Sunday, January 31, 2010

Southland Distribution Odyssey

Hi, All!

Below is a timeline of the L.A. distribution run. I made it, but just barely...

Friday, 1/22/10, 8:00 PM: after driving 6.5 hours on the 101S through intermittent rain, arrive in Los Angeles on 3 cylinders, -2 windshield wipers, and 0 heat.

Saturday, 1/23/10, 10:00 AM: car won't start; enlist friend (and friend's car) to distribute matchbooks throughout city.

10:00 AM - 6:00 PM: distribute matchbooks to the following stores:

Skylight Books
Counterpoint Records & Books
Book Soup
Metropolis Books

Sunday, 1/24/10, 11:00 AM: return to car, install new spark plugs; car still won't start.

11:00 AM - 6:00 PM: check/adjust the following:

distributor and rotor
points and timing
gas and carburetor

No dice.

Monday, 1/25/10, 6:55 AM: call supervisor, inform that I'm stranded in L.A. and won't make work.

7:00 AM - 8:00 AM: panic, ask myself, "In order to get home today, do I...

a) buy new parts, install, and maybe solve car problem, or
b) tow car to mechanic and let the experts do their thing?

9:30 AM: tow car to E&C Motors in Reseda.

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM: stump veteran VW mechanic with mysterious car problem, think, "Will I ever get home?"

11:30 AM: try last possible solution--car STARTS!

11:30 AM - 6:OO PM: after driving 6.5 hours on the 101N through intermittent rain, arrive home on 4 cylinders, -2 windshield wipers, and 0 heat.

Big thanks are sincerely given to the following friends and saviors:

Owen & Emily, for cool-headed advise, a blow-up mattress, and whiskey.
Rob & Anat, for transportation, navigation, conversation, and libation.
Leagh, for cellular roadside assistance.
Brandon, for cellular roadside assurance.
Natalie, for holding it all together.

Keep On Keeping On,


Sunday, January 10, 2010


Happy New Year, all!

It's official: Matchbook Story is up 'n running. After a year of planning, web design, layout and production, I've just returned from a distribution run to the Bay Area where the following bookstores have agreed to carry the magazine. Many thanks to...

Bookshop Santa Cruz
City Lights Books
Green Apple Books
Diesel, and

But this is only the beginning. I'm heading down to LA at the end of the month to hit up the independents down there, and Matchbook has landed on the east coast thanks to some smuggler-friends. So things are moving, and I'm feeling good.

UPDATE: due to some minor delays, the deadline for Issue no. 1 is now March 1st. Please note.

In other news, Matchbook Story recently made headlines in TheStorymatic.com. The Storymatic is a writing prompt/teaching tool/parlor game/toy consisting of 500 business-sized cards containing (half) characters and (half) plot points. For the last few months, I've been using The Storymatic to generate matchbook stories, test the 300 character limit, and generally explore the form. I've had serious fun using The Storymatic, so I contacted its creator, Brian Mooney, to let him know. Glad for the feedback, and excited by the new magazine, Brian kindly plugged Matchbook Story in the mid-December posts of The Storymatic's Featured Artist blog. Check it out. Much thanks to Brian--for his support, enthusiasm, and endlessly fun and useful writing prompt.

Stay tuned for future posts...

Fire away!


Friday, January 1, 2010

"Pick of the Week" Archive - January 2010


How could he have known that as a drugged up satanic metalhead, killing and burying a cat in a building site one night so long ago with friends he’s since lost track of, that now, after 13 years as a financial advisor, to give his kids more room, he would be buying the house that stood on its grave.

Julian Baker, London, UK



I gave a ride to a hitchhiker today. I’ve seen him around. He hauls these trailers painted on every side with his mission statement: “Follow Your Heart”. He's a black guy who “woke up” after Katrina, has dedicated himself to bringing supplies to New Orleaners. I'm gonna donate my Christmas money.

Daren Commons, Santa Cruz, CA



As he finally caught a first dim glimpse of the cave's fabled wonders, Roger thought he'd earned a smoke for his travails. As he greedily put a cigarette to his lips, he tried to recall Evans' warning about the place. Too late, he realized it might have had something to do with matches.

Seana Graham, Santa Cruz, CA