The little blurb that could

Just got this blurb--apparently it came in too late to make it onto the back cover of Brains. But I like this blurb; it needs to get its day. It can't languish somewhere in the ether. Every blurb should be aired! Here it is:

"Smart, original, funny and fascinating, BRAINS: A Zombie Memoir by Robin Becker sends the zombie genre shambling in a fresh, new direction. Go on, take a bite."
-Jonathan Maberry, NY Times bestselling author of PATIENT ZERO and ROT & RUIN

Looks like the fabulous Janet Reid had the same idea! GMTA.
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Girls Girls Girls AKA Books Books Books!

It's summer, I'm a teacher and a writer, so bring on the books.

I like to read a few books at a time, in different genres too. Here's what I'm reading right this very moment.


Another book by one of my all-time favorite authors, Donald Harington. This one is a superb blend of fantasy and reality. A redneck Ozark Humbert Humbert kidnaps a beautiful seven-year-old girl named Robin. (Love that name!) He brings her to the top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere with the intent of becoming her "husband." Once up the mountain, however, he can't get his "thingie" up and she kills him with the shotgun he taught her to use. Robin then lives in a magical world with a smart dog, a ghost of sorts, and her Ouija board for company.

Honestly, I don't know how Harington does it. He breaks so many many writing rules, but it still works. Love it.

The Tipping Point

I read Blink a few years ago and liked it a lot. I've been meaning to read this one and then I saw it for 2 bucks at a library sale. Gladwell's greatest strength is his lucidity--he is crystal clear and the book has some interesting ideas.

But such clarity has an evil side. The book is repetitive, as if it were written for high schoolers, as if he's afraid we'll forget what we just read! I'm about halfway through and I'll finish it, but big chunks I'll skim. How many times can he explain why the Manhattan hipsters are wearing Hush Puppies?

Thrilling Tales

I adore short stories. I love to read them before bed and while I'm waiting for dinner. I saw this one at that same library sale and it had some of my favorite contemporary authors--Aimee Bender, Michael Chabon, Dave Eggers, Kelly Link, Neil Gaiman--so I bought it. I haven't read all the tales, but so far they're not all that thrilling. I didn't even finish some of them--but I won't say whose! My favorite at this point is Dave Eggers' story about some chick climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. But I haven't read Gaiman's or Stephen King's yet. We'll see!
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Arnie's Leg

Found out that a friend and former colleague died of cancer last week. I don't write a lot of poetry anymore, but I wrote this for Arnie a few years ago.

Arnie's Leg

First Arnie had a mole
removed from his face.
It was malignant, we heard,
but contained.

Then, they said,
it was in his prostrate or stomach
or colon or everywhere.
Reports varied.

Now, we hear, they're cutting off
his leg. They'll leave
enough hip for a fake leg.
A peg leg, we heard,
like a pirate.

The new rumor is that Arnie's leg
has its own plan
to grow wings like it grew cancer
and fly off to Mexico or Paris
to write poetry with its toes.

We set up a notification system
so we can look at the sky
as it sails over town
each of us with our hands
shielding our eyes and the same thought:

My, what a shapely leg!
How free it looks
untethered to a body.
Bon Voyage, Arnie's leg,
we'll miss you.
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Brains on sale now!

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