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Today we welcome our new Online Fiction Editor Jim Ruland to LitroNY Online. Jim explains what he’s looking for, in terms of submissions for Fiction pieces for the LitroNY Fiction Slot.
Jim Ruland is the author of the novel Forest of Fortune, the short story collection Big Lonesome and co-author of Giving the Finger. Ruland is the books columnist for San Diego CityBeat and a contributor to the Los Angeles Times and Razorcake, America’s only non-profit independent music zine. His fiction and nonfiction has appeared in numerous publications, including our own Litro Magazine The Believer, Esquire, Granta, Hobart and Oxford American Magazine. His work has received awards from Canteen, Reader’s Digest and the National Endowment for the Arts. He runs the Southern California-based reading series Vermin on the Mount, now in its eleventh year.
For Jim, few things are more exciting to him than to encounter a story so arresting, that in order to embrace it more fully, more fiercely, the intellect gives way to the imagination. It doesn’t matter if it’s a novel or a documentary, an essay or an advertisement, as long as it has that spark.
What is the spark? It’s like the poem “Be Drunk” by Charles Baudelaire. One can be drunk on “Wine, poetry or virtue, as you wish. But be drunk.”
The very best kind of writing doesn’t provide an experience – it is an experience – no different from an unexpected journey, or an incredible meal. And when it’s time to part, I’m sorry to do so but now I can take the spark with me. When it comes down to it, I’m a pleasure seeker. I want to be captivated. Beguiled. Bamboozled. Taken hostage.
There is pleasure in laughter, pleasure in every kind of emotion when the artist is like a pickpocket. Give me an artist who is willing to ask him or herself a hundred bothersome questions rather than one who can execute a perfect sentence before coffee.
I admire work that collides forms, hybridizes genres and is generally difficult to define. I don’t need to know the names of the leaves in the teapot to enjoy the brew. I like lines that resonate like a bullet off bell in a church tower, passages that resonate with the roar of a lion that is finally tired of rotting away in the zoo.
I want to forget everything I think I know. Take me someplace I can’t get to on my own.