metazenNow and then writers chime in to send over suggestions. Finnegan Flawnt, for example, popped in to whisper “Metazen, Metazen,” and I got to thinking that Metazen there is a fine, fine website. Humor, talent, fiction, “out of the box-ness,” it’s got it all. I think in addition to being a nice site which publishes alright work, it’s an interesting example of how a blog can bloom into a journal, an idea into a movement, an inspiring moment into a — alright I’m even annoying myself I’ll shut it. Meantime: have a looksy, and a nice weekend.

Q (Nicolle Elizabeth for Fictionaut): I have a gut feeling Metazen started as a blog, it’s an instinctual guess. How’d it start?

A (Frank Hinton): Metazen did start as a blog. Actually as a drunken blog. Last March I drank a bottle of whiskey and woke up the next morning with a fiction blog. Then I didn’t touch it for three months. I started up again in May just writing little bits of flash fiction and publishing them every few days. I felt I was being vein so I started to ask a few friends to submit. In 6 months we went from a blog to a weekly fiction site to a daily literary magazine in September.

Q: Who pics the pics I love them so much.

I choose the pictures. I’m a pretty strict aesthete…I like female legs, necks, lips and eyes. I scour the internet for pictures. I actually spend more time looking for photos than I do writing or editing the site. The pictures are everything.

Q. How is the Fictionaut group different to the Metazen site?

The Fictionaut group is something I don’t focus on enough. I usually put all of my stories on there and because we’ve had over 100 authors at Metazen, I encourage my writers to add to the group. I try to talk about upcoming events on there, but right now my thumb isn’t as green as I’d like it to be for the Metazen Fictionaut garden.

Q: Metazen publishes stories every day. Does the F’naut group do the same?

Metazen publishes stories every day, a “Saturday Morning” feature and “Best Of” story with author commentary on the weekends. The group is growing on Fictionaut but I think I’m going to set my new editors to come up with some creative ideas for it. Yeah, we’ve got 3 new editors coming to our site too…some Fictionaut celebs actually.

Q: Talk about three stories Metazen has published.

Pretty” is a story by Christopher Allen. I read one story a week to my girlfriend when she’s in the bathtub, and “Pretty” was the story that started that tradition. The story is about a girl named Pretty and her mother Bonita riding on the train. The way Christopher paints this grotesque girl and her even more grotesque relationship with her daughter is perfect. You feel like you’re right on the train. You want to hug Pretty and take her home. You want a photo of her face to look at when you feel low.

Rice” is a piece by Dorothee Lang. It looks like a plain and sparse story when you first read it and then after you finish, it sits with you. It doesn’t digest. You go back and read it again and then where there was once a minimal feel, now new colors and ideas come to mind. You realize it’s a trick. The story is not a puddle but a lake. It’s clean and bright and steaming like a bowl of rice.

The Serious Writer and His Penis” is a story by Finnegan Flawnt. First off, without Flawnt there would be no Metazen. He is the spectral force that ignites the entire site. Really. I don’t know why. This is a story about penis perception. I think it’s something all men worry and wonder about. But it is also something else. It’s a meditation on the nature of human reception. I think it’s saying we can only take what we believe and that’s how we form our ideas.

Q: Floor’s yours, get personal.

I live in Halifax. I write all the time. I write on the toilet, my pockets are full of paper scraps. Last night I wrote a story on the inside of a cereal box. Most recently I published “American Serial” at Metazen, a 20 part novella about a man that doesn’t exist. I am a pretty neurotic person. I’m getting married next week, so I’m really excited to lose my virginity. I’m worried about how sex will affect my artistic life. Sigh. Next month we’re publishing our 26 Vaginas, 26 Penises ebook. We have 52 stories from 52 different authors. Each author wrote on one word from each letter of the alphabet. Alcohol, Boredom, Confession, Delusion etc…It will be interesting because each story will be published on a different website. Different theme, colors and HTML presentation. Complex, but fun.

Nicolle Elizabeth checks in with Fictionaut Groups every Friday.

  1. nicolle elizabeth
  2. finnegan flawnt

    thanks for accepting the challenge, nicolle – good interview. metazen is a most refreshing plant kept alive so far through its founder, frank hinton and a platoon of mysterious characters behind the scenes, who are ill-defined right down to their gender, nationality, etc. given that “meta fiction and existentialism” is metazen’s mission, this seems suitable. the merry-go-round choreographed by frank for both authors and readers makes the writing & the publishing game more reflective, which is a good thing. at the expense of exclusivity and elitism, metazen has managed to build a community which is characteristically open (despite the rather difficult, postmodern ‘meta’ label) to many different (though not ‘any’) manners of writing, reading and thought. while fresh flash out of the box is about right, metazen usually features much more than just ‘alright work’, methinks. frank has established circular breathing for flash fiction and poetry with metazen and he’s now getting help to increase its lung volume.

  3. HAzar Worth

    Frank Hinton has stepped from the shadows of being a sideline watcher of the ‘scene’ and he has decided to created a very unique and quite exciting place for challenging writers and writigs to hang out and co-habitate, at a site that I find always meaningful, deeply poignant, slyly witty, devilishly attractive, largely MoJoic, and sizeably provacutive.

    Many other ‘writer’s sites’ seem to struggle with achieving an identity outside of a ‘writer’s site’ where writers may gather to wax whimsical wonders of critiques and suggestive theoretical rhetoric that seems to implode upon first, middle, and last taste test. continues to offer quality writings from quality writers that consistently reminds me why the music group Radiohead continues to stay vital, revelant, and powerfully edgy: like Radiohead, doesn’t remain satisfied on upholding dogmatic status quo but seeks to tear down the illusions and create an oasis where thought and imagination DOES create a powerful and unique blendings of dimensions within space and time where the mind meets everything, everywhere. challenges how writers must write: from within themselves.

  4. Heather Vaulkhard

    Thoroughly enjoyed this interview with Frank Hinton, Nicolle…thank you.
    Metazen has something for everyone..its fun, fresh, thought provoking and brilliantly presented by Frank and his editors.
    The writing up at Metazen is dynamic and exhilarating, rather than merely ‘alright’, in my opinion.
    It is refreshing to look at the world from a different angle. The more acute the angle, the more different the world becomes. Individual perception is everything.
    There are writers who can make you walk into a room….there are writers who can make you terrified to walk into a room and there are writers who can make you feel as though you have decorated the room yourself, knowing what lies beneath the paintwork.
    When I read work from Metazen, I leap from the riverbank into the water. Every piece is a diverse experience, exciting, pleasurable, haunting, or full of pathos.
    The addition of Frank’s choice of art and photographic accompaniment to the pieces is already legendary. They are more than a visual experience, they are imaginative and inspired.
    At one year old, Metazen is still fledgling but it is bound to soar to momentous heights.

  1. 1 The Serious Writer and His Penis – flawnt

    […] published in Metazen – frank hinton in an interview on fictionaut blog. […]

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