A round-up of high quality tweets from people in (and around) the world of literature…

Beach Sloth:


A round-up of high quality tweets from people in the world of literature…

Nikki Reimer:


* at the beginning of a list

* on the vanity license plate of a traveling campervan

* to your dog, followed by a beef-and-cheese-flavored snack from pocket, counting on word of mouth to spread from there

* to your demons

* to your high school guidance counselor

Here’s what you need to know about our love: he told me the song that best captured how I made him feel was “Pale Blue Eyes.”

And that is a love song. That is maybe the love song. But it’s Lou Reed, so I’m not really sure if the song is about a person or if the song is about heroin.

What I’m trying to say is, what the man who loved me was telling me was You are a drug. What the man who loved me was really telling me was These things never end well.

Rocket science seems really hard. So does open heart surgery, deep cover espionage, and learning Mandarin. But for me, the complexity associated with each of these activities pales in comparison to something I call “the break in.”

Known by many names—the ice breaker, the introduction, the causal factor behind innumerable severe, public anxiety attacks—the break in refers to the technique one employs when one finds oneself at a large gathering where one knows very few attendees or, in the worst cases, none at all. Whether at a cul-de-sac barbecue in a neighborhood one just joined, a business networking event, or a holiday party where one only knows the host, the only thing more terrifying than the specter of maneuvering one’s way into an in-progress conversation is continuing to stand alone.

So, what is one to do?

I don’t know.

If “one” is me, one scrolls through numbers on one’s phone, won’t eat because he’s overwhelmed by the number of people surrounding the appetizers, and has this weird, raised eyebrow, I’m-easy-going-and-optimistic-if-you-want-to-include-me-in-your-chat-but-I-also-have-a-lot-of-my-own-stuff-going-on-as-you-can-see-from-how-intently-I’m-looking-at-my-phone, look on one’s face.

If one is me, one is unable to properly enact the break in, a break in, or anything akin to breaking in.

If one is me, one knows he needs some help.

To that end, I’ve created a brief list of possible break ins. With a little luck, I’ll be hob-knobbing like the best of ‘em in no time at all.


1. Saying “I don’t mean to interrupt” and then introducing myself.

2. Saying “Hi, I don’t mean to interrupt” and then introducing myself.

3. Just introducing myself without saying anything about not meaning to interrupt.

4. Standing outside a conversation circle, chuckling about an inside joke I overheard but don’t understand and then saying “Wildcards!” with a wink and a two-handed finger point.

5. Faking indigestion and asking every attendee for a specific flavor of Tums that only I know has been discontinued.

6. Quoting Hamlet, loudly, to a tray of carrots, until everyone’s private conversation is interrupted and they’re forced to pay attention to me.

7. Leaving the event to buy a bag of apples and then chopping off both my thumbs before returning, making it very difficult to peel said apples, and justifying my requests for 1.) emergency medical attention, and 2.) help peeling all the apples I just purchased.

8. Grabbing asses.

9. Calling in a bomb threat and then standing on a table to tell everyone that I’ve already notified Batman and “everything will be fine.”

10. Calling in a bomb threat and then standing on a table to tell everyone that I called in a fake bomb threat.

11. Asking every attendee “how spicy is too spicy?”

12. Yelling “Abbondanza” repeatedly, in a really bad Italian accent.

13. Renaming myself “Tornado Joe” and not telling a soul.

14. Being really cool about sharing my time on the see-saw, inspiring everyone to want to know a little bit more about my story and how I came to be such a considerate guy (note: this only applies to events being held on playgrounds).

15. Introducing myself as Jeffrey Dahmer — “Not the murderer!”

16. Reading aloud the entire script of Juwanna Mann as if I were R2-D2.

17. Being respectful and open to others’ opinions at all costs, and never compromising my values.

18. Singing at a subtle decibel level the “come on and work it on out” line from the Beatle’s song “Twist and Shout,” but purposely saying “work it all out” instead of “work it on out,” hoping someone will notice and correct me.

19. Committing heinous acts of treason and murder.

20. Worrying less and loving more.

21. Being the guy who brought the kite.

22. Keeping an ear out for people saying “less” when they mean “fewer,” noticing two people make the misstep, and shouting “You dumb fucking idiot!” in their faces.

23. Saying every male attendee looks “sort of Dickensian” and every female looks “good enough to eat.”

24. Talking about talking about my screenplay with “other writers” while I bend down to untie my shoelace and then tie it again as quickly as I can, because I’m trying to show off.

25. Offering up some high-fives after saying “I know a guy who’s looking to unload flamethrowers cheap…a little too cheap.”


Wish me luck.


Twenty-eleven was a good year, one might even say a banner year, for Greg Olear.  The proverbial bouncer whisked me into the proverbial club in many instances when, in the past, I would have been left waiting behind the proverbial velvet rope.

Among the lists I’m proud to have made in 2011: American writers published in the French by Editions Gallmeister; American writers interviewed on French TV; speakers at the Quais du Polar festival in Lyon; authors in the signing booth at BEA; guests at the Authors Guild cocktail party; New Paltz homeowners (and Hudson Valley Magazine feature subjects); novelists noted on the “Hot Type” page of Vanity Fair; guys who have made out with Snooki; novelists noted on the “Full Frontal” page of Penthouse; writers interviewed on the Other People pod (you can’t spell Listi without L-I-S-T); and of course, Los Angeles Times bestsellers (Fathermucker was #15!).

1. No time.

2. No energy.

3. No idea what you were saying.

4. Your post was part of a series and I figured I’d wait for the next installment.

5. Wanted to leave my feedback at tnb.com regarding the electrical conduit fittings I recently enjoyed, but somehow ended up here.

6. Your piece happened to appear during a widespread lull in commenting at TNB and I didn’t want to buck the trend.

7. Didn’t feel ready to delve into a topic that would steamroll my neatly compartmentalized system of core beliefs and values.

8. Didn’t feel the need to make it obvious I had fully missed the point.

First come, first serve. One per person. No returns.

  • The Hypnic Jerks
  • Riff Medusae
  • Harumph!
  • My Share of the Dildo
  • Animals for Feminist Research
  1. Fish Tricks
  2. Pork Swaps (or Lamb Swaps)
  3. Counter-Pig’s-Feit
  4. Steak-Believe
  5. Pretenderloin
  6. ReproDUCKtion
  7. Sleight of Ham
  8. Scam Chowder
  9. Not Roast
  10. Cheatloaf
  11. Beef Psteu
  12. Filet Mignone
  13. Shamburger
  14. Chicken Pot Lie
  15. Salmock
  16. Leaf Stroganoff
  17. Beef Fauxganoff
  18. Don’t-Go-Against-Your-Beliefs-Stroganoff
  19. Chicken Noodle Spoof
  20. Pep-parody Pizza
  21. Gypped Beef on Hoax
  22. SubstiTuna Salad
  23. ArtiFISHal
  24. Sashimitation
  25. Bluffalo Wings
  26. No-Killbasa
  27. Venisn’t

Thanks to Amanda Pounds who made me do this.

1. Technical difficulties.

2. Loss of feeling in fingertips.

3. Moved to laughter and tears, but not necessarily to typing and sending.

4. Commented out loud to myself after reading and considered the message well received.

5. Commented on your Facebook wall, reposted my comment on several blogs and then discussed it with you in person, however I figured this comment section was a private matter.

6. Typed out a comment and then saw it as over-praising and sugary, even for someone who writes about parenting.

7. Typed out a comment and then saw it as contrarian and snarky, even for someone who writes about the French.

* floating

* blindness

* morning naps

* confidently communicating in nonsense

* chewing Lincoln Logs

* building Lincoln Logs

* peeing with pants down around ankles

* concern over no other persons’ well-being but my own

* bedroom

* thumbsucking

* anti-thumbsucking ointment on thumb

* wearing a bullwhip made from leather shoelaces

My Early Assumptions About France

* more enlightened

* better food

* less restrictive attitudes about sex and gender

* mastering the language would take a few months tops

* the lifestyle of the writer is amply rewarded

* it’s pretty much like the film Amélie

* but with painful taxes and secret social codes

* and citizens who sometimes get stuck in the past

* and believe the world turns around their country

My Wife’s Early Assumptions About America

* can do spirit alive and well

As “Friday Bloody Friday,” Duke Haney‘s triumphant return to these pages, has vanished (that’s a Peewee reference) from the “Most Read” list, where it has sat in kingly glory like Yertle the Turtle for the last ten days, usurped by a far inferior piece called “Eponymous,” I think it’s time to clarify something: