I haven’t had a good reason to stay in Orlando for my birthday since 2009. My divorce started right before my birthday in 2010, where I went out of town to do a feature for a book I didn’t want to promote any more as it was mostly love poems (and some misanthropy) about my ex-wife. In 2011, I was supposed to go to Chicago with a then girlfriend who became an ex. I ended meeting up with my then new girlfriend on my birthday while out there. I booked a Portland trip for my birthday in 2012 before meeting my previous girlfriend in late 2011, and I was still in a miserable situation, partially because of the person who she was, partially because I was still living in the apartment that my ex-wife and I shared before she moved out. This birthday was one of the best I’ve had in a long time, and part of that is due to my amazing girlfriend, Laura.

I’ve lived and worked in the Casselberry/Winter Springs/Longwood/Lake Mary area for the past three months of being out of the ruins has allowed me to finally let go of that last little bit of misery. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been this happy and content from an emotional stand point.

I’m not content about where I am though as a writer. I also have a focus problem, where I want to work on a bunch of projects at the same time and I know that is hurting me in terms of finishing projects (such as the Jesus Christ, Boy Detective novel). I need to focus on just one project, selling just one thing, and stick with it until it is done.

***

Here are some birthday highlights

  • This is one of the signature cocktails at The Ravenous Pig, an old fashioned using bacon infused bourbon (and yes, that is bacon in the highball glass). The cocktail was amazing. The food was amazing. It was worth going into a food coma for the rest of the night.

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  • The article covering six Central Florida poets you should know came out through Orlando Arts Magazine, which we found on Saturday while attending the Broomstick Pony Derby. Laura interviewed the poets, including myself. The poem comes from Issue 7 of ILK

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  • My mom surprised me yesterday when I went to her house when I walked in and saw balloons and a bottle of really good scotch as my birthday present. For the record, you may get me medium to high grade whiskey and all of its forms for any occasion. I will gladly accept it. Currently, my whiskey collection consists of whiskeys from Ireland, Scotland, Kentucky, and Florida. What will be the color of the rainbow on my liver?
  • Laura and I are going to New York in June. This was one of the birthday presents she gave to me. It’s been 20 years since I’ve seen a night game (and it has a taste of Ohio for her as that’s where here family is from). She also brought amazing cupcakes that went well with some ginger beer and scotch.

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  • The weather today (May 6) was incredible. Last year, Portland experienced similar weather, and it was a good sign to start my 33rd year. This weather is a good sign to start my 34th year. 

***

I have two poems over at Camroc Press Review, which you can check out here.

I have a poem over in the first issue of the East Jasmine Review, which you can purchase here.

Iron Man 3 is good. Go see it in the theater, just not in 3D.

Here’s where you can hear my interview on The Unknown Show. I’m the first author on.

I’ll be announcing my New York reading dates really soon. Keep an eye out for more details.

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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 iheartfailure.net.

Latest Posts By J. Bradley

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performances, poetry, publication news, self assessment

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