Hi, all--sorry to be silent for so long. It's been a busy six months, and I just haven't made the time to check in with the long posts I'd been planning. But I have heard the complaints, so here I am.
Why've I been busy? Well, work, as always. And in early summer I got to do some traveling in support of the GRANTA list--had a great time reading in Minneapolis, Iowa City, Chicago, and Toronto. The listmates with whom I read were, without exception, fabulous people to get to know: Akhil Sharma, Rattawut Lapcharoensap, Kevin Brockmeier, Yiyun Li, John Wray, and Karen Russell. All great people; all wrote great books.
I was also fortunate enough to spend some days driving cross-country with GRANTA's then-editor Matt Weiland and his wife Gina (Matt's since moved on to THE PARIS REVIEW). That was a blast. Luckily we all liked the same music, since I'm insufferable on that front. Minneapolis is Matt's town; I'll always be thankful he and Gina took me to the Electric Fetus, which as you might imagine is a record store full of goodies.
But that trip aside--I spent the summer working on a new novel. Not the one I've been complaining about to some of you for a couple of years now--THAT book and I needed some time apart. I turned instead to another idea that's been kicking around in my head, and have written well over 100,000 words since June 1. Not all of those are permanent words, mind you, but I really love this project. I won't predict an ETA, but it'll be done sooner rather than later.
Also: I finally got my butt to a gym. As of this week I'm down 33 lbs. from May, with many more to go. My GRANTA pic was what did it, in the end. Another 15-20 lbs. and I'll post a Before and After shot in this space.
And finally: My new story, "Pitch Black," is available in the poker-mystery anthology DEAD MAN'S HAND, an anthology edited by the inimitable Otto Penzler, and published by Harcourt. Look for it in bookstores everywhere. The story's a new direction for me--dark comedy, I'd call it. It also features not one, but two bad death metal bands.
That's all for now. I'll try to be more attentive--thanks for your posts!