My First Reading from The Amnesia of Junebugs (for The Sparks Prize Reading Series)

Today is the day I give my my first reading from my debut novel, The Amnesia of Junebugs, the first + only time I have to give a reading as the 2007 Sparks Prize winner + also the first (but not the last) time I'll be reading to people at Notre Dame all by myself. I'm crazy excited + also nervous as shit.

Shameless Self-Googling is Good for You

I know, I know, it's vain and egocentric to google yourself. except when you discover that one of your fave online travel journals published a memoir of yours about africa. AND they didn't tell you either. so tonight, i was waiting for erika to get home, i'd just finished applying for a part-time tutoring gig online, and after i did some self-googling--which, i admit, sounds totally kinky--i realized that POLOGY magazine published my piece "Stripped Down" about the bike trips i used to take from my village to the malian border. anyway, there are tons of run-on sentences, but i think it's still a good memoir. check it out peeps, it's evocative enough, even if it is travel writing.


I'm stoked about my reading at notre dame in february. for more info, check this out. i can't wait to hit the mic

4 Things in the Writerly World I Have to Deal with, Now + Always

1. I got a great rejection from indiana review, but to be honest, it hurt so much i almost wish i hadn't received it. it said:

Jackson, we really seriously considered this piece, i admired the ambition, energy, scope--a fun read for sure. ultimately, however, we couldn't place it. please do try us again in the future. all best, megan savage, fiction editor.

I appreciate Megan taking the time to write that, that was supercool of her. but to know you were so close, and then not picked, i have to say, it hurts alot more in a way. for hours afterwards, i'd feel fine, and then i'd remember that rejection letter and get depressed. despite my modest publication history, i still haven't penetrated the elite paper literary journal market yet, and to be honest, i don't know why. it's just like in jack london's martin eden, the rejections feel as arbitrary as the acceptances. it doesn't matter that that taste corrupts technical estimation, i just think it's about time my stories starting hitting the airwaves so to speak. universe : i'm ready. me : are you?

2. Compare this to the one-size-fits-all rejection letter i got from harper's today, which was so impersonal it was funny, but hey, it didn't hurt at all. it was like being rejected by the wrong magazine, like being rejected by a spammer, like reading someone else's mail.

3.The date for my reading at Notre Dame is now officially 6 february. can't wait to hit the mic. wish i had the cajones to wear a leisure suit with rhinestones. But because I don't, here's my Arts Everywhere Blurb instead:

4. I'm halfway done with my master novel revision. it's taking longer than i anticipated.