Michael Kimball Writes Your Life Story
(on a postcard)

#293 Brian Allen Carr: The Best Things Are Happening Now

Brian Allen Carr was born in Austin, TX in 1979. His father was a preacher, his mother a nurse. His childhood was pretty good except that there was often tension in the house and usually yelling. It was weird having an angry father who would preach peace and love in public, but screamed and broke furniture at home. Brian lost a certain respect for authority figures, but his father was always getting bigger churches so the family moved around a lot—different cities in Texas. Brian wasn’t a big fan of school, but he liked the library and skipped classes so he could read books there. He was a terrible student, always trying to drop out of high school, but his mother wouldn't let him. Eventually, Brian graduated high school and his father got fired from the church. After that, Brian went to Austin Community College for a few years, taking classes here and there. He started writing for a magazine called Salt For Slugs and decided to get a degree in journalism. When Brian was 21, his older brother died, which was terrible. They were pretty close. His brother had gone missing, then his car was found on fire and somebody wasn’t alive inside it. They had to match the teeth and then they cremated the rest of him. After that, Brian got really good at school for a few semesters. Then he moved to a new school and got really bad at caring about anything. Brian was in a band for a while and then culinary school in Vermont for a while. During that time, Brian got married for the first time. It was a good marriage, but it wasn’t a life-long thing. They are still friends and they high-fived each other when they signed their divorce papers. Brian only has one kidney, but that’s all he needs. He’s also got this condition called Chiari malformation that throws his perception off sometimes and makes things look taller or shorter or bigger or smaller. It’s fine most of the time, but being in public can be difficult sometimes. When he was 25, Brian moved back down to Texas and finished up college while working as a line cook. After Brian got his BA degree, he worked as a special needs teacher at a high school. He had 20 students and 12 assistants. It was a really fun job, except for the violent students (most of the students were the sweetest). While doing that, Brian got his MFA. He started sending out fiction and getting published. He published a book of stories, Short Bus, which made him really happy, and now he is an English instructor at South Texas College, where he is proud to work with the students and staff. Brian is also really proud of the books that he’s worked on at Boulevard and at Dark Sky—also, that he taught himself to juggle last summer. The best things are the things that are happening now. Brian’s happily married now. He met his second wife in a biker bar when she punched him so hard that he saw a bit of light. She kicks ass. A bit after the punch, they were holding hands. Also, she understands him. They have a two-year-old girl named Georgia who is perfect—and they have two dogs and two cats (Boo, Tyke, Wilson, Lola)—and Brian is really proud of having a family. He’s really proud that he can be proud of these things, because for 26 years he was a fucking mess.
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Each Moment of It Is Magical

The good Brian Allen Carr wrote a a great review of Dear Everybody that's up at Dark Sky Magazine. He says a ton of nice things. Here are three of them:
(1) "Each moment of it is magical."
(2) "Using smooth rhythms, polished tones and humorous observations, Kimball gives us a monster of a family that somehow the reader needs to know."
(3) "The explicit humanity rendered throughout, make Dear Everybody a truly great read. That Kimball is able to polish each element–each entry–in the collection to a high sheen evidences a talent not often seen."
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An Act of Severance; Or, How Unsaid Magazine Became What It Is

I interviewed David McLendon about editing his great literary magazine Unsaid and the interview appears at another great literary magazine, elimae. David and I talk about what he looks for in a submission and why he loves some of the writers he loves.

The issue of elimae also has work from Brian Allen Carr, Elizabeth Ellen, Harold Bowes, Mike Topp, Eliza Walton, Michelle Reale, Stacy Muszynski, Darby Larson, and a bunch of other fine writers.
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