Blog

Posts from Pumpjack Press authors and contributors about culture, books, economic and social justice topics, history and more, with the occasional poem and short story.

Falling in love: The second most terrifying thing to happen on Halloween

Celebrate #Horror Month! Twenty years ago on Oct. 31, we — Clark and Kathleen — decided to get married and start writing horror together. It was a monstrous decision. We officially became engaged on a blustery Halloween night 20 years ago. Clark was dressed as the devil on vacation. Maps in hand, horns out, leisure shirt on. Kathleen was a zombie fairy. Glitter, tutu, bloodied face.

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Letter to a young writer from John Updike

Decades ago, John Updike generously responded to a letter I had written him. HIs letter, now yellowed with age, has the typeface of an old typewriter and includes strikeouts and handwritten marginalia. I dug this letter out recently, after re-reading Rabbit, Run. He provided good advice and encouragement at a moment when it was sorely needed.

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Lenny: a character (yea, a survivalist, conspiracy theorist, Vampire-killing) interview

Joining us today from the pages of The Cowboy and the Vampire Collection is Lenny, a survivalist and improvised weapons expert with some peculiar political views. He’s the long-time friend of Tucker and is now deeply involved in making weapons capable of dispatching the undead.

Hello Lenny, welcome. What did you bring with you today? This? It’s a reverse surveillance tracker I made out of an old cassette recorder, a GPS unit and an electric toothbrush. I want to be able to monitor whoever it is monitoring this conversation to find out where they are broadcasting from.

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Matters of duration: A short story

Edward Ruckley seemed to be having a pretty good day. 

He was drinking an iced coffee in the park, a woman beside him on the bench. It was sunny, but not hot, and they were laughing about something. Or least smiling while they talked. Basically laughing.

Huron was watching them through a tiny pair of powerful binoculars from the safety of his car. He reached for his tablet and flipped through the files.

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An author interview with KBOO

Question: How would you describe writing with a partner?

Answer: It's like trying to wrestle down a tornado cloaked in barbed wire.

Clark and Kathleen recently sat for a 15-minute live interview with Ken Jones at KBOO, Portland's iconic community radio station recently. Have a listen. 

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Fatherfucker

I was rambling around the worldwide universe looking for places to submit my still-coming-into-being-literary-creations when I had a look at the guidelines for The Rumpus. On the very informative and easy-to-use submission site, and across other pages as well, the editors kindly provided a bit of free advice to would-be Rumpusians: Write like a motherfucker. This got me thinking: How has this sexist phrase become so commonplace?

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Genesis: Imagining a world with basic income in the year 2075

This is short fiction written in response to a 2017 prompt from the Economic Security Project to “explore the impacts of a basic income on individual lives and on society at large.”

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Upload archivist needed - Category: Recent history - 150 points for 90 BaseINC allotments

That was it. The full OPP description. Twelve words. Typically, a licensed OPP ran on for paragraphs, sometimes multiple screens. Yet, of the nearly two hundred OPPs Vingah scanned this morning, this tiny twelve-worder was the only one that matched her allotment budget, would bump her up to the threshold and was, most important, available now. Today. Sure, it was a little worrisome the listing was buried so deep, at the very bottom, and worse, there was no prior uptake even though the OPP was four years old. Was it too risky, she wondered? 

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