I'm excited for the upcoming tour. It was fun reading in Austin a couple of weeks ago, Five Things is a great series, it seems, with quite a following. It was nice meeting everyone, and finally getting a chance to meet the American Short Fiction folks. I got a little drunk that night. I learned what a Snoogle is and why people want them and why I don't want them, though I'm not placing any kind of value judgment on the Snoogle. Textinction was a fun show to help coordinate. It was good to see everyone again. Thanks to Armadillo Aleworks, again. I've been back and forth between Gainesville and Denton for the last few days. Time in Gainesville has been productive, and very still. Time in Denton has been a mix of heartbreaking and lazy, with some good times thrown in the mix. I just finished Barhtelme's Paradise. I just finished Amelia Gray's AM/PM. I just finished Ben Clark's Reasons to Leave the Slaughter. I like reading work by people I know. Barthelme is so cool and casual in Paradise, I maybe don't want to write about the things he writes about, but I want to know that voice. I want to close a book with a line like "It feels a bit like Saturday..." and have it feel that right. I washed my wallet with the wash, but my dad put it on the small table by my bed, which made me think I'd been smart and put my wallet on the small table by my bed rather than washing it with the wash. I opened it up and everything was all wet and stuck together. Receipts erased. I cannot return the things I was considering returning. I tricked myself into committing to a series of impulsive purchases, like an extra Dongle for my macbook and a set of snow shoes from REI. Amelia's book was a pleasure to read, especially in a quick go. What I would steal: the confidence, the ability to fuse humor with sadness that goes, for the most part, unnoticed, until it's suddenly weighing on you like a big bag of candy you ate too much of...or something like that...I don't know. The book made me sad without being itself sad. I keep listening to the song Honey Hi by Fleetwood Mac. I keep playing it for people who don't say anything in response. Maybe it's not one of their best songs, but it fits my mood and it drifts in and out and on repeat it seems to never end or really begin like Hold music. Ben Clark's book is scary and familiar to me. I feel like he grew up in Denton, but he did not grow up in Denton. I've heard Ben read, and therefore read all of his poetry to myself in his voice. His voice is the best voice to read his poetry in. His delivery is the best way to meter the pauses, I think. Or it's the only way I know. Something I would steal: the ability to write in a voice that is pitch-perfect your own, or the talent to read the heart of a poem, to deliver it as you would an eye-witness account. Something else I would steal: the steadfast devotion to one's own ideas of beauty. Ben seems always to seek out what is most beautiful to him, he doesn't hesitate or hide. Great for poems, not so great for Hide N Seek. While we're on tour, I'm going to invent some kind of travel Capture the Flag type game.