Friday, February 10, 2006

"Alternatives to Sex: An Introduction" by Stephen McCauley

Here's a "Stories to Go" exclusive, offered to our faithful listeners between our regular short stories: Stephen McCauley, author of such novels as True Enough, The Man of the House, and The Object of My Affection, introduces us all to his latest work, the forthcoming Alternatives to Sex. Look below and you'll find Mr. McCauley reading Lorrie Moore, as well as James Thurber some months ago. Now you'll hear his own words in his own voice. We hope you'll enjoy this brief excerpt and the author's commentary--and that you will rush right out to buy the book as soon as it hits your town. Time 6:40.

OK, Steve, what percentage do we get?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Authors, anyone?

We've just become aware that recently a few new people have been taking a peek at this site, and so first of all we want to welcome them--as well as give a hi-howdy to anyone who's dared to venture back here after recent problems with downloading and listening and story selection. We still have a backlog of things we want to accomplish--and must admit it might take a long time or never. What we'd really love is an Author's List so one could navigate to any particular entry with ease, but there doesn't seem to be any easy way for us Bloggers to do that. (Well, we could hand-stitch it, but that would take a very long time.) If anyone out there could show us how to create an index efficiently, please let us know! In the meantime, don't forget that there is one easy way already to find an author or topic, so easy that we've often forgotten it ourselves--just use the "Search This Blog" feature at the top of the page. Of course, if you don't know which authors or stories we've already featured, this might not be too helpful--but if the author or story you're looking for has already been presented, that search feature should lead you right to that page or those pages.

We'll be looking for more ways to improve this site as we go along. Sorry if the pages are getting a little more cluttered with options nowadays (more than we like, actually), but in an effort to "maximize our potential" and cooperate with the many methods of listening on- or offline, it looks like more clutter is the way to go. You might note that we now feature the timing of new entries (and will try to update previous ones, although Blogger updating can be very slow). And in the future we promise to have readers always say "The End," just in case there might still be any confusion. (After all, quite a few stories do have unexpected or abrupt endings.) Any further suggestions?

One other note: all of our entries past and present have been encode to 48 or 56 kbps, in an effort to balance file size with quality. Being that these are only monophonic voice recordings, that seems to work for us, but does it for you? We do wonder when our ISP server space will run out, even if we don't quite understand all these technical things...

Thanks as always for reading these bothersome notes.

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

"How to Become a Writer" by Lorrie Moore

"How does one become a writer?" authors are probably often asked by acolytes and critics alike. This story might not help much, but it is a cleverly disguised bildungsroman disguised as a guide for would-be fictionists everywhere. Read by Stephen McCauley. Time 16:15.

It is up to the reader to decide how much of this story might really be autobiographical; Marie Lorena Moore the real person grew up surrounded by books and music, the daughter of parents who had both wanted to be writers at one time. By the time she was Lorrie Moore the writer, she had already won a Seventeen magazine contest and was fast on her way to tenure at The New Yorker and teaching college students to write. She is one of those somewhat rare writers known equally as much for her short story collections as her novels. Her fiction, as one might guess, can often be elusive, spurning or parodying convention.

Stephen McCauley's forthcoming novel Alternatives to Sex will be his sixth; he continues to live in Cambridge, Massachusetts despite everything. Look for a special advertising supplement from Mr. McCauley within the next day or so. If he's lucky, as he says, Oprah may mistake this latest novel for a memoir.