Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Five: 5 Best Things Caleb Ross has read recently

(There's a blowtorch!)

Caleb Ross has been on a wild blog tour for the past month or so and he graciously stops by Deckfight to share the 5 best things he has read recently.

Caleb is the author of the recently released story collection, Charactered Pieces (from OW Press). For the past month he's been doing an online tour called The Blog Orgy Tour, where he offers guest posts at various blogs, revealing along the way things he'd rather have kept to himself. See his tour page for all the stops, both past and forthcoming.

Yesterday he was at Lit Drift and next week he's at 3AM Magazine all week long.

1. Yes, that’s a speed limit sign that reads 9. This sign hangs in a parking garage in Clayton, Missouri (a St. Louis suburb). I understand the need for low speed when exiting a parking garage, but the refusal to round this number to 10 forces me to fathom the circumstances that lead to such a specific number. Crying parent: “Is she going to live, doctor?” Doctor: “If the car was going just one mile-per-hour less, yes, but…”

2. This one is a bit selfish, but truly, it’s one of the best things I’ve read recently. From a review at Present Magazine of my fiction chapbook, Charactered Pieces:

    He crafts stories that are powerful, accessible, and unsettling enough to draw the reader in with curiosity about how these lives will play out, prompting the imagination to extend the implications long after the final word has been read.

To affect someone long after the book is closed; that’s my dream as a writer.

3. This sign angered me. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to exit a gas station parking lot in a Boeing 747? Quite difficult.

4. I’ve been on a Jose Saramago trip for the last month or so. I’m upset that it took me so long to discover this wonderful author. From his novel, The Double, I read this passage today, which, me being a language-geek, struck a particular chord:

    There was a time when there were so few words that we did not even have enough to express something as simple as This is my mouth, or That is your mouth, still less ask, Why are our mouths touching. It doesn’t occur to people nowadays that a lot of work was involved in creating those words, it was necessary, in the first place, to realize that there was a need for them, which may, who knows, have been the most difficult thing of all, then to reach a consensus on the significance, of their immediate effects, and finally, a task that will never fully be completed, to imagine the consequences that might ensue, in the medium and long term, for these effects and from these words.

5. This quote from Jay Schaefer, an editor-at-large at Workman Publishers in New York City: “Publishers desperately seeking insanely great debut novelists.”

He says this like it’s news, like he’s announcing this amazing new business model that will save publishing. Answer me this: has there ever been a time when publishers weren’t looking for “insanely great debut novelists”? Try harder, Big Time Publishing. Try harder.


  1. Thanks for having me, you kind bastard.

  2. Although if you're a runner, the difference between being able to cover ten miles in an hour compared to nine, that's a massive leap. It's ridiculous to measure a 40-yard drive to the exit in MPH anyway. What are they gonna do, check you by radar? The sign should just say "DRIVE SLOWLY." Oh, and Charactered Pieces is great; buy it.


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