• Several Invitations to Break Into Our Office

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in WBN News & Events     Comments 3 comments

    Last week’s first-ever “Dear WBN” was such a blistering success that this week can only disappoint.

    So without further ado, here’s some disappointment.


    Dear WBN:

    Last five books you read/do you recommend them?

    Bill C.

    Palm City, FL


    DD: 1) The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, Poe. Not a great novel, but if you plan to read Mat Johnson’s Pym, like I’m doing now, it’s not a bad idea to knock this one out first. Being familiar with the Poe novel adds some hilarity to Johnson’s already very funny book.

    2) Beloved, Toni Morrison. Yes yes yes.

    3) Paradise, Toni Morrison. Yes.

    4) Cut Through the Bone, Ethel Rohan. Obviously.

    5) A Week at the Airport, Alain de Botton. On a rainy day. Especially if you’re stuck at the airport.


    JG: 1) The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron – A bit hippie-dippie for my taste, but morning pages (i.e., stream-of-consciousness writing for half an hour first thing every morning) changed my life.

    2) Matterhorn, Karl Marlantes – If you want a to-the-minute account of each and every fart farted by the members of Marlantes’ Vietnam platoon, this book is for you.

    3) The Carrie Diaries, Candace Bushnell – Devout fans of the show will be bothered by glaring inconsistencies. Still, a fun read.

    4) It’s Not What You Sell, It’s What You Stand For, Roy M. Spence Jr. – He presents a compelling case for putting meaning behind your work. That’s all I have to say about that.

    5) In the Lake of the Woods, Tim O’Brien – Oh god, yes. I love this man.



    Dear WBN:

    I heard Duhr has the charisma of Joe The Plumber & the sensitivity of OJ Simpson. Is he as dreamy as they all say?

    Jeff Q.

    Austin (via Twitter)


    DD: Yes.

    JG: Not even a little bit.



    Dear WBN:

    Where have you published fiction?

    Sharon B.

    Denton, TX


    JG: “Where haven’t I published fiction?” she replied snarkily. If you’re Joyce Carol Oates, this response is understandable, maybe even acceptable. If you’re me, which I am, I’m kidding.

    You can find a sprinkling of my fiction in literary journals like Meeting House, Fringe, and Whiskey Island. A substantial deposit is patiently awaiting consideration at publications-which-shall-remain-nameless-because-to-divulge-that-information-prematurely-is-a-serious-jinx, my precious manuscripts collecting cyber-dust as they inch their way to fame. And by “inch,” I mean don’t inch: sit still, play dead, good short story. If you were so inclined, you could sneak into my home, locate the tucked-away box labeled “Novel in progress,” cross-referenced under “In case of fire, do not save.” You’d find a good 40% of my fiction there. I have two short stories and a collection of short-shorts slowly accumulating life in my head and on the page. But you can’t find those … yet.

    Watch your back, Oates.


    DD: Nowhere, for me. I’ve only tried to get one story pubbed (which I wrote about here); it’s out at a few places, it’s been snubbed by a few places.

    If you care to break into WBN HQ and gank my hard drive, you can read a bunch of in-progress stories. Can’t guarantee that the pleasure derived from my unfinished fiction would be worth the jail time. Although if you want so badly to read my work that you’d risk breaking the law, I might not press charges.



    To get your burning questions answered, email them to me with “Dear WBN” in the subject line. Do it now, before you forget. And before we run out of questions and have to start making these up, which would be ridiculous.

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    Nate St. Pierre

    Justine, your response to the “where have you published” question made me grin like an idiot. Duhr, you don’t make me grin at all. Ever.


    I do what I can. David doesn’t.

    David Duhr

    Both of you can shove it.

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