Who are you?
There should be a bio here somewhere.
Talk to me for a little about the The Awful Possibilities.
The Awful Possibilities is my first collection of short stories. There are nine of them and they’re all in voices. I wrote them over a period of about ten years. The title of the collection comes from the story “Took and Lost.” The line is: “He opened the door to the awful possibilities of a life with meaning.” These days “awful” means “terrible” or “terrifying,” but it also means, or has meant, “awe-inspiring.” I’m trying to make you feel awful.
How do you feel about being a grown ass man and a homeowner?
I love my new house. My wife and I had to buy it because we found out we’re getting a baby and we’d been living in a smallish one bedroom for the past six years. Unfortunately we don’t have any of the first world amenities yet, like internet access or cable or furniture, so we mostly just sit around on the floor waiting for the baby to show up. Being a grown-ass man is more of a project. I’m going out dancing less, but my khakis haven’t grown pleats yet.
What is up with the month long blog silence former blogging consistently man?
See the sentence above about first world amenities. You need the internet to blog. Also I’ve been flying all over the place trying to read people my book. All while working full-time. I’ll get back to it as soon as I can.
The game Connect Four. Thoughts.
I don’t like it. Or any game that doesn’t involve much body. They make my forehead and shoulders tense. But I do like the sound of those disks clicking in the rack. It’s nice listening to someone playing Connect Four while I read.
Remember when you said a thing about voice in answer to that first question? Say another thing about voice.
My stories always start with a voice. Sometimes from a real person, sometimes from another book, occasionally from a voice that pops into my head. With ‘The Champion of Forgetting,’ for example, I was sitting in a McDonald’s in Syracuse, New York, and kind of eavesdropping on this woman who was talking to her friend. She spoke in a stilted monotone, and the way she said her sentences it sounded like they didn’t have any commas in them. It made me sad. I jotted down a few lines, but I didn’t start writing the story until several years later when I realized she must have been involved with organ thieves.
Would you eat pasta for breakfast if that was all there was or would you just go without because who eats pasta for breakfast?
The problem for me isn’t pasta but breakfast in general. I dislike breakfast.
How has hip hop saved your life?
Writers need to stop talking about hip hop.
But isn’t one of the stories in your collection about hip hop?
“SS Attacks!” is about hip hop, among other things like school shooting and black nationalist ideology and having a brother, but that doesn’t mean we should talk about it.
What exactly has saved your life?
That sounds a little dramatic. How about things that make life bearable and/or fun: my wife, throwing down with friends, making music, reading good books, eating anything but breakfast but particularly cheeseburgers, writing (when I get a chance and when it’s going well).
Do you still believe in redemption?
And how would you define that action if that’s what it is?
I don’t really think redemption is an action. And I don’t know if you can be redeemed. I just think that there is redemption and it’s good to be oriented toward it.
Would you say being raised by ministers has something to do with this book a bit maybe?
Of course. Being raised by ministers has something to do with everything about me. On the one hand, my parents were awesome and very supportive of me as a person and writer. On the other, I’ve noticed in the past few years that Calvinism (they’re Presbyterian) has really shaped my worldview, whether I like it or not. Hence all this talk about redemption.
I like you.