12 Winters Blog

Readings for Men of Winter scheduled, and some new titles

Posted in March 2011 by Ted Morrissey on March 13, 2011

I’ve been actively trying to schedule some readings for Men of Winter, and I have two local dates set: One will be Wednesday, April 20, at Sherman Public Library, my “home away from home.” I’ll be reading along with my University of Illinois at Springfield colleague Lisa Higgs, whose collection of sonnets, Lodestar, has recently been released by Finishing Line Press. Lisa and I are working on setting up additional dual dates, but my other scheduled reading will be solo at Benedictine University at Springfield Thursday, May 26. The dates are listed on my Readings page at tedmorrissey.com. I read the first chapter of Men of Winter in Louisville last month, at the Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture Since 1900; and I plan to read the first chapter at Sherman Public Library. However, I’ll do a different selection at BUS in May.

Not to dissuade any readers from coming to the Sherman Library event, but there is a video available of my reading chapter 1 at both Vimeo and YouTube (a slightly abridged version).

On the writing front, I was interviewed by The Fourth River, which (if I understand correctly) will run online this summer some time. The interviewer, Beth Gilstrap, talked with me about both Men of Winter and Weeping with an Ancient God, my novella that is slated for publication, along with a collection of short stories, next spring by Punkin House. Beth was a capable interviewer, asking intelligent and interesting questions (I only hope I responded in kind).

Meanwhile, I continue to work on the Authoress, the project name for my novel in progress. I’ve really been enjoying the writing process. I recently reached a climactic section that I’ve been working toward for 200 pages or thereabouts, and as such I’ve started getting up earlier just to leave myself a little extra time in the morning to write; if I get up at about 5:15, I can carve out 40 to 45 minutes to write, Monday through Friday. Generally, then, three or four evenings a week I can type up my handwritten pages produced in the mornings. It’s hardly a lightning-fast process, but with about two years’ work on the manuscript, I’m at the 375-page mark.

Having finished and truly enjoyed Anna Karenina, I dove right into War and Peace a couple of weeks ago. It’s taken me a little longer to develop an affinity for the text than it did for Anna Karenina, which happened from the first page, but I’m about 130 pages into War and Peace and am beginning to feel connected to the characters and the storyline. I think two features delayed my emotional attachment to the novel: one, Tolstoy introduces a plethora of characters in the opening chapters, and it was difficult for me to keep them all straight; also, he uses a lot of French in these same chapters, which is footnoted, but I found it cumbersome to keep glancing down to the bottom of the page, then back to my place in the text — as often Tolstoy has his characters speaking French, but the exposition between bits of dialogue is of course in English (Russian), or the characters shift back and forth between French and English/Russian, sometimes within the same sentence; so one must keeping jumping back and forth between the text of the novel and the translators’ footnotes. There is some French in Anna Karenina, of course, but it’s not so extensive, and not ladled on so thickly in the opening pages when one is trying to get one’s bearings. The French has slowed to a trickle in the last few chapters I’ve read of War and Peace, and that has helped me to embrace the novel more … affectionately.

I’ve decided that one of the things I should do with this blog is highlight some recent works of fiction and poetry that are available. One of my favorite pastimes when on campus at UIS is to go to Brookens Library and browse through the newly arrived books, many from small-press and university publishers. One book of poetry that I’ve found very engaging is Seven Poets, Four Days, One Book, which is the product of a group experiment in poetic composition. Another notable title is Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing: Stories, by Lydia Peelle. I’d also like to recommend two books from Coffee House Press: Extraordinary Renditions, a collection of three novellas, by Andrew Ervin; and Horse, Flower, Bird, an odd but engaging collection of very brief, fairy-tale-esque stories, by Kate Bernheimer (art byRikki Ducornet).

tedmorrissey.com

Men of Winter

Pathfinding: a blog devoted to helping new writers find outlets for their work

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2 Responses

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  1. Twig said, on February 20, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    Mr. Morrissey, if we may, it would be so appreciated if we could tell our readers about anything coming up. I will send email soon. Would love to attend a reading of yours myself – that would indeed be a memorable experience. We shall add it to our wish list…

  2. Twig said, on February 20, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    By the way, love Pathfinding – what a fantastic resource…


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