thrice book project

thrice fiction magazine have published five short pieces of mine with wonderful artwork to accompany them. it is one of the best fiction venues my work has been featured at, and the professional job they do is stellar. when i mentioned to their art guy, dave simmer, how much i loved the artwork for my recent stories, the cane flays bare, and softening of the skull, and wished they could publish my book so their talents would be brought to bear on it, he dropped a hint they might be venturing into the book publishing territories in 2013. an email to editor, rw spryszak, prior to christmas led to a, “let’s talk in the new year,” and now, he declares:

“Dave Simmer and I want to expand on the magazine, Thrice Fiction, and begin to move into the realm of books. We’ve found the guy we want to publish, an expatriate Irishman named James Claffey.

If you’ve looked in on Thrice you’ve no doubt seen him in two of our six issues. For me, he is a logical continuation of the phenomenon of the Irish writer with that particular, peculiar Celtic mind, who improves on the English language as he goes along, that the world of literature always seems to call up. Claffey brings a modern vibe to that legacy. His work is lyrical, tightly executed, and incredibly engaging. Hard to stop reading once you start.

I’ve spoken with James and told him that after I sort through the stories we’re going to use in issue #7 (which will be published in March), we’ll have time to sit down and work out what he wants to do. It should be a blast. As far as I’m concerned we’ll just go with his instinct and work from that starting point.”

these are fine words to read, let me tell you. i’m delighted to be collaborating with them on my first book, most likely a novel based in 1980’s Ireland. stay tuned for further information on the process, and read more from rw, here, and then click here for thrice fiction magazine. cheers! james


(prompted by gessy alvarez on fictionaut)

Bake fresh bread once a week. Grind the coffee beans by hand.

Write every day, in the shadow of the blood orange tree.

Savor the lines written, but don’t be afraid to abandon them to the winds.

Read your words aloud and trust the voice in your head.

Write through the painful moment,  for it’s in the agony that the truth resides.

Dress your characters in colorful clothing and give them exquisite dilemmas to deal with.

Don’t treat your readers like fools. Trust they’ll understand even the most obscure moments.

Avoid over-analyzing the writing. Let the writing be clear and ring true.

Delve into the awkward interactions between people.

Don’t react to the rejections. Each one is a cobblestone on the road to success.

Sanctify the writing with strong verbs and language.

Set deadlines and meet them as best you can. Provide  a reward for yourself if you meet them.

Take long walks on the beach to remind yourself of how good your writer’s life can be.

Examine the underside of rocks and fallen branches to discover the unearthly.

Let the writing take flight, don’t be afraid to allow the words to go where they will. The sentence structure and rhythm will surprise you.

Read a passage to your son and daughter every so often, even though they may not understand the words.

Write with music, write without music, have a soundtrack for your writing, but above all let the words themselves be the music.

Never take no for an answer. Always rebound and submit the work one more time. It’s an endeavor for the relentless.

Acknowledge your successes and your failures, but celebrate the successes when they come.

Sharpen the nib with  an arrowhead and dip the tip in your blood. The real material is buried in the inkwell of the soul.