New Book / New Stories 


I hope everyone is doing good. I’ve got some friends riding  out Hurricane Matthew in Florida, but it looks like they’re gonna be okay. Was worried about one friend in particular who lives in a punk house that is collapsing anyways on a blue sky day. Anyways, looks like Florida will keep on Florida-ing. Yuss! Punk House will live on. 

Heard some news last week. Civil Coping Mechnanisms (CCM) will be putting out my memoir/essay collection called Same Clothes As Yeaterday in June 2017. Excited about that. 

Also, today at Hobart, I have two pieces of flash, “Red Teeth” and “Do Ya Wanna Dance?” They’re here

It’s October and most everybody is happy that it’s hooded sweatshirt weather.  I’ve had some writing fall through the cracks lately and wanted to share a list here if you are in the mood. 

  •  Hobart published two short stories from my collection, coming in November (from Disorder Press) called Dustbunny City , read them here 
  • Hobart also ran a story of mine called Boss, about a man struggling with the ghost of Andre the Giant, read Boss here 

Everything Neon, reviewed

The site Up The Staircase was kind enough to give my poetry collection Everything Neon (a weird love letter to 173rd street/my wife, Spout) a review.

You can check it out here

Things are going pretty good over here. Just got over pneumonia. Just got my car fixed. The weather is warming up. Been doing a lot of writing: mostly poems and poetry.

Hope all is well for you, wherever you are.

The Dark Sunshine by Len Kuntz


#1, this was a great book.

If this review was written in the style of the Dark Sunshine, it would be incredibly concise, dark (of course), expansive in use of both imagination and pulse. Instead, this review is going to amble along, crash into walls, smile too much. This review will have wasted words, The Dark Sunshine doesn’t have a wasted word, letter, even a wasted comma.

I feel good after completing Len Kuntz’s collection of pitch perfect flash fiction, like I just attended a workshop. It’s the kind of writing that reads like an instruction manual on ‘how to master brevity’, ‘how to flesh out entire worlds in the narrowest footprint possible’, ‘how to introduce a protagonist/antagonist you’ll never forget in the same space as a 120 character Twitter transmission.’

The collection seems prototypical, as Howie Good puts it in the blurb on the back of the book, “Len Kuntz’s flash fiction is everything flash fiction should aspire to be–surreal, macabre, humorous …”

He’s damn right about all that.

Dark Sunshine has a thread running down the middle: the tread an unease, a dysfunction, a mysterious problem–but it is not just between a man and a woman, or the children; it’s beyond the house and it’s domestic troubles, it’s the town too and the the strange neighbors, cops and therapists; there’s an existential crisis stretching over the entire globe, wrapping around this universe, and alternate universes, planes of existence. It’s all troubled.

Okay, before we get any farther with all the darkness, doom and warranted pessimism–I should tell you something, Len Kuntz is incredibly funny. His comedic timing is startling. These are jokes that we might be laughing at in self defense, but the good news is, Kuntz has mastered minimalism so well, we can’t be sure anyway if we’re the brunt of the joke. Often it’s society at large, the way we look at things wrong, the way we fail at loving each other.

The joy in this book lies in the simple things, the smallest factors, that somehow shine the brightest. It comes down to how fresh the characters are. They are very much alive on the page, reacting to their various situations, completely unpredictably.


Index Cards: Outlining a Novel

I’ve written a few novels in the past. This November, I’m going to participate in Nanowrimo, you know–that goofy attempt to write a novel in one month. I’ve done it before and it’s a lot of fun.

My buddy Gus Sanchez of the funny and thought provoking blog Out Where the Busses Don’t Run has been talking to me recently about doing some outlining work, so I took his nudge and decided to do some of my own.

What the fak.

This time around, I thought that I would outline my project because that’s not something that I have done expansively. This time, I figured … EXPLANSIVE would be a good idea. Because of all the below reasons

  1. This is a novelization of my life at 23 years old
  2. It’s got characters that are based off real people, with names changed
  3. It’s got events based off real things, just some info smudged
  4.  the idea struck me just the other day and I don’t wanna lose track of the semblance of the strange plotting.
  5. I don’t wanna mix up truth and exaggeration while I’m writing. I wanna keep things straight in my narrative for myself while writing and of course, the reader later.

So here is my process for the outline. In case you were wondering.

First, I wrote out a sentence about the entire plot of the novel. From start to finish. Each line of the paper was just an event. If the events got boring, then I knew there’d be a problem with the novel.

Boring outline=Boring novel.

When I had start to finish and that pesky ‘middle’ taken care of; I took a loose leaf sheet of 8X10 paper and I folded it in half vertically and then twice horizontally. This made 8 boxes on the front, 8 boxes on the back. I filled these boxes with interesting traits about the characters.

  • Note: Making the “sentence event sheet” led to more characters appearing than I originally panned.
  • Making the “character boxes sheet” made more plot appear than I had planned.

When all of that was done … I started making these … index cards, each index card is a 1200 word approx. scene.

I like to write novels that are broken up into scenes. I’ve decided to do a great heap of that in this new book partly because I have had so much success with my short stories lately. My book ‘Or Something Like That’ has been getting some great reviews. I’ve noticed something that the reviewers are picking up on in my short stories, and that’s that a lot of things are “tied” together, like Seinfeld, Like the Marvel Universe … so I’d like to keep that going with my next release.

I have 40 of these scene Index cards.

It has the scene number (chapter number) on it and some general notes on what happens in each scene. My goal with this novel is to make each of these 40 scenes stand on it’s own as a short story. I love to writes ‘shorts’ and in this project, I want to marry the idea of short stories with the novel.

This entire outlining process took me about 4 hours of work, but I think  it’ll be well worth it, because now I have a complete map of the story, it’s characters and the conflicts and sub-conflicts that arise.

Should be a good time.

Now, for the rest of October, I’ll be completing edits on a novel I wrote this April … almost done.