HTMLGIANT

Mike Meginnis

Some good reasons to submit to a press or magazine are: you like the press or magazine, the publish things you like, they will give you money, they have great covers, they have great designs, they will promote you as a writer, they will  make you feel good about yourself, and they will reject your thing if it’s not ready.

Here’s another one I don’t see discussed as often: they will edit your work well and make you look good. (This is rare.) (And here is the most important, never-mentioned advantage: You learn from being edited. My novel’s editor cut a whole bunch of dialogic tags, i.e., “he said”s, from my book. I learned that I was using far too many. Now I’m using fewer. It feels great.)

Let’s talk about what we’ve learned from our editors.

Thoughts on Kyle Minor’s Praying Drunk

I read Kyle Minor’s Praying Drunk over the past several weeks. I would have liked to read it more quickly, perhaps ideally over the course of four days, but things kept getting in the way. There were appointments with repairmen. There was work. There was a trip back home to Indiana. I had a reading. My family attended. My brother is currently taking a creative writing course with Kyle Minor. That same day, I read the second half of “In a Distant Country,” the longest story in the book. I almost cried. I told my brother that his writing instructor was good. “Do whatever he tells you to do,” I said. I told my brother how I almost cried. “That’s really good,” said my brother.

I said, “It is!” It’s very good.

Here is a picture of Praying Drunk on my bookshelf:

IMG_20140227_155021606 (600x338)

When you open the book there are the usual materials. There are title pages, there is a copyright page, there is the dedication. There is an epigraph. And then there is this:

IMG_20140227_155145329 (600x338)

My hands shake constantly, and more as I get older, so that photo is a little blurry. It reads, “Note to the reader: These stories are meant to be read in order. This is a book, not just a collection. DON’T SKIP AROUND.

READ MORE >

I Like __ A Lot / 10 Comments
March 3rd, 2014 / 10:00 am

Inventory

I have been persuaded, by the comments of others, and by further reflection, that my initial reaction to the recent fustercluck, (i.e., “fuck this place”), was neither mature nor productive. And worse, some of what I said along the way was hurtful and ungenerous. If I value this space — and I must, because I am still reading, and certainly I did value it once — then I should be the change I want to see.

It has generally been my feeling that the sexism, racism, and general hatefulness of the HTMLGiant community has been consistently overstated, both because of the unfortunate human tendency to confuse the worst of any given group of people with the essence of that group, and because this blog, like any blog, seems to get the most attention when its contributors act out. That being said, I know for a fact that many women and people of color are not comfortable reading these pages. (There are times where I’m not comfortable either.) I don’t like that. I don’t think the vast majority of our contributors, current or past, like it either. So I’m going to try to address the problem head-on in a series of posts designed to make it clear that HTMLGiant is, as a whole, intended to be an inclusive environment. Again, I think that’s where our hearts (mostly) are. If you want to contribute something to this series, I’d be glad to have it, so please email me (at mike(dot)meginnis(at)gmail), because I don’t know what the next post is going to look like.

I’m going to start with myself. I’m going to inventory my privilege, insofar as I can do that. I can’t promise it will be entertaining, but hopefully it will continue the work that others have begun.

READ MORE >

Behind the Scenes / 18 Comments
December 19th, 2013 / 4:00 pm

An Interview with Gabriel Blackwell

I interviewed Gabriel Blackwell this weekend. We talked about his new bookThe Natural Dissolution of Fleeting-Improvised-Men: The Last Letter of H.P. Lovecraft, which is a strange, scary, and above all absorbing novel about the final days of said author of the weird. We talked about our experiences with Lovecraft and Lovecraft fanfiction, Mexican men’s shelters, why we don’t like House of Leaves, and writing “objectively,” among other things. Please watch and enjoy. Then buy his books.

Author Spotlight / 2 Comments
November 26th, 2013 / 3:46 pm

Call for Submissions: “Poetry Sucks!”

I was asked to pass this along, so, here it is! Good luck.

Call For Submissions

The upcoming Third Man Books anthology to be titled Poetry Sucks! An Anthology of Poetry, Music, and All Sorts of Bad Language is accepting submissions.

Third Man Records co-founders Jack White and Ben Swank originally conceived the record label to house, produce, and distribute Jack’s music projects. However, they have always intended to broaden the endeavor’s scope. TMR now features many music artists other than Jack and has taken on new projects such as distributing the legendary Sun and Paramount record labels. Film is another avenue TMR has begun to explore. And not surprising to many, Jack and Ben happen to be language lovers.

READ MORE >

Random / 4 Comments
October 22nd, 2013 / 3:21 pm

You don’t have to write. You don’t need it like the air. You do have a choice. You could stop at any time. In all likelihood, no one would be sorry if you did. It would be fine. It might even make you happier. And isn’t that all for the best? Wouldn’t you rather choose how to spend your only life than have it chosen for you?

The one semester I was lucky enough to teach creative writing, the last project I gave my students was to make the most beautiful thing they could imagine. Practically no one wrote a story or a poem. Someone is giving you the same assignment.