Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Awkward Praise [Updated 8/22]

If you asked me at any time in the last 25 years (including within the last week) what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer would be uncertain. If, in any of that time, you asked me what my friend Jeffrey Dinsmore would be when he grew up, the answer would be easy and obvious: a writer.

I met Jeffrey in the back of Mr. Doolittle's band class in fifth grade. We were both drummers (aka the part of the band the conductor mostly ignores), so we got to know one another by yapping about various things while everyone else learned scales and such. No matter the topic, Jeffrey was always hilarious.

Over the years, I read many of Jeffrey's short stories, and they were always great. To this day, whenever I have writer's block, all I have to do is imagine how Jeffrey would say what I'm trying to say, and I can pseudoplagiarize my way out of the block.

So, of course, when he started a new independent publishing house (Awkward Press), and told me he'd have a story in their first anthology (appropriately entitled Awkward One), I knew I would have to buy it.

I just finished devouring his short story from the collection, "Little Deaths." This is where I need your help. I loved it, but I'm not certain if that's because it's as quirkyfunny as I think it is, or if it's just because I know Jeffrey. So, if at all possible, I need you guys to buy copies of Awkward One, and let me know what you think. Am I right?

Jeffrey has also always had a talent for recommending things I will love. He introduced me to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. He owned the Rocky Horror Picture Show on VHS before it was officially available in the US, and is to Blane for me being able to surprise friends with my knowledge of the appropriate lines for viewings. He got me hooked on They Might Be Giants. And, of course, apropos to the site of our first meeting, he introduced me to the album Doolittle by the Pixies, cementing a love of alternative music before we knew what to call the stuff.

My point in all of that is that Jeffrey wrote one story for Awkward One, but he also recommends the other authors, so they must also be awesome. I'm just saying.

PS: Have I mentioned that you should buy a copy of Awkward One?

Update: The rest of the stories are also great. Well, I didn't much care for one of them, but the others make up for it. And I'm too nice to say which one that was. Well, ok, maybe not "nice," per se, 'cuz now they'll all assume it was them. Muahahahaha!


Die Anyway said...

Oh my, this is awkward. I was going to buy the book but I forgot the name of it. What was it again? ;-)

re: "We were both drummers (aka the part of the band the conductor mostly ignores),..."

I saw a relevant comment on Pharyngula the other day (maybe it was you???) :
rock band: three musicians and a drummer.

Jon Harmon said...

If you need a reminder of the name, head on over to the Awkward Press site (where you can read Jeffrey's take on my take on his book, and continue our infinite loop of crossreferencing). :)

I still haven't gotten into Pharyngula commenting; it's too much of a hoard for me to keep up with. But I will point out that, in many of the best rock bands, the drummer really is a musician (Keith Moon, Dave Grohl, Ringo Star). I don't dispute that many drummers aren't really musicians, but I've noticed a lot of my favorite bands have surprisingly great drummers.

Die Anyway said...

To be honest, I know so little about music I probably couldn't tell the difference between a "musician drummer" and a "hack drummer". But I know what I like and I like percussion. So there was no intent on my part to put down drummers, although I recognize that the joke makes that attempt.

There is someone posting on Pharyngula using the nom-de-internet of Jon H. I thought maybe it could be you. I like PZ's posts better than I like most of the comments. Although he can be harsh, he's not as crude and mean-spirited as some of the regulars. Still, I get sucked into reading most of the responses (until it goes over 100 or so).
I'm headed off to St. Augustine for the annual skimboard contest this weekend (3 days of sun, fun, and bikini-watching) so it'll be Monday before I check back to see what you've come up with to post.

leslie aka: TheCrookedStamper said...

Alert: normal comment, here. I just bought the book, so +1 to the total. How many have sold so far?

Jon Harmon said...

Woot! Let us know what you think, Leslie!