Break From The Bananas: Apocalypse All the Time Goodreads Giveaway!

David Atkinson's Blog

All right! A break from the bananas! Got something else I need to talk about!

With all the attention my short story collection Not Quite so Stories got recently, including winning the 2017 Nebraska Book Award for anthology, I realized I haven’t been promoting Apocalypse All the Time enough. To begin to remedy that, I’m going to give away 6 signed copies to commemorate the one year anniversary of the release date. Runs the month of December.

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Free eBook and Excerpt! (Exhaustion)

My book Exhaustion is free for download today, which you can find on the link. In the meantime, here’s an excerpt from the book.

I think of all the hateful things that people who are gay have gone through. I think about all the people who are gay that have been persecuted by churches and bigots and people who hate gays. I think of all the cruel jokes that a homosexual might hear in their lifetime. But, I’m a street kid. I’m a street kid that nobody has ever heard of and nobody will ever hear of, because I am essentially nothing to the world. Ergo, why the hell would they care about my sexual preference? If God was so hospitable to put me in this street life, in this down-on-my-luck position, in so low a position, why would he care what I do, what I believe in, who I like and who I love? Why would any of that matter? If I’m a street kid, it means that I don’t have any rights. It means that people don’t give a shit about what happens to me. So why should they care about what I believe? Why should they care about my liking for Rafael? It’s really none of their concern, using their own logic. If they could care less about my existence on the street …

Well, anyway. I won’t bludgeon you to death with that. But it’s true. I’m just a street kid, meaning that everything I do is null in the social world, in the real world. Nothing I do matters. I’m nothing, really, when it all comes down to it. God’s too busy tending to the rich corporate thieves that he doesn’t have time for a lowly street kid that has a slight crush on his best friend, Rafael. It’s nothing personal, but it’s certainly the irony of our existence. If God actually cared about me, I wouldn’t be a street kid to begin with. God probably doesn’t even exist, anyway.

What Philosophy Owes Society II: Anti-intellectualism

I’ve often wondered about anti-intellectualism, and what to do, as a writer I should keep these ideas in mind.

It is an axiom among intellectuals that America is an anti-intellectual culture. And among the so-called anti-intellectuals, the idea is part and parcel of the ‘coastal elitism’ or “cosmopolitan bias” that, as another axiom goes, so many people despise.

We never think hard about whether it is in fact true that American culture is anti-intellectual. There is something suspiciously self-serving about the idea. What does it mean to call America anti-intellectual anyhow? It is a difficult issue to discuss since we don’t exactly know what anti-intellectualism is—at least, not enough to test it. The idea stretches quite far. Does it connote a mistrust of academics? Disrespect for august academic institutions? Rejection of “high culture”? Resistance to learning (or “reason”) in general? Well, all of the above, I guess.

Instead of giving a positive definition, maybe we can define it negatively. What is America not?…

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Working with the Homeless Made Me a Better Person—and Artist

My essay on how serving the homeless made me a better writer and person.

Lost in the Funhouse

The Street Kid: A Beautiful Journey
Phoenix Rises.

13891827_648788195277646_6466477065443768833_nThe street kid has been a prominent metaphor throughout my fiction, and there is a reason for this. In fact one could argue, I am The Street Kid. I go by Phoenix, Phoenix The Street Kid, and this is because of the way that I have attached meaning to the idea of a street kid just trying to make it in the world, expressing their innocence and resourcefulness, just trying to survive. I have a very picaresque idea of the young homeless kid, and this has no doubt influenced my perception of the homeless and my writing. Serving those experiencing homelessness has also influenced my writing and vice versa. My writing and my life would be very different if I didn’t serve the homeless population.

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Poverty: A Reflection (by Phoenix)

A new piece I wrote for the Legacy Initiative. I’ve needed to reflect.

Legacy Initiative: Not all heroes wear a cape

So in the end, we can only do our best. What constitutes our best is another matter, but are we honest with ourselves about what it means to try? I try to do that, I try to be honest about where I am coming from with any given point, when I’m communicating to others, and seeking to make connections, deep and meaningful connections.

I’ve noticed that I am a kind of outlier, in certain groups, and this is because I don’t follow the usual group dynamics, and conform to said group. This doesn’t mean that I am not accepting of the rules and norms governing any group that I may be a part of, but it does mean that I seek to foster my integrity and my desire to do good, doing my best to stay out of group politics.

I haven’t written for The Legacy Initiative in a while…

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