I MUST BEAT TAO!

This is not the Carles Tao Lin but some other Tao Lin. Or maybe this is Carles.
This is not the Carles Tao Lin but some other Tao Lin. Or maybe this is Carles.
Seattle’s alt-weekly, The Stranger has a yearly fundraiser called Strangercrombie. It’s an auction. People bid on prize packages. The prize packages are weird. This year, for example, one of the prize packages is a driving tour of Seattle music landmarks with Long Winters’ frontman John Roderick.

The Stranger books editor asked if I would participate. I said sure. He asked what sort of writerly service I could provide. I said I would be happy to spend an hour with the winner of whatever writerly package I was a part of discussing the proper use of white space in a piece of fiction. And then I said I would also be happy to tell the person why they shouldn’t write a story in the second person.

My contribution to this charity prize package—which is called “The DIY MFA, Semester Two” and includes Maria Semple and James Morrow offering advice on one of your stories and a graduation dinner with Ryan Boudinot—is listed on auction website as: “…a beer or two with Matthew Simmons…” Pressed for space, they have summarized my contribution. This is okay. I have some observations, though. Continue reading “I MUST BEAT TAO!”