Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Now Who the Type Built to Last?

My good buddy +Jesse Ziegler just introduced me to an awesome interview with Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, sui generis hip-hop impressario and hurricane x-factor behind the inimitable and unstoppable music act The Roots.  Some of you, unfortunately, will only recognize him as Jimmy Fallon's drummer, the guy with the big afro.

Anyway, he had some great thoughts about creating a sustainable life as an artist, a sort of do-your-own-thing-and-just-keep-doing-it-and-don't-worry-so-much-about-it ethos.
If you’re not going to compete with what’s winning, like Rihanna, Drake, or fun., then maybe you should just do what you know how to do best and wait for the guillotine to drop. Then you release it, the guillotine doesn’t drop, and you’re like, phew, let’s do it again!   
I'd call Questlove a genius, but maybe that's just because he's so embodied this way of working that he's become irresistible.   As Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, the patriarch of the Ashtanga Yoga, often said, "Do your practice and all is coming."

Not that you're going to become Jimmy Fallon's drummer, or go platinum, or win a Nobel Prize, but if you can apply the spirit that develops from your practice to the rest of your life, you will reap your reward for your steady application.  Dig one deep hole, as they say in Zen.  Could it mean the same thing as "Do your thing, buooyy!"


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Monday, March 11, 2013

The Anthology Arrives

Ha, ha!  My contributor's copy of New Stories from the Midwest 2012 has arrived.
freaking great, right?

The book looks awesome, and I'm super pumped to be included with this group of oustanding authors, including Charles Baxter, Dan Chaon, David James Poissant, and one of my literary heros, Anthony Doerr.  These are writers I've been reading and admiring for years.

Thanks to Jason Lee Brown and Shanie Latham for their vision and persistence, John McNally for selecting my story, and Indiana University Press for putting out this great anthology.  To find out more go to the NSM blog or order your copy (paperback or electronic) from either the publisher or your favorite online bookseller anytime.

keep working, friends