“The Month of Writing Dangerously”

A new story of mine called “The Month of Writing Dangerously” is in the fourth print edition of Opium Magazine, which has just been published. The story is a rollicking, continent-spanning adventure, packed to the gills with romance and pathos and political intrigue, love and war and hummingbird sausage; in other words, riffing on the idea of National Novel Writing Month and something George Saunders said in the ‘Times last year (“Might you try writing a novel in the future?” “I just did. It’s very innovative. It is only 25 pages long.”), I have efficiently crammed all the stuff—the meat and potatoes, the nuts and bolts, the vengeful Lithuanian manservants and unshaven Marxist waitresses—of a vast and sprawling novel into a mere twelve hundred and seventy-eight words. (Not unlike, perhaps, squeezing an entire intact cow into a sausage casing. Brilliant! Fantastique!)

Editors Todd Zuniga and Elizabeth Koch implore you to purchase the issue here; you can look at the excellent list of contributors here; and you can find out all about the fabulous launch party in New York City next Saturday here. [N.B. Links removed, at least for the time being; it looks like the Opium site is currently in the middle of an overhaul.]

I think this is the first time my name has ever come directly after Jack Handey’s in a list of contributors. Which is not to say that at some point he and I have been on a list of contributors separated by, say, Thomas Hardy, or Nathaniel Hawthorne, or Ernest Hemingway; I mean that, unless I’m completely forgetting something, this is the first time something I wrote has been published in the same thing as something he wrote. I have been on the same lineup as Kevin Sampsell (that guy rocks!), who also had a story in Homewrecker, but I definitely have not shared a bill with Stuart Dybek, Anthony Tognazzini, and Dawn Raffel, all of whom are awesome—and I look forward to discovering all kinds of unfamiliar-to-me-as-yet awesomeness in my contributor copy!