Thursday, September 25, 2014


I had a dream last night that I should post teasers for each of the stories in my book to entice new readers.

Lou Schultz

As his children ran toward him, stolen oranges gathered up in their T-shirts, he wished with all his heart that he had not promised to take them to Disney World.

The Endless Mountains

The house, when they found it, had tipped even farther back from the road. There was a van with a gas company logo parked out front, but no sign of activity beyond the barricades. Yellow police tape was scattered in the front yard amid furniture, toys, soggy bedding, and trash bags with clothes spilling out of them.
“Ask not for whom the bell tolls, boychik,” Lou said.

Moscow, 1968

 A snow-topped mountain, a sky of impossible blue. A waterfall dissolving into a beautiful sunset. A pure white dove gliding across the screen, peeling away the sunset with its beak to reveal the image beneath: three old women chopping vegetables in an outdoor kitchen. “Those are Movladi’s aunties,” Zabet said. She pressed fast-forward as a wedding tent went up in juddering video frames.

The Cloud of Unknowing

Still wearing their coats, they sat down on the floor across from each other, each leaning against a wall, and Jim put on the Shangri-Las. The record had an echoey sound to it, as if it had been made specifically to be listened to in a room like this: a cold room with no furniture. The tough, sad girls were Out in the Street, they were Walking in the Sand, they could Never Go Home Anymore. It was dark when the record ended, but Jim didn’t turn on the light.

The Searchlite

Her eyes were still adjusting to Los Angeles. She drove down legendary-sounding boulevards—Wilshire, Beverly, La Cienega—sweating into her vinyl car seat, impatient for the city to reveal its glamour. Sometimes as she drove, she spoke to herself in imaginary Raymond Chandler prose: “I followed the Nash west on Sunset and swung up Sepulveda, climbing until I lost his taillights in the fog.” 

The Breakfast Shift

With that, the engine of the day turned over, setting in motion the thousand trivial urgencies of waitressing. The delivery drivers ate their eggs and paid their checks, passing on their way out the Boston Edison workers, who arrived in groups of three and four, identical in their winter Carhartts, then table-hopped, creating an atmosphere of screwball anarchy.

The Smockey Bar

Sometimes, later in the evening, every barstool would be occupied, and union plumbers would rub shoulders with bookstore clerks. And as the volume rose from all those minds meeting, Smockey would turn on the close captioning so he could follow along as the Luftwaffe got its ass kicked in the Battle of Britain.


Rush hour has come and gone. The old man with the paper hat is here now, and he’s showing Nancy a dream book. She’s earnestly explaining to him why he shouldn’t play the lottery. A number, she says, can never be due.         

Catch of the Day

Pinky’s New York Deli is not in New York, and it’s not really a deli either. It’s a coffee shop in a long, dark room. The chairs scrape unpleasantly on brown quarry tiles, and the square tables are arranged at an angle so the waitresses can squeeze past them. Under the glass on each tabletop is a cutout of a smiling fish that says, “Catch of the Day.” The catch of the day is always chipped beef.

Safe, Reliable, Courteous

Kitty’s seatmate draws a dune buggy. And then, on command, a dog and a truck. “Now I’m gonna make something scary,” he says. He draws a skeleton. After considering it for a minute, pencil to lips, he adds a pirate’s hat and a sword, dripping with blood. He tears the sheet off and hands it to the little boy.
“You know what’s scary?” the boy, says. “A bat!”
“Skeletons are scarier than bats,” he says with authority.
“No, bats are scarier.”
He snorts. “You’re nuts.” He puts his drawing pad away.

Garbage Head

If he could get over his shyness and penetrate the scene, he’d transform this place. He would make thrones out of the rubble, and an amphitheater of scary organic shapes like Gaudi. He would paint the back wall white and project movies, and he would be the king of it out here.

The Minivan

He told me he had drawn plans for a prototype of a modern minivan when he was ten years old, and he therefore felt that it was, in a certain way, his invention.


She didn’t, as she’d always thought, like the little bug-eyed dogs any less, or the fussy breed dogs with their strange haircuts. The delight of them, and the tragedy, was that they were as doggy as any others, bearing the yoke of human vanity with canine indifference.


She typed without pausing for a while, then reviewed what she had written and added, “You can be a kook as long as you’re an interesting kook, and I don’t care if you have a high school diploma.”

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

"Mothra" over at Storyville!

I am so pleased that darling Mothra is being featured this week on Storyville.

It's a subscription service for people who love short stories. Details here.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Chronogram Review

Lovely review from Jana Martin in Chronogram.

"This is the best use of PID in a short story I've ever seen. Actually, it may be the only use I've ever seen, but you'd be hard pressed to find a better one." 

I love that one of the tags is 'windex'.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

On the radio with Watt from Pedro

What a great morning on the Pride of Cucamonga  with brother Mike Watt.

Here's me and brother John, pre-sunburn:

It was nice to meet Skipper Jeff and brother Matt:

We got a great tour of the LA Harbor. Saw sea lions, freighters loaded up with containers ("cans"), tugboats ("tractors"), some crazy ship that ferries commercial satellites to the equator and launches them into space. 

I learned that only tourists say "Cabree-yo Beach." It's Cabrillo, with a hard L.

And it was real honor to join in the spiel on the Watt From Pedro radio show. Link here:

I tried to flog my West Coast readings (see "Events"), but I'm a rookie, so I forgot to bring along a list of people I'm reading with. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Let's call this post "Media."

Review in Publishers Weekly.

Interview with Tobias Carroll of Vol. 1 Brooklyn--cool site.

Interview with novelist, cartoonist, librarian, and great question-asker Sara Ryan.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

In Stock!

It seems my book is in stock early at Amazon!  Clicky here.

It's also in some stores, in case you want to be a mensch and go to a store. Oblong, City Lights, Powell's, Spoonbill & Sugartown, McNally Jackson, NYU bookstore, Brazos, others--all of them will have a few copies on hand by week's end.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Showing Off

Check out these BLURBS!

"Mimi Lipson writes in a plainsong, just-the-facts style that somehow delivers her footage in high definition. Her characters inhabit a world that is beneath them, a world in which they are stuck, with a lot of grace and stupidity. She is a master of making you very comfortable and secure, warm and cozy while she throws your shoes under the house and drives off in your car.

“Mimi Lipson is a natural. The thorny relations between couples and between parents and children are captured with remarkable precision and understanding. Sharply composed, gracefully written, these stories reveal again and again not only what’s so funny and so sad about human longings and imperfections but also what is beautiful about them.”

“Mimi Lipson writes with dazzling offhand brilliance. There is a generosity to these stories, a kind of tenderness really, that is rare and thrilling to find. She not only shines a light on this secret world of cranks and lonely-hearts, but also allows us to find our place among them.”

"A scintillating collection full of wonderfully observed details. Mimi Lipson is a fabulous stylist."

“This is Lipson’s classless utopia, in which even fools are suffered gladly so long as they are lively and authentic fools. Her language is clean, her observations clever and sure, and her protagonists generous of spirit. This wise, compassionate book is also a lot of fun to read.”

Check out this BOOK JACKET COPY!

Upcoming Events


Friday, January 2, 2015 Cambridge, MA
Dire Literary Series
8 p.m.


Sunday, August 10, Albany, NY
The Low Beat
335 Central Avenue
Readings on the theme of "Bullshit: Lies, Fibs, Falsies, Hooey, Malarky, and Balderdash"
With Hallie Goodman and others!
3 p.m.

Wednesday, December 10, NYC
Mixer Reading Serieshosted by Melissa Febos.
Details to come.


Monday, June 16th, Portland, OR
At Portland Museum of Modern Art
(in the Mississippi Records complex)
5202 N. Albina Ave
Exact time and lineup: 

Saturday, June 14, San Francisco, CA
Writers With Drinks
With Daniel H. Wilson, Adam Rogers, and Kendra De Colo
Hosted by Charlie Jane Anders
At The Makeout Room
3225 22nd. Street
From 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM, doors open at 7 PM

Friday, June 13 (FRIDAY THE 13TH), Los Angeles, CA
At Stories
With John Andrew Frederick
1716 West Sunset Blvd
Time: TBA

Saturday, May 24, Woodstock, NY
At The Golden Notebook
29 Tinker Street
5:00 PM

Wednesday, May 21, Newton, MA

At Newtonville Books
With David James Poissant
10 Langley Road
Newton Centre
7:00 PM

Sunday, May 18, New York City

Sunday Salon Reading Series
With Jenny Offill, Julia Fierro, Meg Tuite, and Alden Jones
7th Street Stage at Jimmy's No. 43
43 East 7th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Avenue
7:00 PM 

Check back--more to come.