Five with Nick Ostdick

Welcome to another edition of Pilcrow Lit Fest's "Five with...". Our guest today is Nick Ostdick, editor of RAGAD.

1. What are you working on now?

Right now, I'm working on a few short stories, which is where I spend most of my time. I really love the short form, much more so than the novel or anything longer like that. I think part of this is because of length--short stories are just more compact by their nature, but also because there is more immediacy with a story than a novel or something. There is more room for fluff in the novel, more room to wander some. With a story, everything has to be matter, which is not say that everything doesn't have to matter in the novel, because it does. But stories have to be more precise--you don't have 200 pages to work a character or plot out, you have 20, and as a result the level of care and consideration has to be much greater.
The stories I'm working on right now aren't really related, but I think that maybe they could be some day. I'd like to get a collection together soonish here, either with the stories I'm working on now or starting from scratch and writing a collection without using any of my past stories, which is more gutsy, I think--to start from pebbles and make a mountain.

2. What is your favorite part of literary festivals and why?

I think my favorite part of literary festivals is meeting and hanging out with other writers. Writing is a pretty solitary act, and it's nice to get out once and a while and see that there are in fact other people out there who share your love for this odd thing you do. It's reaffirming. It's good to listen to other writers too, to listen to their stories and to talk to them about how they work and what they're working on and so forth. Plus, meeting anyone who has taken the time to read my work and likes or doesn't is pretty awesome as well.

3. Who are your favorite small press mover/shaker types at the minute?

Right now I'm digging on Chicago's own Featherproof Books. They're doing great things over there. I'm stoked that they are going to be attending the festival. BUY THEIR BOOKS!

4. Which author do you wish was coming to Pilcrow Lit Fest this year who is not?

Hmmm...off the top of my head I have to say Amy Hempel. I'm sure she wanted to come though--she cool like that (I'll give her a call later and see if she can put in an appearance). On a more realistic level, I would love to have Richard Grayson from NYC come out. He works the short form so well--it would be great to hang with him. I would also like to see the much lauded Tao Lin. Although I don't necessarily dig all his stuff, I think he's a very interesting guy and I would love to watch him sit on a panel or something...

5. If you were in charge of picking a theme song for Pilcrow Lit Fest this year, what would it be?

For some reason, the first song that comes to mind is Obama's theme song, Stevie Wonder's Signed, Sealed, Delivered For You. Maybe that's just because it's voting day in two states today, but I don't know...I think it applies.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure Nick is a super delegate. First he endorses Obama and now he endorses Obama's campaign song. Damned liberal media! I'm wearing my Ron Paul shirt to the fest. Heh.