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  • "All else is bunkum." The Robert James Russell is Rhinestone Cowboys... Part I: All Down but Nine anyway, Quigley Down Under and watercolors, which is nice.

    It is really nice, and the Robert James Russell, not to his mention the Rhinestone Cowboys, Part I: All Down by Nine, and yes, his Quigley Down Under inspired watercolor is pretty nice too. So, do hit that, and as needed, do read some excerpt below.

    "I dug into the cowboy mythos, became fascinated with the history, the lore. I remember seeing Tom Selleck as Matthew Quigley when I was finally of an age when movies were making an impression on me, about 11 or 12. I knew him, of course, being a Michigander myself, as well as from TV, but also, and perhaps even more so, because my mother and aunt had ravenous crushes on him, found ways to shoehorn his name into every conversation at every family gathering."

  • A Be Cool pause. And a goodbye to all that. For now.

    It was one year ago that Be Cool was supposed to be released. There were some glitches, and it didn't come out until February, but I've still been hustling for a year, and that seems like enough.

    For now.

    While we never know what might become of our books down the road, hence the pause, nothing more may happen at all, because that can happen too, and so if that's the case, than this is goodbye to all that.

    Still, to say goodbye and not take a moment to recognize all of the goodness and good people I connected with, and who supported Be Cool, along the way would be most unfortunate indeed.

    There was a kick ass kick-off reading with the Rob Hollywood and Zoe Zolbrod at the Book Cellar; followed by a kick-off road trip with Be Cool's publisher Dockstreet Press and Dane Bahr last August, which took us to Phinney Books in Seattle, and time shared with the inestimable Sean Beaudoin and Josh Mohr, great writers both; reading in Portland as part the Get Nervous reading series with the quite awesome Cari Luna and John Barrios; and then on to Boise for the truly cool Campfire Stories hosted by the truly cool Christian Winn at the truly cool Modern Hotel.

    Along the way I also got to read at Kill Your Darlings; Volumes Bookcafe for a second, and now official launch with the Jason Fisk and Eric Spitznagel, easy on the eyes both; Boswell Book Company and Quimby's, with Lee L. Krecklow, Robert Vaughan, Caitlin Scarano, Tasha Fouts, and Seth Berg, great readers and great friends, new and old, all.

    Even if the book itself didn't quite be what I wanted it to be, and who knows what that truly is, there were terrific interviews with The Rumpus, Five Questions, Steph Post, and Rick Kogan; wonderful reviews at Spectrum Culture, Atticus Review, and The Coil, among others; and the endlessly cool opportunity to appear on a panel at Printers Row Lit Fest talking memoir with Jason Diamond and Michael Phillips.

    Ultimately, I want to thank everyone who did anything to support Be Cool, especially my blurbers Sean and Robert, see above, as well as the Wendy C. Ortiz and Megan Stielstra, who now and forever, will serve as great inspirations and literary guides of mine.

    I would also like to recognize some of the many journals who ran pieces from be Cool in different forms at some point, including, but not limited to The Rumpus, Nailed, TNBBC, Thought Catalog, decomP, The Weeklings, Manifest-Station, Collected Poop Stories (for real), Midnight Mind, RAGAD, Entropy, In Case We Die, Revolution John, CCLaP, and Rated Rookie.

    Thanks as well to those who read Be Cool and posted comments and ratings on Goodreads and Amazon, you know who you are and I love you for that, and those I never met, but took the time to read the book.

    I will always welcome more reviews and more ratings, sorry for that, but it all helps, though I am otherwise going to work on letting Be Cool go, which is always hard, and move onto the next thing.

    I'm sure I missed some of you who supported me and I apologize for that, but know you are appreciated and loved as well.

    A lot.

    Anyway, thank you all, and goodbye to all that.

  • "Akin to oral tradition." Be Cool is quite lovely, and most appreciated, The Coil review.

    Always appreciated, and humbled, it is indeed a lovely review and big thanks to The Coil for that. Excerpt? Of course.

    "The book is broken into decades — the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s — but this scheme doesn’t necessarily guide the essays in any strict sense. Instead, Tanzer weaves the different phases of his life together, skipping around, connecting this event to that. It’s meandering yet purposeful, akin to oral tradition and truer to how memories actually operate. Some of the best pieces, such as “My (Not Quite) Cancer Years” and “Drinking: A Love Story,” enhance on the fragmented style of Tanzer’s prose, with list forms and collage providing a bit of necessary structural backbone.