where the writers are
Love, Hate, and Tin House (Or another post procrastinating the CLMP Conference posts)

I'm catching up a bit on my reading more slowly, since I'm also full into the heat of my first novel. It's going pretty swimmingly, and if you read YA, I'll be in need of a few good beta readers before the spring (by all means contact me now), but I digress. It's true I am putting off the post on opening lines a bit longer, but take heart, it will be worth the wait and free (the best possible price) and soonish. 

So you'll be wanting your tea for Tuesday on Wednesday then. I will not disappoint you, although it may be a lackluster entry. I'll go on a bit about current reading habits, and perhaps you'll understand and forgive the drag. 

I have read the Hunger Games, but I imagine you will get the just of it when the movie comes out, so I've no pairing for that book. I am in the midst (for research/writing purposes) of Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. I find it very enjoyable, and I'm on the second to last chapter. I would pair it with a bit of Welsh black tea, loads of milk as they do, and a steaming hot pile of Welsh Cakes (if you have them, I've a recipe if you don't) dusted in sugar. 

In other news, I'm clearing out my backlog of literary magazines & books, albeit more slowly. I've tried to embrace The 42nd Parallel on multiple occasions, and even though I love an experimental novel, I'm worried we may not be meant to be. Which brings us to last summer's Tin House, Love, and Hate. 

Full disclosure - I attended one of the Summer Conference programs at Tin House and more recently heard Rob Spillman speak at the CLMP thing in early November (right nice of him as it was in NYC, not Portland), so I may not be as impartial as I would like to be, without further ado:

I open my copies of Tin House when I have time to savor them. It's usually something I look forward to, but as of late it's taken a darker turn. Sometimes, when I peel back that glorious cover I am disappointed by the subject matter or stories, but I cannot stop myself. Tin House introduced me to two damned stories that are achingly, magically, beautifully executed. The first was, "A Shadow Table" by Alice Fulton. The second was, "The Truth About Marie" by Jean-Philippe Toussaint. What I really wish I knew was how the same editor who selected these mind-blowing works also chose the first story in this issue, "A Good Deuce" by Jodi Angel. Before I continue, my full apologies to Ms. Angel. Writing is a bitch, I know, but I cannot bring myself to like your story. I've tried. 

All obvious jokes about the title aside, this story was awful. The setup was cliched, the narrator narcissistic in a dull, unlikeable way, the prose and style were ok, but the sex scene ending (if you can call it that) was revolting, meaningless, and vaguely rape-like. Also there was a gratuitous description of drowning kittens in a sack. No really.

Perhaps this story selection was done intentionally? Maybe jaw-dropping stories like "The Truth About Marie" are infinitely sweeter after reading stories like the one I mentioned? The world may never know. I keep reading Tin House waiting, hoping for those lightning-in-a-bottle pieces.

P.S. Please excuse my grammar, not feeling very editing-tastic today.

P.P.S. I do know editing-tastic is not a word. Please see P.S. above.