Monday, January 25, 2010

New Book, Slightly New Direction

Hi Folks,

While this here blog will remain a source for Madonna of the Toast stories, I am going to change things up a bit. There are a few reasons for this, but the primary one is the pending release of my first collection of short stories, I Like To Keep My Troubles On The Windy Side Of Things.

In true indie spirit, we’re going to avoid Amazon for the time being, but you can learn more about the book, and order it, here. Starting next month the book should begin to appear in select independent bookstores.

For those of you in New York, I’ll be reading at Housing Works on Monday, February 1, joined by fellow Fractious Press author John Controna, with Rachel Levitsky and Kevin Varrone from Ugly Duckling Presse, plus the song stylings of Franklin Bruno.

The official release party for the book will take place on Saturday, February 27, at KGB, where Alex Rose will join me, along with others.

As more readings and events take shape, here in New York and elsewhere, I’ll post info.

For the past three years I’ve kept things pretty focused around here. My interest in Madonna of the Toast phenomena remains keen, though certain of the stories have begun to feel canned. As a result, and in light of this little book of fiction and other projects simmering away, I’m going to expand the subject matter. Sometimes I might just point you in the direction of something I find interesting, but if all goes as planned I will also share longer pieces about culture at large, which I honestly believe is echoed in all these happenings that I relay to you: religion, technology, media, pop culture, e-commerce – these are the filters through which most people understand the world, and that’s significant.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Potato Cross x 2

Everyone is talking about it. Or at least everyone that tracks homespun local interest reports that attract national and international media interest because they are about Jesus or Mary showing up in some unexpected place. So here we have one story that becomes a couple stories, which all end up being the same kind of story, the old Madonna of the Toast story.

According to The BIG One – WTAM 1100, Dennis Bort of Berea, Ohio, was peeling potatoes, on Christmas Day no less, when he found a cross in one of the spuds. Now it’s up for grabs on eBay. But guess what? It’s not the only potato cross available on eBay right now. On New Year’s Eve a woman in Iowa found one too, though this one is more rough hewn.

Who remembers this potato cross from my January 23, 2008, post? You don’t remember? It’s much better than this post, which is just more of the same when it comes to these stories. There is one bid on the Iowa potato, while the Ohio one has a minimum of $1,000. Guess what? That one won’t sell. But, if you check out the older story, you can also get a little dose of James Joyce and my secret ingredient for making the best potato salad.