Author Archives: Calgary Fats

Trivial times demand trivial writers

Richard Brautigan was a big deal writer in the 1960s. He sold a lot of books, had a bunch of lovers and, according to a NYT review, got to hang out, get drunk and shoot guns with writers like Jim … Continue reading

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Death and the cartoonist

R. Crumb on death, as quoted in the New York Times, Saturday April 24, 2012 – “Death? Afraid of death?” he said. “When you get older, you dry up. You die. That’s it.” He added: “I’ve lived my life. I’ve … Continue reading

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Is anybody there?

Most of my experiences with literary magazines have not been positive. I understand that editors are swamped. I just wish they would come clean about their limitations. You’ve all heard an editor swear passionately that he or she or a … Continue reading

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South Africa remembers the struggle against Apartheid

Those who are passionate about politics will find South Africa’s museums as exciting as its game reserves. There are two that I visit every time I’m in the country – the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, big, architecturally daring, emotionally overwhelming; … Continue reading

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Unsolicited submissions

I haven’t submitted a story to a literary magazine for at least a year. Yet I enter contests sponsored by those same magazines all the time. The reason is simple – I believe the odds are much higher that someone … Continue reading

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It’s good to be the winner

There seem to be a lot of fiction contests lately. I’m getting my new novel in shape to enter the James Jones Contest, and I have a well-travelled and oft-revised short story going out to Passages North and Pinch. Passages … Continue reading

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Mitch Hedberg – too bad he’s gone

I came across a one-liner by Mitch Hedberg yesterday. “Rice is great if you’re hungry and want 2,000 of something.” Kind of Zen-like but funnier. More Mitch Hedberg

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Abandon All Hope – Agents Advice to the Struggling Writer

I just read an interview with four literary agents that provided a useful if painful reality check.  It was published in Poets and Writers a few years ago, but I’m pretty sure the  points the agents made are still valid.  … Continue reading

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Pitching – the Aftermath

It’s done.  I went to New York and pitched my book.  It was a great experience, and I even found an editor who asked me to send her the first 50 pages.  It was also at times a sobering and … Continue reading

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The Elevator Pitch

I’m attending the New York Pitch conference this month, which will give me a chance to talk up my book to editors who are supposedly looking for new material.  I guess this will be kind of like a job interview, … Continue reading

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