Hello, I’m Sam Smith and I approve of this massage. <finishes getting a massage> Thank you, I feel much better.
I have somehow neglected to tell you guys about a project that was launched recently by Rabbit Room Press. It’s a book-length journal called The Molehill and it features many different writers, from Sally Lloyd-Jones, G.K. Chesterton, and Walt Wangerin Jr., to Rabbit Room regulars like (proprietor) Andrew Peterson, Lanier Ivester, Jason Gray, and many more. It also, to my grateful delight, features a story by me. What? Who let this guy in here? Too late now, it’s in print. My own contribution is an allegedly humorous, previously unpublished story set in my favorite fictional town: Fledge, WV. It’s called The Cleverest Idiot.
What’s it like? Imagine P.G. Wodehouse and Garrison Keillor got into a no-holds-barred street fight. Afterwards, their blood mingled on the sidewalk, then mixed with radioactive material sloshed from the test-tube of your favorite, local, mad scientist. This goo slowly formed into a writer, freakish and witty. Then this writerly monstrosity was struck upon the head by an anvil dropped from a tall building, and lost 97% of his talent. Bammo. You’ve got me writing Fledge stories.
I’m really delighted to be included. I’ve enjoyed every one of the other stories I have so-far read in The Molehill, vol 1. I have high hopes/expectations this will continue to be the case as I read on. I’ve had lots of stories published, but this is the first time one has appeared in a book. That’s pretty fun stuff. I love the layout and design of the book. There’s lots of subtle humor in there. Pete Peterson was a slave-driver of an editor, and that was really good for me. Trying to figure out how to walk that wire of having confidence in your own voice and instincts, while also listening to correction and a wise outside voice, was a good experience for me. I’m not new to working with an editor, but this was unique in several ways. Uniquely good, I think. I probably gave Pete some grey hairs. He (along with Jonathan Rogers) really helped shape up my story. It’s way better because of their input. I’m very thankful for that. Like Hutchmoot (the Rabbit Room’s conference), The Molehill is a credit to Pete’s vision and diligence, and he’s the one who deserves credit for how well it turned out.
Go here to read Pete’s editor’s letter, which he posted at The Rabbit Room. And here’s a link to buy the book.
Some of my regular readers aren’t “regular readers.” By that I mean they read my blog and others, but don’t read a lot of books. The Molehill, because it’s full of short stories and essays, poems, and artwork, might be an ideal kind of thing to get. Maybe.
I hope you enjoy it. I’m very grateful for the chance to contribute along with such amazing writers, illustrators, and artists. What a privilege. I also look forward to next year’s edition which, rumor has it, will feature another of my favorite writers.
Thanks for caring about my writing. I’m very grateful to everyone who takes an interest and invests valuable time to read my (sometimes-coherent) posts here, at The Rabbit Room, at Story Warren, and wherever else fine tobacco is sold. I hope you will soon have a book to read from my imagination to yours. I am working toward that and other things. Thanks for caring.