I live in eastern Pennsylvania. My work has appeared in Bartleby-Snopes, PicFic/Folded Word, Pure Slush and Boston Literary among others. My debut novel, Gadabout, made it into the final round of Amazon/Penguin’s First Novel Competition and is currently in re-write. A short story collection is due next spring. To read more or contact, visit: http://gertrudesflat.blogspot.com.
I studied creative writing at Rutgers University. My two mentors were Prof. William Vesterman and Prof. Ronald Christ. Vesterman helped develop my voice; Christ taught me structure. I quit the middle of my senior year to finish a novel called Canada,only to leave the only draft in the seat back pocket on a plane. It was never found.I now use redundant backups everyday.
I started over and got an interview with Knopf and a dinner with Bart Giamatti when he was President of Yale but blew the whole thing to addiction. Around that time I did my first woodworking job in New York. Life happened and suddenly I was fifty with a union shop and successful business. I started writing again.
On URBIS I met Chris Allen.
I wrote several short stories and a couple of plays during junior and senior high school. 7th grade was my first. Mr. Gasperini let me read it in front of our English class and when I finished Stephanie Smith was staring in a way I'd never known. I wrote another and she stared again, and Craig Sprenger asked if I wanted to hang out and listen to Beggar's Banquet. Writing filled an empty space and I found it gave me power.
Now I write because it's the only thing I do (besides sailing) that lights me up.
Shakespeare, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Pynchon, Kafka, Faulkner, Milton, Johnson. In the same order: King Lear and Romeo & Juliet; Sun Also Rises, In Our Time, A Moveable Feast, Great Gatsby; Crying of Lot 49; The Castle; The Bear; Paradise Lost; Bowell's Life. I like most books I read, they all have something to offer, even the bad ones - especially the bad ones.
Thanks for the kind response to "Saturday Housekeeping".
That would be "Banquet"...
Derek, thanks for reading "Honor Grade" and your nice words. I wish I could stay focused long enough to finish a novel.
Hey, Derek! Thank you! Hope you're doing well.
Was just about to start reading Thanksgiving, and I read your note about it. Love that you thanked fictionaut for the requisite editing. Very funny.
Thank you, Derek, for your comment on Love, Story. It tickles me that my Pynchon ref made so many people laugh. Will look forward to reading some of your stuff now too!
Hi Derek--thanks for reading Mrs. Doyle. Great to meet you here. Your comments re: archetypes and your pointing to a specific line...really made my day...that kind of specific feedback, so helpful, knowing just how the light hit the story for you...THANKs
Hi Derek, thanks for reading Cactus, and thanks for the comments, too. Where in E. Pa are you? I'm in Philly.
Hi Derek, thanks so much. I just posted a rambling response to your great comment about Vague Obscenities. Have you seen "The Squid and the Whale"? Any reference to Kafka, while obviously really inspiring, also makes me think about that movie (in the best way). Thanks again for your comments. D
how are those socks working out for you, derek. if they help with the self appreciation, i might also start wearing socks.
re: Your deeply appreciated comments on my story. The only reaction (ever, to anything I've written) built entirely around a gustatory trope. Key Lime pie too. Cool. Thank you.
Derek, thanks so much for your thoughts on my story. I really appreciate it and look forward to checking out your work.
i really enjoyed "young poets", derek. i'm neither young nor a poet so i felt called upon by my muse to respond in kind.
Hi Derek, I appreciate your prescient comments concerning "When To Submit." Thanks so much.
derek, thanks for the comments on like ninjas. much appreciated and nice to know you have read my other stuff, too. take care, d