The third issue of Trachodon: lit, art & artisan culture was mailed to subscribers this week, and once again, I’m pretty dang impressed by the efforts of John Carr Walker and Katey Schultz, friends from my MFA program at Pacific University, to publish something that feels new and old at the same time. The new issue is 60 pages of fresh and professional writing and images that taste as homemade as the salsa I canned with friends last week.
Issue #3 includes a new story by Pete Fromm called “God’s TV.” It would be hard to overestimate Pete’s influence on fiction writers at Pacific. He was my own faculty advisor for two semesters, and in arguing with him over just about everything that had to do with craft, I began to intuit what kind of writer I am. Four-time winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association’s “Book of the Year” award, Pete, in his novels and stories—I hope he doesn’t read this—persuaded me to cut men a little more slack, even and especially self-consciously manly men, whose hearts are pounded to pulp by love, lost or found, just like everyone else’s. His female characters are as sharp and real, and often as funny, as Larry McMurtry’s. The film version of his novel As Cool as I Am, about teenager Lucy Diamond and her young mother, both of them relentlessly pursuing love, opens in 2012, starring Claire Danes, James Marsden, and Sarah Bolger. “God’s TV” will not disappoint you.
Pete’s story is one of three in this issue, and I can recommend the other two as well: “Bacillus Anthracis” by Heather Clitheroe, about isolation in marriage caused by one partner's germophobia, and “The Littlest Goat,” by Daniel Pinkerton, about more general isolation caused by fear of bridges and a bunch of other things. Since "God's TV" follows a man resisting the lifestyle changes that fatherhood will bring . . . I guess I'm seeing a pattern here, a collective theme. Also in this issue: art by Marianne Dages, a nonfiction piece about printing by Ray Scanlon, and reflections on writing by John and Katey. Trachodon 3 is, in Raymond Carver’s words, a small, good thing. Subscribe or buy single issues at http://www.trachodon.org/subscribe.php.*
I got involved with Trachodon when they published one of my stories, “Shoebox,” in Issue #1. (You can read the first issue online for free now, at http://issuu.com/trachodon-lit-mag/docs/issue1?viewMode=magazine. Let me know what you think of my story.) I began contributing book reviews soon after to Cheek Teeth, the blog associated with the magazine. Cheek Teeth has attracted a stunning variety of guest blogs and bloggers. Check it out, too: http://www.cheekteethblog.com/.
*You can use my discount!
*You can use my discount!