Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Progression of Author Biographies

I finally got the proofs for the delayed--but still forthcoming!--anthology, New Stories from the Midwest 2011, in which my story, "Circling in the Air," will appear.  After rereading my story and making some changes, I sent it back to the editor, and I found myself trying to remember what I'd put in the author bio when I sent it to them over a year ago.

Fifty words or fewer.  That's what they usually give you.  Tell us a little about yourself.  Where do you live?  Where did you go to school?  Where else have you been published?  What do you do besides write?  These are the things people usually include, as if some reader might flip to the back of the publication and see some truth about the author, something that will enhance the story, poem, or essay, something that might even reveal the strange secret of its becoming.

I know, I know . . . Bios are a great way to direct people to your other work, but still, it's strange--trying to say things about ourselves, as if we have some sort of fixed identity, as if we could describe anything other than habitual tendencies and patterns that change over time. Get something meaningful down, in fifty words or fewer.

Here then is a progression:

David Driscoll lives in Chicago with his wife, dog, and three cats.  His stories have appeared in a number of publications including TriQuarterly, Mississippi Review, and will be featured in the forthcoming anthology, New Stories from the Midwest 2011.

David Driscoll applied to all the top MFA programs but was not accepted.  He is happy to have fooled this publication.

David Driscoll can't imagine why someone might try and battle him.  His freestyle is the bomb.  He is cold as Antartica and flows like the Amazon.

David Driscoll writes war stories because he was in wars, two of them.  His record is 2-0, even though the wars really effed him up.  He doesn't swear anymore because of his religious conversion.

David Driscoll's
are short.

David Driscoll was once an extra in a Billy Graham movie.  He walks by in the background with two adults who are supposed to be his parents.  In no other way is David Driscoll affiliated with Billy Graham.

David Driscoll's real parents died in a car crash.  He inherited some money which makes it easier for him to persist in this literary folly.

David Driscoll misses his parents very much.  His stories are often about them.

David Driscoll tries to make people laugh in his stories so people will like him.  He is trying to get love.  His other publications have also been an attempt to get love.

David Driscoll's other stories are actually better than this one.

David Driscoll has written enough to fill a library but is still learning his trade.  Someday he hopes to write a book that will raise the dead but not in a Pet Cemetery way where the dead return as evil, murderous zombies.  He is hoping instead for laughter and jig dancing, like we wanted them to do when they were alive.

David Driscoll only writes stories about his parents.

There is only one thing to write about.

There is only one.

I AM THAT I AM - Acrylic on Canvas

Here's a Rumi poem:

Your grief for what you've lost lifts a mirror
up to where you're bravely working.

Expecting the worst, you look, and instead,
here's the joyful face you've been wanting to see.

Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes.
If it were always a fist or always stretched open,
you would be paralyzed.

Your deepest presence is in every small contracting
and expanding,
the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated
as birdwings.

(Coleman Barks, transl.)


Thanks for stopping by.  Sign up to get the blog by email on the righthand side of the page.  You can also follow me on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Mr. Wordsworth. Your opinion is most undubiously appreciated.