Monday, December 14, 2009

Introducing Gnarled Oak, Knotty Pine

I'm a busy man. Between schooling my daughter, cutting firewood, keeping one house and remodeling another, writing and submitting stories, editing my novel and preparing a synopsis, I'm covered up with deadlines, duties, and daydreams. But when I inadvertently created a blog space while registering to comment on someone else's, I figured, What the hell?

Gnarled Oak, Knotty Pine will feature new content each week. Some posts will be brief, say, just a single picture and a few sentences about a local oddity. Others might feature song lyrics, poetry that isn't right for a journal, or perhaps the occasional orphaned short fiction. My focus will be the working class experience in rural Appalachia because, well, that's the life I chose.

I have no idea how much interest this effort will generate. For now, I'm not encouraging a lot of submissions. What I publish by others will mostly follow from invitation. I'll be looking for concise, thoroughly proofed stories about the vertical backwoods, okay? Excursions into the Deep South are welcome too. Be aware that I'm more interested in realism than sentimentalizing Dixie or glorifying the working life. This longish story on Rusty Barnes' Fried Chicken and Coffee should give an idea of my tastes.

That said, if reading your work feels like listening to a song by David Allen Coe, send me a brief query and a link to something already published.

Why Gnarled Oak, Knotty Pine? Because I like the sound of it. Say it aloud. Go ahead; just ignore the person in the next cubicle. Gnarled Oak, Knotty Pine. See what I mean? Until next week, Gentle Reader.

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