Today on my weekly visit to Powell’s I bought a copy of Spunk & Bite: a writer’s guide to bold contemporary style by Arthur Plotnik. It’s a charming companion to Strunk & White that examines modern style and how to break the rules effectively. I recommend this book to writers that are seeking advice on how to punch up their fiction without creating a mess.
In one of the first chapters I found an interesting tidbit about the nucleus accumbens, the brain’s pleasure center. Research shows that unpredictable stimuli excites the nucleus accumbens, whereas expected stimuli elicit no response. Which basically means that the human brain enjoys surprise. No big revelation there. But it is useful for writers to keep in mind.
I am a huge supporter of the unpredictable. Bizarro fiction takes risks and sparks imagination. This fiction is scientifically proven to make your brain happy!
This week is busy. I am working on editing The Kissing Bug by Daniel Scott Buck. This will be the first release on the new Eraserhead Press bizarro children’s book imprint Spunk Goblin. The book will include beautiful artwork by Evan B Harris . Here’s a preview of the cover:
I’m also working on editing the forthcoming novel Zerostrata by Andersen Prunty. Andersen Prunty is one of my favorite new authors. His work appears in the Bizarro Starter Kit (blue) and his collection of flash fiction, The Overwhelming Urge, is available now on Bizarro Central .
I am having a lot of fun with these two books. I’ll be excited to share more as time goes on.
Tomorrow will be the first official meeting of the Portland Literary Offensive. We are really excited about the formation of this group.
The PLO is a Portland writing community for serious writers of fringe/underground fiction who have joined forces to help each other out in every possible way. Some are new writers, trying to get their first book polished and published. Some are small press authors, trying to figure out ways to get the word out for their new book. Some are professional authors, looking for new ways to build their readership. Some are small press publishers, looking for new talent. Its primary function is to get people networking so we can become more organized, motivated, and inspired as a community. Current members are Jeremy Robert Johnson, Kristopher and Christine Young (of Another Sky Press), Daniel Scott Buck, Carlton Mellick III, Rose O’Keefe (of Eraserhead Press), Mykle Hansen, and Steve Libbey.