Wednesday, January 16, 2013


INCIDENTS from the Park Rapids Enterprise, December 19-23.

The Henrietta Township transfer station reported bike tracks in fresh snow going toward the impound lot, thinks it should be checked out;
A Lake Hattie Township caller reported a small plane that continues to circle at treetop level around his and his family’s homes;
A caller reported vehicle in the driveway with its horn blaring, gone on arrival, it was a family member;
A caller reported a vehicle that “keeps being in her drive,” unknown owner;
A Park Rapids caller stated the neighbor is drunk and has been knocking on doors;
A Nevis caller requested removal of a car from her property, it’s been there over three years;
A caller reported her daughter-in-law will not stop sending threatening text messages regarding her granddaughter;
A male wearing slippers was reported walking on CSAH 1, seems confused, officer gave him a ride home;
A White Oak Township caller complained of the neighbors revving engines and snowmobiles, “so loud they can hear it in their house and over the TV”;
A 911 caller reported he was told to leave a bar but he has “stuff” inside, people were yelling in the background;
A conservator of an estate in White Oak Township reported a trapper trespassing;
A truck was reported tearing up a church parking lot in Todd Township;
Calvary Lutheran reported a male coming to the church, watched kids rehearsal and started preaching to pastor and holding a cross, he said he was an evangelist and she was the devil, she asked him to leave, wants law enforcement aware;
A 911 caller reported an older sports car doing donuts on Main;
A cell phone caller reports he was hiking in Paul Bunyan Forest and is now lost;
An intoxicated female in Park Rapids requested transportation to Pine Manors;
Ten-plus callers reported “deer all over the road” in Lake Emma Township;
A caller reported hitting a “phone pad” in his yard;
Theft of a deer stand was reported in Lake Emma Township;
A $300 toy tractor was reported stolen in Henrietta Township;
A Park Rapids caller reported “theft of green pants from under her bed.”

How could I have let my subscription lapse in 2012?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


In no particular order.

1. My story "Escape and Reverse," a story of wrestling both literal and metaphorical, found a home in the Ploughshares Solo series. I wrote the first incarnation of this story back when I was in Iowa. I watched many Dan Gable instructional wrestling videos (VHS!)  from the public library in the course of writing it, and called upon the sensory memory of my own singular (well, single) wrestling victory at a Brooklyn lucha libre party Gavin and Gillian Russom took me to in 1997, where I threw myself into the task so vigorously I didn't even realize I had pinned my masked opponent until someone pried me off of her, euphorically oblivious with adrenaline. 
I suppose this is an opportunity to make a nostalgic comment about how this was back when Williamsburg was still full of cheap raw lofts and broke weirdos who would cobble together a room full of mattresses to hold a massive tag-team wrestling tournament, with no social internet to perform it for, just the moment itself, but I'm over the old shine of secondhand glory, I was just one of the millions who happened to be there at that time, I just showed up to the party other people led me to. 

I learned a lot writing that story. My sixth-grade social studies curriculum ("Minnesota: Land of Sky-Blue Waters") was dog-eared and ended around the 1950s so I hadn't really known what became of the Iron Range, except that it had shrunk in population and generated exceptionally tough Pee Wee hockey players. I loved watching those videos and reading wrestler message boards and calling my brother for insider info on the high school boys' locker room and reading about the crushing work (literally) of taconite mining. That's one of the most pleasurable things about writing anything, fiction or non: the research. You come out of it with way more knowledge than even makes it into the story.

You can find it in Amazon's Kindle Singles store for ninety-nine cents. You don't need a Kindle to read it, anything digital will do. 

2. I also wrote this essay for Airplane Reading back in February, about the strange yet sort of amazing time in my life when I used to fly every week from Portland to Stanford. "Take Flight."

3. Also I contributed an essay to UNBORED: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun, which came out in November. This book, I must say, is fantastic. Even on a purely physical level, it's large and solid and printed on good paper and the design and drawings are terrific. And the content too is so great. It's all about making your own fun and your own life instead of consuming and following. If I were a kid, I would love it. As an adult, I love it. 

Here's the Powell's link, where it's currently a staff favorite and so 30% off, but if you look at Amazon you can also see some screen shots that include the essay I wrote, "Rock Out," based on my many years of volunteering at the Rock'n'Roll Camp for Girls.

The website for the book has tons of good stuff too, like Gary Panter's drawing tips. (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, that one.)