Literature of the Final Interaction

A browser window of playful digital innovation has closed. Like a light wind that dies after sunset. We see the cursor move, a soft click, the tab vanishes.

Something like a literature of the web was born and then almost immediately died, along with the most ambitious social lives traversing our generation – the last generation to experience the world before pervasive digital media. Blogs (Gawker, Hipster Runoff, HTMLGIANT(?)) were like… this thing that happened and then became either institutional, irrelevant, or crushed by political detractors. Comments sections became essential and then as quickly: perverse, violent. At some point, Pitchfork became Pitchfork. Reification.  READ MORE >

Opinion & Technology / 17 Comments
January 24th, 2017 / 2:52 pm

Authors’ First Tweets

Last night, Nicolette and I were getting ready to see Joy Williams at the Folger-Shakespeare Library in D.C. We made and ate dinner, then Nicolette made a Twitter. I was so happy. I love it when people make Twitters. She chose her profile picture and header picture, then asked what her first tweet should be.

I suspect that everyone who has wholly dismissed Twitter has done so only after creating a profile and, after much inner turmoil, was unable to conquer the bleak anxiety of The First Tweet. Does a person just tweet a variation of the seemingly inevitable ‘first tweet’ tweet? Does s/he ignore the obvious and awkwardly, just, what? Start? Interested in how other people handled it, we found a website that let us type in the usernames of various writers, and see their first tweets. It was really entertaining, so we compiled a “Best Of” list containing some of your favorite author’s first tweets.



Random / 2 Comments
December 20th, 2016 / 12:39 pm

Politicians discussing global warming.


By Isaac Cordal.


I was raised on Clinique and wet n wild, Chanel No. 5 and Love’s Baby Soft. I love super-fancy makeup and the cheap stuff. I got fussed at in high school theatre class because I didn’t put on enough makeup. That oil-based stuff made me feel like I was suffocating.

I don’t wear a lot of makeup, but I do love lipstick/lip gloss and eyeliner. I rarely leave the house without those. If it’s early, I’ll only line my top lid. If it’s later, I’ll line the bottom lid, too. A smokey-eye for nighttime. Winged eyeliner is a part of my personality. I’ll also wear a little under-eye concealer and powder. If I don’t feel like doing anything much at all, I’ll wear extra red lipstick and put my sunglasses on.

hillard_leesaRevlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede is my favorite cheap lipstick of the moment, and I always have Clinique Black Honey Almost Lipstick with me. It looks good on everyone! I also love Benefit’s Sugarbomb. I have about 25 lip glosses in my purse because if I see one I even think I might like, I get it. I once read that your lips can get “addicted” to lip gloss, so that’s obviously where I am. I stash them all over the house: on the kitchen sink, on the living room table, next to the toothpaste, next to the bed. I’m the same with bobby pins. My earrings, too. I can go from room to room and reach my hand out and find a pair of earrings, a bobby pin, and a lip gloss.


Beauty by Htmlgiant / 4 Comments
June 6th, 2014 / 4:00 pm


hillard_photographI visit beauty sites quite often. This is a thing to do when one’s life is a sequined distillation of anxiety or tragic Debbie Gibson video. While looking for an eyeliner with sufficient grit, I thought of curating a series of interviews for HTMLGIANT on beauty and health. I tweeted that I thought it would be cool and sad, especially regarding the grooming habits of writers in whatever mundane/metaphorical/actual ways they manifest themselves. I talked to Gene about it, and he had just upped his routine to something containing algae, and BEAUTY BY HTMLGIANT was born. The first installment will feature Leesa Cross-Smith, author of EVERY KISS A WAR. It is expensive to be sane.

Beauty by Htmlgiant / 2 Comments
April 26th, 2014 / 1:24 pm

who, amongst us writers, is the greatest Tweeter ?? Mark Leidner, Blake Butler, Melissa Broder, Patricia Lockwood, and Rauan Klassnik (ha ha) are all GREAT Tweeters–

but if I had to name just one it would be Russel Swensen (Scribbly Mouse)–

whatcha say ???

Great Tweets in Literary History


Random & Technology / 14 Comments
April 12th, 2013 / 1:45 pm


Pretty sure @joycecaroloates is the literary personage who most entertains me on twitter (closely followed by @breteastonellis).

Author Spotlight / 2 Comments
November 29th, 2012 / 2:56 pm

Old news, but: Bret Easton Ellis goes down hard on DFW. What you think?