Short Story Published in Witness

Before the insurrection on Halloween, the security guard considered himself an atheist and a cynic, but there are some things too hard to understand, things without precedent, and one of them is a polished ten-inch Colt Python Revolver pointed directly up your nostrils.

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Essay about Dishonored 2 (and Class Stockholm Syndrome in the Steampunk Genre) Published in PLOUGHSHARES

Few things push plot lines as well as vengeance in drama and leveling up in RPGs, which is why Dishonored 2, despite its many flaws, integrates plot, adventure, and history effortlessly into a unified field, centering its narrative on the propulsive quest of assassination and personal redemption. Much like Victorian morality in the nineteenth century, this game is a Manichean fantasy world of good and evil.

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Novel Chapter from The Amnesia of Junebugs Published in Fiction

There are few joys greater than seeing your shit in print. That's a rule + I'm sticking to it, man. So you can imagine how giddy I was today when I walked into the Hollywood Borders + there was my story featured in Fiction # 56, my name being the first name on the front cover. It was a pure, inexplicable + dirty little joy. Even better, I had the privilege of sharing journal space with one of my favorite Japanese authors, Murakami Ryū (author of Almost Transparent Blue, Coin Locker Babies, "Tokyo Decadence", among others). I may get 100 rejections this year (like last year). I may--shudder at the point--never publish BLANK in its current form. I may not become the literary superstar I secretly hope/believe I am. I may not ever become a household name--which writers are these days? I may not even get the privilege to live in relative obscurity, teaching fiction workshops to aspiring delusional writers inside pretty-looking college seminar rooms. Who the fuck knows how it all works anyway?

But what I do know, what I know for sure, is that this moment, this perfect little moment is mine. And though it can never last, I know that in this tiny moment, I just published a chapter from my first novel in an awesome literary journal that you can buy pretty much in almost any Borders in America. And that makes me wanna cry for all the years no one could find me.

3rd Story Accepted in 2008

Today LB and I got a new care package that her Mom sent from Chicago. Inside there were some of the usual suspects:

Greenies for Zoe
Nurse Magazines for Erika
A copy of Vegetarian Times
A mysterious letter from some lawyer
Rejections letters for me from: The New England Review, Washington Square, New Letters

But at the bottom of the stack--I always put the thickest envelopes at the bottom for the sake of build-up--was what every aspiring writer dreams about in his obscure literary career: a new acceptance letter, this one from Connecticut Review. Let me quote the exact page because it just feels so good to read it:

Dear Jackson,

On behalf of the Editorial Board of Connecticut Review, I am delighted to accept the work listed on the enclosed contract.

To help us prepare for the printer, please follow the directions for submitting an Electronic file of your work. The directions are attached. As soon as your Production Editor receives your work, she will begin processing it for publication . . .

I am very pleased to be publishing your fine work.




So, I'm really happy about this. The amazing thing is I sent that manuscript almost exactly a year ago. I'd almost forgotten about it. Now I have to send the editor an email and tell her I'm in Buenos Aires.


In related news, my lyrical essay "Piano Lessons" published in volume 10 of the South Loop Review is now in Chicagoland stores and in Columbia College's bookstore. Info about this issue can be found here.

Delilah in Collision published in the Pittsburgh Quarterly

Recent rejections from:

kenyon review

Recent submissions to:

danforth review
new england review
north american review
writer advice

Recent publication at:

the pittsburgh quarterly (the site looks great. i'm so happy about that).

recent--as in, just two minutes ago--acceptance at:

writer advice. it's an edited version of my response, but hey, i'll take it.