Podcast: The Rocky Mountain Writer

October 16, 2018 § Leave a comment

podcastlogo-ORIGWhat a pleasure it was to spend part of a recent afternoon having this wide-ranging conversation with Colorado novelist Mark Stevens on The Rocky Mountain Writer podcast.

We discussed many topics of interest to writers and readers, including A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing, travel and fiction, Ecuadorian volcanoes, Venezuela’s Orinoco basin, Eastern Cuba, fiction vs autobiography, the importance of place in fiction, dropping acid and pushing the bounds of objective reality, interiority and loneliness, The Grateful Dead and the Eleusinian Mysteries, fly fishing as metaphor, Ursula K. LeGuin, William Golding’s The Inheritors, Newport MFA & the Cuba Writers Program, and a recap of a talk I gave on “The Essentials of Voice” at RMFW’s Colorado Gold conference in September, 2018.

Listen to the entire podcast here. Mark also did a wonderful followup print interview here, in which we talked about life experience as a point of departure for fiction, the deep sources of story ideas, more on why I think dreams and hallucinations shouldn’t be off-limits for fiction writers, place-based writing as a response to environmental crisis, the challenge of endings, some of my favorite writers, and more. Enjoy!

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Audiobook release, new Cuba dates & other news

October 2, 2018 § 2 Comments

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

A quick update on books and travel, and wishing you all a happy fall!

AFieldGuideAudioCDcoverFor anyone who likes to listen as you drive, work, or relax, I’m pleased to inform you that A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing is now available as an audiobook on AudibleAmazon, and iTunes.

Everything you might want to know about the collection can be found here; I include a quick summary and some review highlights pasted at the bottom of this post. (It’s been wonderful to see how well the book has been received out in the world, by the way. It seems to have found some “legs” of its own, and I’m most grateful to all of you who’ve purchased, read, reviewed, and/or recommended it.)

IMG_2553New Cuba dates! I’m thrilled to announce an exciting new cultural trip, offered in cooperation with the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, timed to coincide with the renowned Havana Art Biennial, April 15 – 23, 2019. This will be a well planned but flexible and culturally rich program, so if you’ve been looking for an excuse to go (or return) to Cuba, here it is!

For the writers and aspiring writers out there, consider coming on the fourth annual Cuba Writers Program, May 2- 10, 2019. We have a great time on this program; it’s a wonderful way to experience the vibrant culture of Cuba while honing or kick-starting your writing.

IMG_8953If you have 3-10 friends or family members looking to go to Cuba on your own, I can help you plan a custom, small-group trip that’s fully compliant with U.S. Treasury Department legal requirements. My Havana ground operation and I have organized quite a few of these in the last several years, and we’ve got it down to a fine art. Happy to plan creative custom programs in other parts of the world as well.

Finally, here’s my frequently updated list of upcoming talks, programs, and classes, including events offered in various locations through Grub Street, the Newport MFA in Creative Writing, National Geographic Expeditions, Vermont Humanities Council, various writing conferences, and elsewhere. I hope our paths may cross!

Wishing you all the best,

Tim

AFieldGuideAudioCDcoverA high altitude lake is the point of departure for these stories of dark adventure, in which fishing guides, amateur sportsmen, teenage misfits, scientists, mountaineers, and expatriates embark on disquieting journeys of self-discovery in far-flung places. A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing made the 2018 Eric Hoffer Book Awards Grand Prize Short List and was a finalist in the short story category for both the 2018 American Fiction Awards and the 2017 International Book Awards

 

“From the mountain lakes of the Colorado Rockies to cobbled streets of Spain, this fascinating collection of short stories never disappoints. A Field Guide to Murder and Fly Fishing is a collection you’ll be happy to get lost in.” — Ploughshares.

“Provocative and memorable, this collection strikes all the right chords.” — Main Street Rag

“I found myself consuming [these] thirteen tightly wound tales with addictive delight.” — Fiction Writers Review

“Weed’s short stories draw us away from the blue light of device screens. Under the blue skies and dark waters of A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing, readers can feel pain, empathy, and purpose bubbling out from the sharp-detailed mental images.” — Pleiades

“Tim Weed proves himself a skilled creator of a sense of place . . . each story deposits one definitively into a geography, of mind and map.” — The Boston Globe

“Weed’s stories . . . are colored by his long experience as a travel and adventure writer . . . His characters are fishermen, mountaineers, and teenagers all on a quest for self-discovery. From the title page to the last page, this is a book of gems.” — Big Sky Journal

 “These stories bristle with energy and immediacy. The writing is spare and meticulous and packs a hefty emotional punch. I am not exaggerating when I say this collection kept me up at nights. I just couldn’t stop reading.” — Addison Independent

Order the paperback, ebook, or (new!) audiobook at your favorite independent bookstore or IndieBoundAmazonBarnes & Noble, iTunes, or Audible. (A limited number of first-edition hardcovers still available here.)

Collection is a Finalist for the American Fiction Awards

July 28, 2018 § 2 Comments

Honored, humbled, and very pleased to note that A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing has been named a finalist in the short story category of the 2018 American Fiction Awards! The book also made the 2018 Eric Hoffer Book Awards Grand Prize Short List and was a finalist in the short story category for 2017 International Book Awards. Earlier versions were shortlisted for the New Rivers Press Many Voices Project, the Autumn House Press Fiction Prize, and the Lewis-Clark Press Discovery Award. 

Links for ordering the book in paperback, digital, or first edition hardcover here. Coming soon: audio version!

New piece on rule-breaking for writers up at GrubWrites

March 28, 2018 § Leave a comment

“There’s an unwritten rule that dreams have no place in fiction. Perhaps you’re aware of it. No? Then maybe you haven’t taken enough workshops. It’s pretty high on the list of fiction-writing no-nos.”

grubstreet-logoClick here to read my thoughts on why fictional dreams AREN’T actually forbidden, and other thoughts on why breaking the rules is an essential skill for writers . . .

Two new reviews for A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing

February 17, 2018 § Leave a comment

Great to see these two recent reviews of A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing. (If you’re interested, I’ve collected excerpts from all known reviews so far here, along with links.)

The first is from Big Sky Journal, a “high-end, general interest magazine that captures the full range of culture and lifestyle in the Northern Rockies,” in a feature called “Reading the West”:

“Weed’s stories . . . have their roots in the relationships between men and boys, and between men and nature, and they are colored by his long experience as a travel and adventure writer . . . His characters are fishermen, mountaineers, and teenagers all on a quest for self-discovery. From the title page to the last page, this is a book of gems.”

And the second is from Pleiades, a literary journal dedicated to “literature in context.” I’m particularly fond of the way the reviewer, Susan Sugai, sees the stories as a kind of antidote to the distractions of modern social technology:

“Unlike fake news and misinformation found in Twitter feeds and Facebook posts, Weed’s short stories draw us away from the blue light of device screens.  Under the blue skies and dark waters of A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing, readers can feel pain, empathy, and purpose bubbling out from the sharp-detailed mental images.” — Pleiades

 

Cats & writers essay at LitHub

January 10, 2018 § Leave a comment

“The Half-Wild Muse: On Writers and their Cats” is up at Literary Hub. It was a fun essay to write and I hope fun to read as well. cat-on-computer

More from me on writing and the writing life here.

Back to Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia

November 2, 2017 § 2 Comments

It’s been a few years, and I’m thrilled to be returning to one of my favorite regions on the planet with National Geographic Expeditions’ Exploring Patagonia program. This season I’m slated to accompany two trips: one in November, 2017 and a second in January, 2018. We’ll be cruising through Tierra del Fuego in a small, expertly crewed, Chilean-owned ship, the M.V. Stella Australis. We’ll embark from Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city, round Cape Horn, and make our way up through the Magdalena Passage and the Agostini Sound, taking advantage of daily Zodiac landings to explore Hornos Island, Wulaia Bay, glaciers, and penguin colonies. Fantastic!

The Stella Australis will then drop us off in Punta Arenas, Chile, and we’ll head up to the stunning wilderness of Torres del Paine, where we’ll have daily opportunities to wander, both on foot and horseback. We can expect to see guanaco, rhea, Andean condor, many other bird species, and possibly even a puma or two. But it’s the vastness and sublime beauty of these wilderness landscapes that is the true highlight here. This part of the world is one of the least densely populated on earth, and it’s never short of inspiring!

I’m excited to be leading the educational aspects of the program in my role as National Geographic’s “featured expert.” Other than informal group interactions the main element of this task is to give a series of illustrated talks: an intro to the history and geography of the region; Charles Darwin and the Voyage of the Beagle; American artist and adventurer Rockwell Kent; Ivon Chounard, Douglas Tomkins and “los Fun Hogs.”

I’ll also be giving a brand new talk that I’m thrilled to debut in Patagonia, in which I’ll attempt to make sense of the links between travel, fiction, place-based writing, all in the context of this strange hybrid career of mine.

If you’re signed up for either of these trips, I look forward to traveling with you. If not, stay tuned: there are likely to be similar opportunities in the future!

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