The Writer’s Dilemma is that there are an estimated two million novelists in America, and maybe ten million self-styled poets– with many more of both writing in English in other countries. The performers are on the verge of outnumbering the audience. Or: writers have become the audience.
The only possible solution is to recreate the art. To construct works wholly new, to set those who write them apart from the innumerable crowd.
TOWARD THAT END we recently ran a contest for stories with two viewpoints. We present the winner of that contest now: Tom Ray. His winning story is “What He Thought Was Right.” His tale is about two Vietnam veterans, and their encounter with a World War II veteran and that veteran’s grandson. Has the clash of generations always been with us? A clash, maybe, not of generations so much as viewpoints. It’s an excellent story. We hope you’ll like it.
Harold said he served in infantry, and Art believed him. Old guys who lie about Vietnam would shut up and kind of drift off when they found out Art had been there. And Harold didn’t tell war stories that sounded like a movie script. He’d just make a few vague statements, always ending with, “I saw some bad shit over there, man.”
At the same time, we have new work at two of our supplementary blog. At our new Special Projects blog, home of quirkier writing, we have “The Little Squirrel and the Baby Eagle” by Wred Fright. At our News blog we have a look at what we’re up to behind the scenes, with a post titled “Prototypes.”
Something for everyone!
A QUICK ANNOUNCEMENT
FOR THOSE who haven’t heard, we have a winner in our first cash prize contest, one Tom Ray. Check out our NPL News story about it.
ON OTHER FRONTS, we’ve been using our revamped Special Projects blog for quirky writings, often of a humorous nature, as well as for sneak previews of pop lit things-to-come. Peruse our latest offering, “Sending the Dog to a Farm” by Gregg Maxwell Parker. Next up there will be amusing fiction from Wred Fright— before we move on at last to our planned collaborative novel– which should be fun!?
Plus much more.
(Art: “Organization” by Arshile Gorky.)
NEW LITERARY TALENTS PART I
Today we start an ambitious series examining a new wave of talented writers. Our plan is to combine literary criticism, reviews, and new fiction for a multi-faceted look at American literature NOW; utilizing as many aspects of the New Pop Lit website as possible.
First up: The opening installment of a far-reaching overview, “Hyper-Talents of the New Literary Age.”
AT THE SAME TIME we present for readers a new short story, “Yacht Party,” from Scott Cannon, one of two narrative writers profiled in our essay, along with Tom Ray.
Does Scott’s story support the words expressed in the essay? You decide!
The scene froze at its climax; a spotlight haloed the head of the actor playing Lucas on the screen, then swept to the back of the room to light up the incandescent entrance of The Man himself, flanked by two beautiful women and followed by a small cadre of security. The thunder of the ovation in the packed ballroom as he ascended to the podium still rang in Lucas’ ears.
The wild election season is heating up.
To celebrate the madness, we’re running a new short story by Washington D.C. Beltway expert Tom Ray– giving us an entertaining inside look at the struggles staff handlers and party officials go through trying to manage what are increasingly unmanageable politicians. Any familiarity to real life? Naw!
Read Tom Ray’s “Benjamin Franklin and the Witch of Endor” now!
The word was out that Hathaway was still a buffoon, so there weren’t a lot of applicants for the position. Despite Patricia Hathaway’s seeming hostility toward me, I was hired.
(Also keep up on our new Fun Pop Poetry feature.)
Stories! We’re all about stories!
In this instance we have a story which includes stories: “Service” by Tom Ray. Most of us still communicate– for better or worse!– via stories.
Note: the title of the story may have a double (or even triple) meaning. Can you name them?
Let us know what you think about it!
“I shouldn’t be talking about this stuff. I’m a good Christian now, or I try to be. I’m trying to put all of that killing stuff behind me.”
Bureaucrats! Washington bureaucrats! Bureaucrats and more bureaucrats!
Politics has been much in the news of late, with scores of candidates– of every egregious personality type– hustling for public attention. But what’s inside-the Beltway, inside-D.C. really like?
Far be it from NEW POP LIT to miss a trend. We have the scoop in the form of a story, “The Caseworker,” by Tom Ray. Lobbyists; legislative assistants; administrators; American apparatchiks; congressmen and their mistresses– Tom Ray gives you all of it in a tightly-wound little tale. Get educated! Read how the political machine operates.
Madison was a legislative assistant in the office. She’d been having an affair with the Congressman for several months, which Warner hadn’t figured out yet. “So, who will they fire?”