication of boredom.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

King of the Streets

Mike Boyle is looking for a publisher that might be interested in the sequel to Dollhouse. Anybody know a publisher who could put out a book that looks as good or better than a Thieves Jargon Press book?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Does it suck?

A question for the published writers:

Do you think it sucks that writers might be hitting you up for recommendations to get into TJ? At first, I thought it would be a way to get more people to read your work and send you feedback, but now I'm wondering if that's sort of an unfair thing to ask of you. Maybe it would even start to come off as sleazy.

I'm trying to figure out how hard to push that particular angle with all these people who are sending email, trying to find ways to get us to read their work.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Henry Rollins and Dock Ellis

I just added these two guys to the Thieves Jargon influences page earlier this week and was meaning to make note of it, and then Dock Ellis died today, so that's some fucked up voodoo.

Henry Rollins was the first guy who I read and I got the feeling that I'd like to be a writer, too. And it's not because his style is easy for a young writer to try and imitate (a lot of the time, it is). What's lasted for me is that he's the guy I turn to when I need to get my moral compass straightened out. Work hard all the time, never say no, accept help grudgingly, break the record just to break the record. I never got into lifting weights, but yeah, huge influence. I try to see him speak whenever he comes through Boston. As a band, I don't need Black Flag in my life, but "Get in the Van," his biography of the road days in Flag is pretty raw and motivating.

Dock Ellis was one of those guys (like Doc Thompson) that you get into because of their drug stories, and then find out there's way more behind them. Ellis threw a no-hitter on acid, hit Reggie Jackson in the face with a baseball after Reggie hit one of the longest home runs ever in an All Star game against him, got maced trying to get into a game, and spent his last years counseling against drugs and addiction. As an Outspoken Black in the late 60s, he had to fight through some severe racism, but always came off with style and intelligence.

There's a lot of fun to be had during the holidays, but there can be some severe lows as well. Everybody: have fun if you can, and take care if you can't.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bellowing Bastard Brothers?

A new journal I know next to nothing about, except that it's new and it's looking for submissions and it has an interesting look to it and the first thing they've published is a Willie Smith story that starts out, "Awake – the firemen got high on gas! Out in the backyard huffing octane with the police."


Monday, December 15, 2008

A new co-editor

Andy Riverbed is the newest member of the Thieves Jargon editorial staff. Now that moving away from massive amounts of incoming submissions, the need for a Minister of Occasional Sorrow is diminished (except for all those people who are going to submit regardless of posted guidelines. Check out Andy's farewell rejection here. Andy recently conducted an online interview with Lit Chaos, which touches on interesting topics like boot camp, Justin Hyde, and heroin sickness. Listen.

I think Andy is massively talented, and I'm glad to have him on board helping us scour the web for submissions.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Fall semester's work completed

I'm getting drunk.

Career change?

If there's one thing I've learned from cubicle world, it's that everybody wants you to have sales experience on your resume.

Sell an ad to a publisher or website that we can run on Thieves Jargon, and I'll give you $100 of the $150 ad price.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

New submission guidelines

Submissions can be either joint locks or chokes. They are also invite-only. How to get invited:

-- Be previously published in Thieves Jargon
-- Read the archives, send nice letters to your favorite authors, have them recommend you
-- Get published somewhere else, and we'll come find you

submissions at thievesjargon dot com

Friday, December 5, 2008

Case closed

I said the other day that it's always the kid that gets owned in an argument that presses to say case closed.


Case closed. Onward and upward.

TJ submission policy changes this weekend.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Massive egos, expert marketing

DiGangi's been out making enemies again, when he should be writing papers for school, out drinking with publishing professionals, and reading submissions from Spencer Dew and Mike Boyle.

So there's this blog called JavaScript Warrior that's been making the rounds recently, and they have a bunch of contributors, several of whom have been published in Thieves Jargon, including their leader, who I'm going to call Tao Lin, simply as a code name.

I thought, in the idea of common interest, I'd email Tao, asking if he’d like to do a link exchange, since Thieves Jargon has, in the past, published not only him, but several of his authors. Makes a certain amount of sense.

When Tao didn’t write back, I made a post on a different contributor's blog post, one of the guys who has been published in TJ a handful of times, asking if he knew anything about how I could get an answer.

Tao responded to the blog, saying he didn’t read his email. One of his many sycophants said that I was being an asshole. Another sycophant suggested I call Tao an asshole for being disinterested in anybody who doesn't first fictionally finger his bung a little bit. A Thieves Jargon sycophant said that Thieves Jargon is dope.

To show that I was genuine and meant no offense, I offered Tao a free JavaScript Warrior ad on Thieves Jargon. I also made a post about how we’re all on the same team, and I wanted to play along, because for all of us, the championship should be the main goal. I also mentioned that it worked fine either way, because neither Thieves Jargon or JavaScript Warrior needed the other, and we could be standoffish to great benefit (see box score, later).

Tao decided that making a blog post about how everything I did was wrong would be more important than gaining a small bit of exposure for himself and all of the other JSW writers who have homes in the Thieves Jargon archives.

Something about this struck me as strange, because one of the ways he said to get a JVS link was to “do something.” Offering a free ad seems to be “doing something.”

Tao and I both realized that his particular story in the Thieves Jargon archives wasn’t as good as that of any of the other JSW writers who have been published in Thieves Jargon. This morning, I deleted his story, and everybody is happy.

Thieves Jargon has received 77 new submissions today, up from an average of 25.

I'd rather not say it, but everything bad said about TJ this afternoon should be seen as a slam on all of the fine JavaScript Warrior writers who have had their work accepted by and showcased in Thieves Jargon.

This has worked out well for everbody, except for those writers, who I respect very much, and the readers who won’t find their way to JSW because Tao decided to take his ball and go home. To all of them, I’d like to personally and sincerely apologize.

Final score:
Thieves Jargon 77, JavaScript Warrior 0.

Big egos, (mine being the biggest), suck shit.