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Inside the Flash Mob (1874)

I’m one of four judges for Flash Mob 2013, a blog carnival and international flash fiction competition in June 2013. The other judges are Robert Vaughan (USA), Leah McMenamin (New Zealand), and Nuala Ní Chonchúir (Ireland). Hosted by Christopher Allen (Germany/USA), Linda Simoni-Wastila (USA) and Michelle Elvy (NZ/USA).

Is Hem's hat the right hat for a WIR?

Is Hem’s hat the right hat for a successful Writer In Residence?

I’m one of several “writers in residence” for the English lit class “ENGL2342 Short Story/Novel” at Collin College in Plano, TX. The class instructor is poet Joani Reese. This all happens virtually: there’s a “secret” Facebook group where writers and students assemble and lists of stories and books, including “Thank You For Your Sperm” have changed hands so that the students have ample contemporary reading material.

ReviewForward is “a new online initiative for indie authors, for self published authors and for book bloggers,” says Dorothee Lang, who is restlessly working on for the literary indie jungle. The Facebook group might well be a home for the many ideosyncratic lit posts that litter my blog. RF comes with a Twitter hash tag (#reviewforward) and a goodreads list. Image: my artistic rendering of the cover of the first book I reviewed for RF (by Beach Sloth).

It’s supposed to be the next big thing which is why I suppose I wanted to at least try it: Pinterest. I’ve even blogged about it. It’s shiny and very tempting when you’re happy with a button diet of communication. It favors images and even refuses to work at all without an image. I’m not sure it’ll survive: it’s a glorified form of list-making. However, it does look good…check mine out!

As if I hadn’t had enough blogs already: some Devil Teutonic rode me to start an exclusively German blog; it was a good experiment (since 02/2012) and helped me explore blogger’s new fancy-schmancy dynamic templates; after a few dozen posts, my summer writing time and net fatigue intervened, but it’s there for you to improve your German.

In 2012, I’m going digi-light at Plattenbau/ 1000 Penguins with my contributions to yet another 100 Days project in the run-up to the publication of my debut collection. Easily written and easily forgotten and forgiven, begun during the Euros, it features trip reports, dream journal entries, journeys into the absurd and a string of seasonal filial holiday projects, like this drawing.

the24project created by @sophmackintosh and @GMGreb on/for April 14-15, 2012, really did exist and I was part of it. Even though there’s hardly a shred of proof except a cool good-bye and contributors’ list on the Tumblr site. I had successfully submitted “Spring Things To Do” to the blogroll of 170+ pieces. We need more projects like these, which locally increase the literary temperature above boiling point and then fade away with ghost bodies stronger than some publications that never want to go away (but are past their prime). Not naming any names.

Aotearoa“, land of the long white cloud, is the mysterious Maori name for New Zealand where we lived in 2002 after leaving London. This year, Michelle Elvy and Dorothee Lang are hosting “Frankfurt Bookfair 2012—An Aoteatora Affair”, a collaborative web initiative. The site features weekly [bilingual] highlight such as my “The Families/ Die Familien“, a monthly blog carnival (February|May|July) and more. | @occupywriters

In October 2011, I was involved in a panel discussion on the meaning of the OCCUPY WALL STREET movement to artists, hosted by Atticus Books where the discussion was published in three parts including statements from six writers and one musician. I really enjoyed taking a stand while Occupy members everywhere are taking a stand for all of us. The ensuing flash “The Seri­ous Writer Occu­pies Wall Street” was published by OccupyWriters.

Bending Light Into Verse: In Those Days We” features written works by a number of authors, who use vintage photographs as prompts. Edited and founded by photographer Jennifer Tomaloff, “In Those Days We” contains two short pieces by me. Available online from November 2012 at Issuu or as a paperback at Amazon.

«IN THOSE DAYS WE is an attempt to look backward into our collective past, and to make flesh of the ghosts lost within the borders of old photographs. For this reason, IN THOSE DAYS WE will concern itself primarily with fiction (though we’ll use that word loosely).»

ALT LIT GOSSIP delivers the juiciest gossip about the (mostly) young celebrities of alternative (online) literature. It was founded by my friend, the Canadian author and editor Frank Hinton. What am I doing among the hip crowd?— Heck, I like ’em and I like to join a cool thing when it happens & come out to play. My (mostly made up) gossip contributions focus (mostly) on dead writers and absurd moments in their lives, like this one. There’s just something about death that turns gossip into gold (and the dead don’t sue, though they can haunt).

The Master Windkey.

I was part of a global cast helping to “re-twead” Ulysses using Twitter on 16 June 2011. Ulysses Meets Twitter 2011 project was featured by the NYT & organised by Stephen Cole. Enjoy my contribution here.

“Damp night reeking of hungry dough. Against the wall. Face glistering tallow under her fustian shawl. Frantic hearts. Akasic records. Quicker, darlint!”

Stern medieval beauty: Uta von Naumburg (1000-1064).

I joined the 100 Days 2011 project (May 21-August 28), which “gathered story writers, poets, painters, photographers, filmmakers, musicians, and programmers together for one hundred days of creative effort: a piece a day for 100 days.” On my own project site, “100 Days And Nights“, I published new micro fictions, often stimulated and inspired by medieval motifs or by drawings of my talented daughter Taffimai.

An expanded version will be published as a flash novel by Folded Word Press in 2013.

One Thousand Shipwrecked Penguins” is a project for penguins, begun in December 2010 was scheduled to be finished after 1000 weekly flash posts (in about 20 years) when it’d be auctioned for 1,000,000,000 $. It started with a collaborative idea whereby people would submit their photos and I’d match my micro fiction to the photo. Now posting flash when it suits me. [Renamed to “Plattenbau” in 2012.]

Conceived as a place for literate and artistic dadaists in 2011, Kaffe in Kat­mandu was the uber-cool mile-high pen­guin hang­out. While it ran, the Kaffe gathered almost 1000 posts including many original pieces, thousands of followers and over a hundred artistic members.  On twitter and Facebook, too. — The Kaffe closed on 31 December 2011, alas.

In January 2011, I participated in the international river of stones project “NaSmaStoMo” – National Small Stone Month – the writing of one ‘small stone’ per day throughout January. This was fun though in the end I decided the form was too short for me. One pebble was deemed worthy of publication:

«A young man madly in pursuit of sound was milking rather than playing the keyboard and shouting at invisible musical ghosts.»

All Of Us Everywhere” is a flash cycle, a global roundelay of characters. It covers the Earth’s 24 time zones one flash at a time, on Christmas Day. Published in its entirety for the first time as part of the (free) Metazen Christmas Charity E-Book 2010 – a wonderful lineup of more than 40 xmas spirit infused writers. This is also part of my short  fiction collection “thank you for your sperm”, to be published by MadHat press.

Dorothee Lang – editor of Blue Print Review and Daily s-Press and fellow German – is a creative phenomenon: in 2010, she started the > Language > Place blog carnival. I participated in: #2, ed. Nicolette Wong); #6,ed. Michelle Elvy; #7, ed. Julia Davies; and #8, ed. Walter Bjorkman; #13, ed. Christopher Allen; #17, ed. Vivian Faith Prescott.

krautflash” is my blog of German flash – initially these were translations from the English only (though German is my mother tongue I do all my serious writing in English — I’ve said why elsewhere), but I’ve begun to write pieces in German first, too, and it’s fun.  Not much traffic—a true writerly pastime. Also comes with a twitter account.

Finnegan Flawnt (2009-2010)

Flawnt’s Blog was my main literary outlet apart from Fictionaut for a couple of years. There are still many unpublished little morsels and some people still come here for a moment of quiet reverie thinking about Finnegan Flawnt the man and his (unfathomable) mission

Flash by Flawnt (2009-2010)

I always loved grouping texts and photos. Vintage black and white photos are a special obsession of mine. “Flash by Flawnt” was an excuse to indulge this habit. Click on the “Archive” tab to get a marvelous overview of all the work assembled here, most of which has been published in flash collections, e.g. at kill author.

« this is how i spent my last day as flawnt: slept in (courtesy: ms flawnt). read facebook (knowing it was my last day: sweet!) coffee. hugs. lots of em. literary love. … »

NaNoWriMo (2009)

In 2009, I complete NaNoWriMo, because I really wanted to prove to myself that I could complete 50,000 words in a short timeframe. Having done it what counts, mostly. It was a good experience that I would not like to repeat but that I recommend to anyone with the same motivation: see if you can do it at all (and like doing it). I enjoyed it sort of, but the result, a novel tentatively titled “Bloody Management“, always put me to sleep.

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