The problem with having a reading on a Hallmark holiday is you run the risk of having no one show up, unless your reading is attuned with said Hallmark holiday, like on Valentine’s Day, you have an Erotica reading/slam. On Halloween, you do Dead Poets Slam. Based on my experience running various shows, those events specifically attuned to said Hallmark holiday are well attended and well performed by everyone involved.

Last week, I was invited to read at a long prose reading series. I thought based on the time of day, that since Father’s Day is typically a brunch type of celebration, like Mother’s Day, this reading would be attended. I underestimated the draining power of Father’s Day as no one came to see myself or my co-feature read. Not celebrating Father’s Day in over twenty years makes you forget the stock others place in celebrating  fatherhood.

I used to promise women I dated in long term relationships that I would give them children, that I would worry aloud about whether I would be a good father to our future children. Part of me making these promises was because that’s what I thought I was supposed to do (get married, have kids, raise kids, disappoint kids, etc.). At the same time, there was something in me nagging me not to go through with it, that always compelled me to check the condom, and ask questions regarding birth control. I’ve finally acknowledged that I don’t want children and have gone out of my way to date women who also do not want children. I would ask for a Hallmark holiday celebrating those of us (men and women) who chose not to have children (I would call the male version of this “I’m Not The Father Day” – I’m all ears on the women’s version) but with the way religion and society has set the ground rules, childless = sad.

We saw Moonrise Kingdom on Saturday and it’s a really good movie. It’s nice to see Wes Anderson actually adhere to the time period he filmed the story in, rather than be anachronistic for the sake for anachronism. I like Anderson’s films (Life Aquatic is my favorite) but if certain technology was available in most of his films, it would kill the entire story, which is why he sets his universe to not have things like cellphones. Go see Moonrise, seriously.

I’m taking my time with a Jesus Christ, Boy Detective side story I started to work on last week to give myself a break from the novel and that’s a new approach for me. I’m a breakneck kind of writer, where I won’t stop working on a new project until I’m done. I’ll go in these great spurts and ignore everything around me until I’m done. I’ve enjoyed this approach so far and look forward to seeing where this one goes.

Bodies Made of Smoke is nearing the finish line. We’re just making some final tweaks to the novella. I have seen some amazing cover ideas. That’s all I’ll say for now.

Ampersand Review Volume 7 is now on sale. I was the guest Poetry Editor for this issue. You can actually read one of my poems from the issue here.

I have something small in The Molotov Cocktail, which you can check out here.

The latest issue of NAP is out, which you should check out here.


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About J. Bradley

J. Bradley's is a Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominated writer whose work has appeared in numerous literary journals including decomP, Hobart, and Prairie Schooner. He was the Interviews Editor of PANK, the Flash Fiction Editor of NAP, and the Web Editor of Monkeybicycle. He is the author of the poetry collection Dodging Traffic (Ampersand Books, 2009), the novella Bodies Made of Smoke (HOUSEFIRE, 2012), and the graphic poetry collection The Bones of Us (YesYes Books, 2014), illustrated by Adam Scott Mazer. He is the curator of the Central Florida reading series There Will Be Words and lives at

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organizing, poetry, publication news, Writing


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