Monthly Archives: November 2012

Whirling Winter Words.

The Winter issue of EAP: The Magazine is up, and we had an avalanche of contributions this time. (Special thanks to Marissa Bell Toffoli, our ace poetry editor, for so graciously and competently working with all the poets who contacted us–and see her contribution, “Would, Will.”) What we particularly like is hearing from all the generations, from a grandfather (“It’s Da Shooz”) to a teenager (“On Epigrams: A Postive Note”) to nine year old Asia, whose tribute to BOOKS is one with which we heartily agree.

Deb Baker muses on the responsibility of a mother to explain to her children the value of words in WORK…we heartily agree with that, too…

Kelsey Liu continues to make us happy with her beautifully crafted stories from high school, in this case, a tale of aspirant parents treating their child like an entrant in a dog show: “The Koi Pond,” I bet there are a lot of young people out there who can relate.

There are so many great pieces in this issue, but there are two brand new contributors I have to call attention to here. Alexandra Kitty has conjured up the most enchanting, and effective, new detective we’ve seen since Victoria’s reign: Miss Magnus Lyme. She’s the Sherlock Holmes for the 21st century, or, rather, Sherlock’s older, smarter brother, Mycroft. Follow her special brand of clear sighted aid to those in distress in “Let Them Howl.”

And we’re tinkering over here with the idea of a new branch on the EAP tree: one made up of “How To” books that tend toward supporting “How To Take Control of Your Own Life.” (There’s a gardening book in the works, written by a poet…more on that soon….) This issue, EAP welcomes Matt Stone, who writes about nutrition, about eating, about the way you already know what to do without leaning on ‘expert’ knowledge that may be more about separating you from your money than your calories. Have a look at “Nutrition in Three Words,” and see what you think. Let us know, too.

Finally, two EAP authors are already busy working on new projects–we’re eagerly watching their progress–and we’re delighted to have a peek here. Anarchist fairy tale author and punk rocker Danbert Nobacon on “First Words.” And our favorite independent historian, Brian Griffith, from his new book on how animal stories interact with culture: “Using the Evil Word on Animals.”

Welcome back, All.

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Books, EBooks, Minneapolis, and Kale with Brown Rice (for Claudia).

It was sales conference time, with Consortium Book Sales and Distribution, the winter version at their Minneapolis headquarters, someplace I always love to visit. Killer airport, Minneapolis, the only one in the world where you can get brown rice and kale as an entree at an airport cafe. And I LIKE brown rice and kale. For breakfast, on my way home, I had a big plate of fruit with two slices of toast, organic peanut butter and little mounds of sunflower seeds and raisins on the side. This may sound like a small thing, but it almost makes me weep with gratitude and pleasure to get real food at a normal price inside of TSA security gates.

Minneapolis 4ever, is what I say.

One of the things I like to do, going back and forth to both the fall/winter and spring/summer conferences, is check out what people are reading on the plane. This is always quite enlightening. Last year, flying back from MSP, every single person who was reading on the plane, with the sole exception of me, was reading on an electronic device of some kind. I, of course, was deep into not only an actual book, but a LIBRARY book. Some kind of Luddite nut, I could hear them all thinking around me.

But things have changed.

This year, I noticed the guy next to me was reading a book. An actual book. And when I looked across the aisle, the woman sitting there was reading a book, too. True, it was a book by Bill O’Reilly. But it was still a book.

Fascinated, I got up to walk to the back of the plane. I did a quick head count. And it was half and half. Half eDevices. Half books.

I sat back down, and thought about that, and about how at sales conference the dynamic Katie Khatib, of the anarchist AK Press, had put in a courteous and eloquent plea for us to talk at these things a little less about the future of the eBook, and a little more about the actual Book. The Book we all know and love.

Here’s the thing about Books. As objects, they are more than simple conveyers of information or pleasure. They have lives of their own. Holding them, you feel through to all the work that went into not just their writing and editing, but their design and manufacture, their sale, their passing from hand to hand. They are, I must repeat, alive in a way that the simple abstraction of their content is not. The difference here is analogous to the difference between homemade split pea soup, and Lipton Cup ‘O Soup. Both are soup. But one has a history and a living meaning that has been leached, for convenience’s sake, from the other.

They both have their place. And any platform for ideas is a good platform–at EAP we put ’em up on every platform going. But I, in my own personal private reading time,  prefer a little less convenience and a little more life. I’ll always prefer the real thing to the abstraction. In just about every part of life.

 

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EAP: The Magazine’s Winter Issue will be online December 1.

Imagine my chagrin when I turned the EAP sights back on the website, and noticed that while I had thought the new quarterly EAP: The Magazine was going up December 1, it was listed as going up November 1. And here it is November 1. Aha, I said to myself, those little gray cells are leaking out your ears, take a deep breath, have another cup of tea, and put the issue back a month.

So I send apologies to the writers who were waiting for the magazine to go up today. This is what comes of having a harried, though seriously entertained, single person organizing editorial, production, marketing, and beyond. At least, this is what comes of having this single person do it.

That’s a little misleading, since this single person couldn’t run Exterminating Angel Press without a whole passel of dedicated, talented, passionate-about-ideas people, who, come to think of it, it’s my pleasure to call out here. Mike Madrid, popular culture editor, and elegant book designer (as well as illustrator, author, and ideas maven). Molly Mikolowski and Nick Liberty of A Literary Light, providing counseling and support and publicity, even while their own lives have them surfing a tsunami. John Sutherland, whose typesetting abilities and whose calm attention to deadline and detail is such an endless comfort. And everyone, just everyone, at Consortium Book Sales and Distribution, because there is nothing like being a lone publisher with a phalanx of super competent folk who really love books at her back. (And special thanks this week to Jim Nichols, who is not just super competent, but touchingly thoughtful, too.)

Anyway, apologies for the magazine cock up. We’ve had a flood, and I do mean a flood, of contributions for this next issue, and swimming through it has been a delight, but it’s taken some doing, I can tell you. Still we’ve come out of the flood with a treasure or two, but about that, to check out the treasures for yourself, you’ll have to wait till December 1.

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