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Q and A

Jul 03, 2010; capabilityochre Asks:

Do you suppose there is a market for a podcast of you reading your work in your own voice? Have you done this kind of thing?

Stacey answers:

Like a paying market? No. Like an unpaying market? Uh, no. But if you send me a nice mix CD I'll call you up and read you a story, how about. Also, if you go up to the "Interview" link above you'll find some radio interviews of me you could listen to. I'll see if I can add a link to a more recent, utterly embarrassing interview I did for for Jason Bitner's book Cassette From My Ex, where I talk about being dumped by Rick Moody.

Jun 30, 2010; littleshirlybeans Asks:

Hello! Thank you so much for your Tucson suggestions. They were great. We had a wonderful time and even got to spend a little time with YOU on our drive through New Mexico and then into Tucson. You got a little lazy once we arrived and just wanted to eat sandwiches in our hotel room bed, but that's okay. I'll have to send you some pictures. If you ever come to Albuquerque (and you should) I can give you some great suggestions as well. Long live the Southwest!! Anyway, I just joined a roller derby league after many long weeks of practice and a strenuous test. I'm wondering if you could suggest a derby name. Check out this website!! Since I know you're interested in names (and I hope you're interested in derby). Anyway, literary references would be wonderful since I love to read and write. I was thinking of "Hold 'em Caulfield", but I'm not completely sold on it. Perhaps I should choose "Crazy Richter". Ta-ta!

Stacey answers:

Hi Little shirly. I'm so glad you had a good time in Tucson. I wonder how I manifested myself to you, and if I chewed with my mouth closed? I'm also glad you asked about a roller derby league name. Hold 'em Caulfield's cute, I like it, though I think it might be lost on some of your fans. How about naming yourselves after the 19th century landscape designer Capability Brown? I love that name. You could be the Capability Brownies, or maybe the Capability Brown Derby Girls. That makes you sound both cute and not to be fucked with. Or for a literary name, how about Alice in Derbyland--I like this since Alice is a sane heroine in a mad world, which is good for girls kicking ass on skates. That's all I've got right now. I'll keep thinking.

Jun 17, 2010; The Nibbler Asks:

What would be a good opening line to smooth the way to Happytown with a fabulous woman who already, once on a previous occasion, responded well to a compliment on the shoes she was wearing at the time?

Stacey answers:

The best thing to do is to neg her, but you have to do it in a nice, joking way. "To neg," by the way, is a verb coined by pickup artists, and "pickup artists" are slippery little dweebs with more smarts than charisma who have scientifically dissected every human encounter with the sole goal of learning how to pick up girls. To neg someone is to compliment them in a mean way, also known as teasing, and for some reason this registers as flirting--or facilitates it--far more than just being nice. Sort of like in grade school where boys are mean to girls because they like them. (Not that this requires a boy-girl combo--it will register as flirting in any configuration). I recommend you say something like: "Those shoes aren't bad, but they're not nearly as cute as the ones you were wearing last time." Or something like that.

Jun 09, 2010; Dale Asks:

Long-time reader, first-time writer. I am a big fan of your fiction. Do you have any suggestions for young writers concerning where to publish quirky short stories that don't necessarily fit into a specific genre? Also, have you read "Tunneling to the Center of the Earth" by Kevin Wilson? His style reminded me of you.

Stacey answers:

Hi Dale. I think the best thing to do as far as publishing stories is to just go to the library and read a lot of literary journals. Find the ones you like and send your work to them. Sometimes the editors are graduate students, so the mood of the journal might change a little from year to year. Pay attention to that. Another strategy is to get the Pushcart anthologies from the last few years and see what stories you like, then go back to the journals and read them to see if it's a good fit. But you must read the journals! This is in accordance with the rules of karma and morality. Because how can you ask them to read your work if you don't even read their journals? That would be bad. You don't want to be bad.

I'll check out Kevin Wilson. Thanks!

Jun 07, 2010; Name Witheld By Request Asks:

I just got through working with someone who is very famous. He and I seemed to be on the same "bathroom schedule" and I would see him in the bathroom very often. However, one of us would not wash our hands after using the bathroom (it wasn't me). I feel like sending this person a letter suggesting that they change their hygienic habits, so how would I do that? But who do I think I am, anyway?

Stacey answers:

Sorry I never answered this--I didn't see it until now, two months late. My answer: I say leave him alone. I understand your discomfort, but in the end, bathrooms are not the dirtiest places we encounter in our lives, they're just the places with sinks in them. Theoretically we should all be washing our hands after touching escalator handrails, the city of Manhattan, and the inside of our noses. I know that toilet seats seem dirty--that's why they make people with OCD touch toilet seats on Obsessed, my favorite TV show. But they're not as dirty as the buttons on vending machines.

Jun 04, 2010; Liam, who really isn't boy-toy material Asks:

Hey, Stacey. When was the last time you were so happy and/or excited about something that you exclaimed, "CALLOOH CALLAY?!" -Exclaimed it with your arms thrusting into the air, and your face beaming at the heavens? Provide details.

If you've never done this, please explain why.

Yours in Xenu's love,

Stacey answers:

Liam, Liam. I last exclaimed callooh callay exactly three weeks ago, when I recited the poem "Jabberwocky" to a group of friends. I don't know if I was happy and/or excited, though I'm sure I'd been drinking.

It was for a book club. We were discussing Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. It's the only poem I know by heart--I had to perform it in drama class in high school. Now my humiliation is complete. Are you happy?

Jun 04, 2010; Kate Asks:

Do you know how I can achieve the perfect shade of pink in my hair without going to a beauty salon? Thank you.

Stacey answers:

Hi Kate. Good question. It depends on what color your hair is now. If it's naturally blond, I recommend you go to the beauty supply store and buy some Manic Panic or Punky Color--you will probably have to buy fuschia and let it fade to pink (the dye is temporary and fades with each shampoo). But if your hair is dark, and for best results in general, the best thing to do is to bleach your hair first. Bleach it until it's pale yellow (you can do streaks or your whole head--follow the directions on your drugstore box), but don't overbleach, because then your hair will fall out or look like lichen. After that, all you have to do is mix some unsweetened Kool Aid with conditioner and apply it to the bleached sections. Soarin'Strawberry Lemonaid makes a nice shade of Barbie pink, and Solar Strawberry Starfruit is nice too--just slightly more coral in tone. Leave the Kool Aid paste on as long as possible, even overnight. This will fade with each wash too.

May 31, 2010; Simone Asks:

I read "Drop City" per your recommendation. It was great. That was a while have you read anything excellent since then? I have a recommendation for you--"Return from the Stars" by Stanislaw Lem. World War II-era Polish science fiction. I think you'd dig it. Any chance of an ETA on your next publication?

Stacey answers:

Simone! I'm glad you liked Drop City. I've read a lot of excellent books lately but the one I'm going to recommend next is Why Did I Ever by Mary Robison because I think you'll like it--it's idiosyncratic and funny and a big favorite of mine, even though I didn't understand that the main character had ADHD the first time I read it. I'll definitely read the Lem--the cover alone gives me a weird Soviet feeling. Thank you.

No ETA on my next publication yet. I hope less than two years, but WTFK's. Who the fuck knows.

May 26, 2010; Wag Asks:

You originally stated that my smart phone made me appear to be smarter yet now you say it doesn't. What gives?

Stacey answers:

At first I thought your phone wrote the question and I thought to myself, "What a smart little phone!" But then I looked at it again and realized you were the man behind the phone and changed my mind. Sorry. I often change answers. Did you ever read my changed answer to your question about the Scientology dentist? At first I said it was okay to go to a Scientology dentist, but then I realized it was very, very wrong.

May 12, 2010; wag Asks:

This is the first time I'm visiting your site with my smart phone. Do I appear smarter?

Stacey answers:


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