Tag Archives: Absolute Blank

more toasted cheese

Slacking on the promo again.

If you’re looking for something to read over the holidays, check out the December issue of TC.

Also some newish AB articles…

Um, I think that’s it. Oh, wait! Go answer our writer survey pls+ty!


issue after issue after issue

The solutions are obvious. Stop making excuses. Stop saying women run publishing. Stop justifying the lack of parity in prominent publications that have the resources to address gender inequity. Stop parroting the weak notion that you’re simply publishing the best writing, regardless. There is ample evidence of the excellence of women writers. Publish more women writers. If women aren’t submitting to your publication or press, ask yourself why, deal with the answers even if those answers make you uncomfortable, and then reach out to women writers. If women don’t respond to your solicitations, go find other women. Keep doing that, issue after issue after issue. Read more widely. Create more inclusive measures of excellence. Ensure that books by men and women are being reviewed in equal numbers. Nominate more deserving women for the important awards. Deal with your resentment. Deal with your biases. Vigorously resist the urge to dismiss the gender problem. Make the effort and make the effort and make the effort until you no longer need to, until we don’t need to keep having this conversation.

—Roxane Gay,
from “Beyond the Measure of Men”
in Bad Feminist (171-172)

Baker & I collabbed on an Absolute Blank article: Tales From the Inbox: Baker & Beaver Discuss First Reading. That was fun. Oh, I also wrote this one: What Sets You Apart: On Valuing Your Own Experience. (That one practically killed me tbh. Writing! *shakes fist*)

Did I mention TC’s new issue? Probably not. I’ve been a flake lately. I wrote another SZ for it: Speak Your Truth. Need to poke one of the other editors to write something next issue; it’s turning into Beaver’s soapbox.

June Toasted Cheese!

Looking for something to read? Check out the June 2013 issue of Toasted Cheese.


A reminder that I’m still looking for contributions for an upcoming article on writing spaces. Details here.

And… we’d also like to see more writers submitting reviews. See here for details or talk to our reviews editor at the forums. Why write a review? It’s a writing credit to your c.v. (win for you) + support for a fellow writer (win for a toasty-cheesy colleague). Everyone wins!

Do you love your writing space? Tell me about it!

Writers! Tell us about your writing space.

We are working on an article about writers and their writing spaces and we need your input.

Where do you write? Do you have a dedicated home office with a desk and a chair? Is your “office” tucked in a corner of another room–or a closet? Do you write at your dining room table, on the sofa, or in bed? Do you prefer to write in public spaces–coffeeshop? library? outdoors?

Do you have a window with an inspiring view? Have you filled a blank wall with an inspiration board or photos? Is your space minimalist or filled with talismans? What do you love about your writing space? What would you change if you could?

Send a photo of your writing space along with a paragraph or two describing it and its influence on your writing to beaver[at]toasted-cheese.com with the subject line “AB – My Writing Space.”

If there is enough interest, this may become a series.

Keeping a Commonplace Book

I have a new article up at TC: “Keeping a Commonplace Book.”

When I was eleven, my godmother gave me a hardcover notebook. Inside the front cover, she wrote: “It can be a diary, whatever you like!” It turned into whatever I liked.

The first surviving page—there are several torn out at the beginning, evidence of false starts made before I figured out what use to put the book to—is a list of potential character names: first names on one side, last names on the other. There are also lists of Likes (cities, peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, reading uncensored books), Dislikes (being serious, snow, people who borrow stuff permanently), Quotes (‘three can keep a secret as long as two of them are dead’), Vocab (made-up or repurposed words a la Urban Dictionary), amongst others. These lists weren’t created all at once, but compiled over years, added to one or two items at a time. My favorite of these is the one titled Words, a list of words I liked, often more for their sound than their meaning: eclectic, elfin, exquisite, eloquent; crinkly, quirk, corrupt, cajole; shimmery, psyche, sepulchral, sinuous. Others seem more prophetic or insightful: scribe, judicial, introspective, and provocative (twice).

keep reading