Thank you Gerard Donaghy for the cool trailer!

My friend Gerard Donaghy made this video about the psychogeography of Zazen. We can’t really call it a trailer because the book has been out for a year, but then trailers do generally trail behind. Either way, it was fun to make with him. Obviously, it is also a wonderfully clever tribute to Jean-Luc Godard’s Week End. Enjoy!

click image or go to link below for video

 

 

I’m reading in San Francisco this coming Saturday (June 9th) with…

It’s my honor and privilege to read with Anthony Swofford and Raj Patel and other great writers at Writers With Drinks this Saturday. The show starts at 7:30 sharp and doors open at 6:30. We were going to do assigned seating like how those airlines do it, but instead went for festival seating like how The Who did it. So come early.

It will look like this only without the instruments and with different people

For real information you can go here:        https://www.facebook.com/events/294361363988086/

One of the other great honors I have while visiting San Francisco is getting to play a part in Hilary Goldberg’s animated existential saga The Deer In Between.

Michele Tea and Ed Wolf are the deer that decide the fate of human souls http://www.thedeerinbetween.com/

I will be the voice of a morel mushroom that is part of a political underground. Here are some of the mushrooms that seem to be abusing their power and have lots of secret meetings:

secret meeting

I have to say this is one of the highlights of my career so far.  If you need to get caught up on the drama here is:

Episode 1      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSVRSq5Vt-c

Episode 2     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwKunyqy2fE

 

 

My upcoming online class at Lit Reactor and a few thoughts about teaching…

Next week I start teaching an online class through LitReactor called Leading With Voice. There are still some spots open for those interested. At least I believe there are…Anyway, it made me think about what it means to teach writing. Teaching is a strange thing. There’s always something a little grandiose about saying, “Hey! I know how to do this and you should listen to me!”

I feel just like this sometimes...

And pushing aside things like making macaroni and cheese or tying your shoes, who really looks at an art form and thinks, “I know how to do this.”  ??

Yes. Now I see it all...so...clearly, Mr Dahmer...

Still, there is benefit in breaking open your own head and letting people see the inside of it. Sometimes it helps them break open their heads.  And this is largely how I view teaching. If I had a philosophy, it would go a little like this:

1) Instinct is better than knowledge. Yet a little insight and some perspective can be really helpful, and those things often come through other people.

2) The more you write the quicker you get sick of your bad writing habits.

3) The writer is always boss of her own work. And sometimes firing yourself is a good idea.  I do it periodically and can recommend it.

And…I’d like to thank the fine folks at LitReactor for giving me an online home. Join me there if you like.

Clicking on the image should take you to LitReactor unless I'm an utter dork at this. And if I am, click the link below.

Failing that bit of technology, click here for class info:

http://litreactor.com/classes/leading-with-voice-how-to-create-compelling-first-person-narrators-who-drive-your-fiction?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=litreactor&utm_campaign=vanessa%2Bveselka

And so I don’t forget–

Nothing says Easter like a violet geode. Fertile AND mineral?

 

Happy Easter Bunny.

Book news, gratitude, and fair warnings…

Okay, this is what happens when you hide from your own blog because it feels like a Sock Puppet Production.  You end up with a list.

I feel like there's something inside me that wants to reach out and grab the...

First off, I want to express my deep gratitude to Oregon Literary Arts for naming Zazen as a finalist for the Oregon Book Award Ken Kesey Prize for fiction.

I looked like this just yesterday

They said I was a finalist for life so I might just chip that into the rock over my grave 80 years from now.

your name here

And I would like to announce that Zazen will finally appear in French! At some point in 2013 éditions Lot 49/ cherche midi will translate and release the book and I plan to be there to watch.

Because the foreign translations will be attached to the gravestone by a chain.

I start French lessons tomorrow.

I think if I could speak French I could look like this

And…I will be at AWP and reading in Chicago, reading in Portland, reading in Astoria, reading to myself in my room…more on all of it soon.

Sock puppet.

I am in control. Drop the fish.

…and just because I felt the need for one more sock puppet to describe my internal process…

Who knew my months of working in the Amazon warehouse would yield so many words……

I have plunged into the seedy world of nonfiction. Deep lake. Dark waters. I’ve no idea which way the bubbles are going….BUT The Atlantic was kind enough to take a chance on me and publish a piece I wrote about my time trying to start a union drive in the Amazon warehouse. Click on the picture of the stack of Atlantic Monthlies below to go to the article directly.

I am not in this issue

We shall see where such things lead. I have long been simultaneously drawn to and terrified of long form nonfiction. And I have a lot of ideas, but I will spare you all. For now.

And….Portlanders. I am reading tonight at the Blue Monk. Click on the image for more details.

I'm actually reading at a bar called The Bue Monk and not on a piece of sheet music...