Saturday, August 6, 2011

In Praise of Fried Chicken and Coffee

After a brief hiatus due to technical difficulties, Fried Chicken and Coffee is back online.

For those unfamiliar, Fried Chicken is a blogazine devoted to rural Appalachia. When I first happened up on it, I was in the process of finding my voice as a writer, penning tales of alcoholic mechanics struggling for love and survival in the trailer parks of the South. (For those who know my history, no explanation is necessary. For those who don't, none is possible.) The value of the validation in learning there was an entire genre--"grit lit"--devoted to this type of fiction can hardly be discounted. Of course I immediately sent the editor, Rusty Barnes, a story.

He turned it down. He did mention that, while this particular story had not made the cut, the subject matter was indeed the type he was looking for. Thanks for playing, try again later. In due time--after an extensive editing process--"Sunday Afternoon at Earl's" was published. I considered it one of the two best stories I had written.

The other was rejected.

When a third story was refused--not among my best, but good enough, and one that was soon published elsewhere--I pouted. I stopped submitting and, when finances robbed me of internet access at home, I even quit reading.

But I couldn't stay away long. So now I'm back in the thick of it, perusing a review of grit lit demigod Larry Brown, and wondering if the editor received the tale I submitted while the site was down.

What, you ask, is the point of this minor literary history? Only this: if you have enjoyed my stories in the past, you should check out Fried Chicken and Coffee. It's the genuine article.

Oh, and a final note. While looking over the site to see what had changed, I noticed my own former pen name (with a link to this blog) listed under "Rednecks and Honorary Rednecks". That's right, alongside such luminaries as Ron Rash, Sheldon Compton, and Silas House, was the lil ole name Randy Lowens.

Thanks, Rusty. I'll never pout again.

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