Archive | August, 2008

Final State Press has just released my new collection of stories

Final State Press has just released my new book, The End is the Beginning, a collection of stories I’ve been writing since 1998. This is the first book I’ve published with Final State, but they plan on releasing a novel next year, The Double E, and hopefully more books after that. I wrote many of the stories for reading series and events around the Pacific Northwest, including the Brontesaurus, a day long celebration of the Brontes at Richard Hugo House, a writing resource center in Seattle, back when Rebecca Brown was the Writer in Residence there. Although it was, one of the first I wrote in this collection; it wasn’t published until last year in The Clackamas Literary Review. Most of the stories are about the end of the world, death destruction, and other light subjects. I wrote one story, called “Caffeinism” after I suffered a serious reaction to an overdose of caffeine. I wrote another about the day I was activated for the first Gulf War. And another is about the end of reading. Stories have been in mags such as Seattle Magazine, First Intensity, The Raven Chronicles, and The Wandering Hermit Review, and Web sites such as The Mississippi Review (Web), Smokelong, Slouch, Semantikon, and The Steel City Review.

You can purchase the book at Amazon, Powells, or Lulu.com (where you can get it either as paper or PDF). If you are interested in reviewing the book, email me at matt(dot)briggs(at)gmail.com.

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The Hornets Came Back the Very Next Day

Hornet Nest Like an AcornIn the middle of July hornets started to build a hive in the small fruit tree next to my mailbox. Shortly after I first moved into my house, my prior mailbox had been flattened in the middle of the night. I woke in the morning to find my old mailbox crushed on the side of the road as flat as a Pepsi can left on the macadam. I replaced the mailbox with a Rubber Maid contraption that jiggled and threatened to come apart whenever I opened the plastic flap of a door.

The hornets had a cantaloupe-sized hive in progress. The hornet nest wasn’t that big. I had seen one as large as volleyball. A few summers ago I’d removed one the size of a watermelon from the tree behind the house.

I took the hose and set it to the conical spray and then sprayed the hive at the point where it was connected to the tree. The nest popped off the branch. It fell onto the cement lip edging my lawn and the street.

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Obama’s O on his Jet Plane

Obama 2008.jpg
This came across the tubes and cables of the Internet, “I don’t get this one—-it is offensive… WHAT A DISGRACE!!! AND HE IS ALL AMERICAN????” — Denise Emch. Emch is presumably offended by the fact that previous campaigns have used the logo of the American flag. Obama, though, is using his own sunrise/flag “O” logo. The transgressions here is somehow an affront to the fixed iconography of American principles.

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