Tag Archives: Publish-y stuff

A Novel in Numbers

25 Feb


Here are all the numbers for THIS IS SARAH

Final word count: 45,027

Days spent actively writing: 32

Time this book lived in my head in some form: 2 years

Number of times some variation of the f-word is uttered: 109

Number of times other curses are used: 55

Number of physical fights characters engage in: 2

Number of joints smoked by characters: 2-3

Number of bloody lips: 1

Number of voice mails left by characters: too many to count

Number of therapy sessions: 2

Number of cop interrogations: 2

Number of times a character vomits: 3

Number of marinara sauces made from scratch: 1

Number of hand-written letters from one character to another: 2

Number of smashed bicycles: 1

Number of potential divorces: 1

Number of references to zombies: 2

Number of tears shed: way too many to count

Number of fingers Ally has crossed that her publisher will like the changes: All of them

On the next very special issue of JDP…..

18 Feb


So I was asked to participate in something super cool for someone who is super cool. Eirik (said super cool dude) has been going through some crap lately cause he needs new lungs.

Yeah. LUNGS! Sort of necessary.

So his awesome friends at Jersey Devil put their heads together and said to themselves “Self I say, what can do we do to help Eirik and his lovely wife Monica through such a trying time?”

And since none of them are particularly skilled in the ways of garnering new lungs, they did what writers do. They decided that maybe, just maybe, a few stories might cut through the darkness, might ease their minds for a few – the way storytelling has for ages.

And I was fortunate enough to be included in the list of people they wanted stuff from. So I wrote a story about some people who fall in love as their ships pass in the night….in space. Cause everything is cooler in space. There’s some really great stories in this special issue about bigfoot and poems about cursing and stories about new coke and time travel.

Good stuff, guys.

So here’s the very special Jersey Devil Press issue for Eirik and Monica. I hope it made them smile.

And if you want to help out – because we live in the sort of country where you have to practically kickstart to cover your own health expenses – you can do that here at Eirik’s COTA page

Finally, if you can’t spare any cash, but want to share the stories, please do. Exposure is never a bad thing.

So thanks again to JDP and to Eirik for letting me be a part of something so cool.

Peace, Love and Starbursts,


Poems, readings, poetry shows and word counts

13 Feb


It’s snowing like a mofo out there again in Brooklyn. I’ve officially dubbed this The Winter That Killed Winter For Me. If you even hear me complain about 90 degrees this summer, feel free to slap me.

So, let’s recap.

First off the kind folks at This Zine Will Change Your Life were kind enough to give my poem Garage Sale a home. Many thanks to Ben for being so kind. And then, if that weren’t enough, the equally wonderful folks at Mad Swirl were nice enough to give my poem Reason Number 17 a place to be. As always small press editors are the best.

This past weekend I was in Pittsburgh which was great. Aside from chilling with some family members I got to hangout with some people that I really do miss. It’s a great city and every time I leave, I’m sad about it.

On Friday I met up with the very cool Renee Alberts to record a half hour poetry show called Prosody on WEYP. Prosody is a great show, with an amazing history. I was so completely honored to be invited to read my stuff and talk to Renee about poetry. Renee and Lisa, Prosody’s engineer, were both wonderful. Nice and funny and down to earth and kind enough to not comment on how nervous I was.

Basically I read a few poems and then Renee talked to me about writing.

It went something like this:

Renee: “So Ally, I noticed that in your work, you mainly write from the first person and your work has a very strong narrative I. Can you talk a little about that?”

Ally: “Yeah sure….<long pause>….Um……<longer pause>….it’s because I….. <something stupid>…… and then…… <something dumb>….. but not without…… <something even dumber>….basically without…… <make up a word here>….so yeah.”

Ahem. The good news is that Lisa is going to edit this down and make me sound not so dumb and not so much like someone who makes up words on air. OR, she’s not and you can all have a good laugh.

The show is going to air this Saturday at 6 am. So for you early birds out there, you can listen to here: http://www.wyep.org/listen-live

Otherwise, it’ll be podcasted eventually and I’ll share it then so we can all have a nice laugh.

So after that, there was a reading hosted by the always fantastic Don Wentworth of Lilliput Review. (If you haven’t read that blog, please do so. It’s amazing). I was totally honored to read with Sara Ries, Chuck Joy, Dianne Borsenik, John Burroughs, John Grochalski, Maggie Glover, Heather McNaugher, Kristofer Collins & Don Wentworth.

It was a stellar line up and so much fun and I can only hope I managed to hold my own with such a great line up.

I’m going to have some book news soon but for now, let’s just say that my novella is currently morphing into a novel. Apparently I fed it after midnight and spilled water on it. You know how these things go. So if I manage to write my little fingers off, I’ll have something for you to read come June or so. It’s called THIS IS SARAH and it’s my accidental novel…..hopefully. I’m shooting for 1K words a day. So far so good but it’s still early.

Peace Love and Starbursts,


A Reading, a Recording and a Publication, Oh My!

16 Jan



So I’ve got some news.

First off, on the events front, I’ll be in Pittsburgh on February 8th, reading at Modern Formations. Here’s the line up:

A Confluence of Poets – Modern Formations

Saturday, February 8th,  8 pm

Presented by Lilliput Review


Buffalo – Sara Ries     Erie – Chuck Joy

  Cleveland – Diane Borsenik & John Burroughs

New York City – Ally Malinenko & John Grochalski

San Francisco – Maggie Glover

Pittsburgh – Heather McNaugher, Kristofer Collins

& Don Wentworth

Admission: $5 or a Covered Dish

Modern Formations 4919 Penn Ave. Pittsburgh, PA

Nice, right? I’ve very excited. So if you’re in the area, please come out and say hello and hear some great poetry.

And the night before that, I’m going to be on Prosody – a poetry radio show –  which is craziness! I’ll be reading some poems and talking to Renee Alberts about poetry. I haven’t picked out the poems I’m going to read yet (Note to self: pick out some poems, Ally) but I’m hoping to do a couple from my new series, How To Be An American.

Granted, the FCC requires I tone a few of those down so that there is less f-bomb dropping and all. Ahem.

BookFish Books Logo finished blue bakground 2 (1)

And lastly, speaking of F-Bombs……My novella THIS IS SARAH is being published this spring by BookFish Books.There’s still a ton of work to do but I’m super excited for this opportunity.

Here’s a little teaser synopsis:
When Colin Leventhal leaned out his bedroom window on the night of May 12th and said goodbye to his girlfriend, he never expected it would be forever. But when Sarah Evans goes missing that night, Colin’s world unravels as he is transformed from the boyfriend next door to the main police suspect. Then one year later, at her memorial service, Colin makes a phone call that could change everything. Is it possible that Sarah is still alive? And if so, what is Colin willing to do to bring her back?
THIS IS SARAH is a meditation on loss, a tale of first love, and a harrowing journey about what it is to say finally let go and say goodbye.
So that’s about everything for now. Again if you’re anywhere near Pittsburgh, please come out. Afterwards we’ll get beers!
Peace, Love and Starbursts,

The Librarian by John Grochalski or What Would Rand Do?

16 Dec


Hi kids!

So today is an exciting day because now you can officially purchase John Grochalski’s first novel The Librarian.

Here’s what smarter people than me have said about it:

Grochalski has done it. He’s taken the wry wit and tenderness of his poetry and transformed it into a lyrical, biting, and at turns incredibly humorous first novel. Welcome to the world of Rand Wyndham, a former librarian and misanthrope extraordinaire in his late 30s who suffers through temp work and other horrors to retreat nightly to the safe haven of Rooney’s Pub, where he has proudly earned his stripes as a regular. In well-crafted prose, Grochalski keenly captures the inane ritual of the daily workplace routine but also the ridiculous and entertaining scuffles, drunken chatter, and other misadventures of bar life. For Rand, having to deal with bleary-eyed hangovers in cubicles under the glare of fluorescent lights is worth every minute of boozing with the other regulars of Rooney’s until last call. And I didn’t want to leave the bar either—I had a hard time putting Grochalski’s book down. A great read and a rousing success.
—Scott Silsbe, Editor, The New Yinzer


John Grochalski aims straight for the heart of things. With equal measures of acid and awe, he lights out for territory originally assayed by the legendary Charles Bukowski. Roll down the windows, fire up the imagination, and pass the bottle this way: you’re in for one helluva ride.
—Don Wentworth, Editor, Lilliput Review


John Grochalski is that rarity in literature these days—an honest man. In his poems, stories and novels Grochalski eschews artifice in favor of something grander and more immediate; he strives to show the world as it is in all its mortifying desperation. Here is the real grit of lives eked out in the trenches of a culture and country in steep decline. To read Grochalski is to know America.
—Kristofer Collins, Editor, Low Ghost Press

See? Now you’ve got no reason NOT to pick it up.

And if you’re in the Pittsburgh area on  December 23rd,  come down to Modern Formations Gallery (4919 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa) for the book launch. Doors open at 8pm and there is a $5 cover charge. It’s a joint book launch so the always fantastic Mr. Scott Silsbe will be there too promoting his new book The River Underneath the City out via Low Ghost Press.

Exciting stuff!

Happy Holidays kids. And remember as you struggle through another season of holiday malaise, ask yourself What Would Rand Do?

(…..More than likely he’d be at the bar!)

Peace, Love and Starbursts,


How to Be An American poem at Regardless of Authority

4 Dec


It’s December.

When did that happen? December?

The last month of 2013.

It’s been a weird year. On the one hand it was all amazing with Vienna and Salzburg and Mozart’s house and driving up the coast of California and so much poetry written and read and heard and published and indian food and Chagall and Klimt and a new little baby named Wes and Nietzsche and novel writing about memory and the theory of eternal return….

and on the other hand there’s been sad things and weird things and few more sad things….

so basically I guess it’s been like all the other years. Some good. Some bad. Some not even worth mentioning.

At the very least I have managed to get a lot of writing done this year. While these five am writing mornings five days a week are probably shortening my life significantly, there’s at least ink on paper, right? Enough to bury me in.

So anyway, many thanks to Regardless of Authority for picking up one of my How To Be An American poems for the new issue. You can read it here.

It’s based on a true story. That all actually happened at the Duomo (pictured above) in Florence just about a year and a half ago. And yes, my poor husband does have to put up with me mouthing off to strangers.

Thanks again to Regardless of Authority.

Peace, Love and Starbursts,


Ol’ Tom’s Reminder at Drunk Monkeys

19 Nov

A beautiful gun is a thing of wonder


So I wrote a Western with guns and ol’ curs and dog teeth and a blunderbuss with a heart-shaped tip and the very kind folks at Drunk Monkeys agreed to publish it.

In full disclosure, I stole a joke in it. But I stole it from my husband so it’s sort of shared property, right?

“Well bless your soul, Ol’ Tom. Or the black dead space where your soul used to rot.”

Ol’ Tom lets out a dog howl of a laugh and pours himself another. “That’s why I like you Davey. Godamnit, I can’t help myself even after all the bad blood now between us you can still make me laugh. You are one funny sonofabitch.”

“Yeah, well, looks aren’t everything.”

Get it? You’re funny? Yeah well looks aren’t everything.

Admittedly it’s funnier when he says it.

So thanks again to Drunk Monkeys for taking this bizarre story about two old school gangsters.

Peace Love and Starbursts,


Three ‘How to be an American’ Poems at Underground Books

7 Nov



This has truly been a crappy week. Truly. Truly truly truly NOT outrageous and NOT like Gem.

(good luck getting that song out of your head!)

But you know what’s NOT crappy about it?

It’s that the truly awesome James from Underground Books published a few of my new poems from the How to be an American series I’ve been working on.

So without further ado, here you go.

Thanks James, for taking a bit of the crap out of craptastic.

Also – this piece from Laurie Anderson about Lou Reed’s death is amazing. If I can face my own death or the death of people that I love with one third of this bravery and passion I will consider my life a success. And it also reminded me that one time I wrote a story about a girl who started a revolution because of a Lou Reed song. You can read it here if you want.

Peace, Love and Starbursts,


6 Poem Poetry Bomb

4 Nov

So I must have hit some sort of magical submission time jackpot because not one but two editors got back to me nearly immediately and posted the poems they accepted. Not that I mind long waits, but it’s so nice when it all goes in sync.

So here you go:

First up we have Boyslut and the always lovely Devlin with Do Say A Few Nice Things About People’s Homes When You Visit and Not to Be Happy Is Not Just a Misfortune, It Is a Failure

Many many thanks to Devlin for finding a home for these guys.

Secondly is Horror Sleaze and Trash (which is a wee bit NSFW so consider yourself warned) with But Americanism Means Believing America is a Special Nation Chosen By God and Despite Its Size the US is Not as Diverse a Country as We Like to Think and Even When We’re Relaxing, We’re Watching the Clock and finally When All Conversation Fails There Are Always Sports and The Children To Fall Back On.

(I’m so very excited about getting into Horror Sleaze and Trash cause they’re all such bad boys and I never get into bad boy places.)

These are all poems from the How To Be An America series I’ve been working on and it’s really great to see them get out there. This has been a really fun project and much different from anything that I wrote for The Wanting Bone or since.

So many thanks to the awesome editors.

Peace Love and Starbursts,


The Car Accident, 1995 at Pyrokinection

28 Oct

Photo by Jim Lennon. Old Mineral Springs Waterfall. May 2012

In 1994, when I was in high school, I fell off a waterfall and busted my head open.

A year later, I went back there, with my boyfriend and two other friends to see it.

On the way home, I flipped my ford escort over, totaling the car. When I saw the wrecked car in the junkyard the roof touched the ceiling. We all should have been headless and yet, amazingly, no one was hurt.

My mother told me there were certain places that certain people shouldn’t go. And if I went back there she’d disown me.

I took her advice and I’ve never gone back.

Thanks to AJ Huffman at Pyrokinection for taking this poem about that accident.

And also, RIP Lou Reed. I was talking to my husband at his yesterday and, while listening to his music, he said, “Poor Lou Reed.”

And I said, yes, but he was 71 (which is pretty good for a rock n roll lifestyle) and also, he was LOU REED. I mean, honestly, he had a better life than any of us poor shlubs will.

That said, we’ll miss you Lou. Thanks for the music.

Peace, Love and Starbursts,


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