Jeremy Robert Johnson & Skullcrack City

skullcrack-cityBecause I kind of insist on assigning amazing stuff for my grad workshops, I of course assigned Jeremy Robert Johnson’s Skullcrack City (my original write-up here). It was dug by all. Here’s JRJ’s answers to the questions we crowd-sourced:

—To start with the ending: Is this bleak or is it hopeful? Are they (that is, ‘we’) winning? What others ending were under consideration, if any, or did you have this as your get-to point the whole time?

This was always my …

The Shining in Emoji

From forever ago, yes. But I’m just now stumbling onto it. And, is ’emoji’ the right word? Like, what are those little character-based happy faces people put in their texts? It’s all confusing to me. But this isn’t: The Shining, without words. Pretty cool. Wondering if I should learn whatever this language is (he said between telling kids to get off his lawn, yes), use it to diagnose slow points etc in whatever novel I’m writing. Like, i…


I’m there now. Or, I’m here:

I like the smiley face a lot more than the birdhouse, and I like the distinct non-blueness of the whole thing so far. Feels a lot like a Tumblr, really, but I got on Tumblr like fourteen years too late. G+, though, I’m still one of the holdouts who doesn’t understand why that didn’t become the new way (okay, because Google was spookily tracking every move of my mouse and selling it upstream).


This was (my) 2011

Favorite movie → Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

Favorite novel → The Enterprise of Death or 11/22/63

Favorite collection → We Live Inside You

Favorite non-fiction → Shock Value or Teenage Wasteland or Blind Descent

Favorite current tv → Breaking Bad and Phineas & Ferb

Favorite catch-up tv → Deadwood

tv I miss the most → Alias

Best re-watched tv → Dead Set

Favorite comic book series → Locke & Key and Scalped

Graphic novel I’d never read before, now lovewantneed → Pixy

Comic ch…

This Just In

“Novelist Hit by Electric Car, Claims ‘He Never Heard it Coming,’ Swears Revenge”

Other people make me worth money

This is a guest post by Caleb J. Ross as part of his Stranger Will Tour for Strange blog tour. He will be guest-posting beginning with the release of his novel Stranger Will in March 2011 to the release of his second novel, I Didn’t Mean to Be Kevin in November 2011. If you have connections to a lit blog of any type, professional journal or personal site, please contact him. To be a groupie and follow this tour, subscribe to the Caleb J Ross blog RSS feed. Follow him on Twitter: @calebjr

The Real Dogs

So one time I’m on the phone with the bank, talking to a robot about money, when I hit the wrong key, somehow ended up with Laird Barron on the other end, and I could tell from the way he was talking that his mouth was just real close to the phone, close enough I had to hold my phone out, look at it. But then I listened. He was already talking, he might have even been mostly asleep, and his voice, something about it, it kind of unmoored me, made me not so much suspicious that he was calling from …