CB's Stories: Creative Nonfiction
I were to redesign heaven, I’d lose the streets of gold and we would all
sit around a fire telling stories. Here's the
best of what I've written in the past fifteen years. My recent work
has improved over earlier stuff. Although I write some fiction, my
passion and focus are in creative nonfiction. (What
is creative nonfiction?)
I read the
way an alcoholic drinks. Among the people I read and admire are: John McPhee,
Melissa Fay Greene (for creative nonfiction set in Georgia, her Praying
for Sheetrock is far better than the bestselling Midnight in the
Garden of Good and Evil), Jonathan Raban, James Galvin, Bill Bryson,
E.B. White, James Thurber, Susan Orlean, Joseph Mitchell, Annie Proulx,
Ian Frazier, Oliver Sacks, Studs Terkel, Tobias Wolff (the list goes on
essays and other true
stories: (essays?! --yuch!)
Portrait of Byron Looks like a dumb hick in a pickup?
Look again. (Published in CROSSTIMBERS, fall 2003)
up Jaques-imos Great food at a great place in New Orleans,
and it's this wild every night. 2002
Massey Metals: I Don't
Just Bury It A salvage yard as eyesore, resource, or natural
wonder? (Published in CROSSTIMBERS,
What You Need At the Swap Meet More than just car parts. (Published
in CROSSTIMBERS, spring 2002)
and Burger King Where's the best eating? 2001
Unlikely Character: Bud Exendine Bud, a Delaware Indian.
At first, I misjudged him. 1999 (Published in CROSSTIMBERS, spring
A different sort of character. 1997
Frick, Who Lived in Farley A gun-slinging Harley-rider?
The People Who Make it Fly Who are those shadowy people
With Care Eddie ran upstairs with a dresser on his back
(Brooks, Pete Frick, the Vernons —
I've changed names in some stories.
Bud Exendine and Bitsche — these
are their real names.)
Rat Trap You think it wouldn't get under your skin? 2000
Real American Cowboy A myth exploded. 1996 (Published
in the journal CROSSTIMBERS, fall 2001)
Genius Goes Unappreciated A practical mind at work. 1998
Price of Plumbing Versus the Cost Your plumber charges
too much? 1998
Not My Job--self-explanatory image
Green Limousine: How We Got By Before SUVs 2000
(Published in Andrei Codrescu's
Corpse, Issue 7.)
Criminal Justice: Like dunking witches to see if they float.
My Father: History in Pictures Be warned —
it's not a warm fuzzy. 2000
Draft Board and Me: or, How "Alice's Restaurant" Saved My Life2000
Brooks Died: A Story You Won't Get on ER
1999 My wife works in a real emergency department.
27th Questioning the "news." 1998
Blues (Published in The Small Farmers' Journal,
Spring '96.) 1990
Five-hundred Dollar Phone Call $500 cash, mind
you. Live and learn. 1996
Arkansas Massacre Far from help, in the Arkansas woods.
Cross You tell
me what it means. 1996
I never liked him. 1994 (names changed)
and Other Orientations Lost in the woods. 1996
and Water Fire, water, a boat, and a wood cookstove. 1992
Harvest It happened one time. 1992
Place is This? Reassigning price-tags. 1993
Real Story of the Day at the Lake Get yourself
a pager, quick! 1996
Inspires a Novel It's not about mothers-in-law. 1996
Get With the Program 1995 (Just after I wrote this,
I submitted it to Satire Magazine. I got a nice letter back.
The editor liked it but said, unfortunately, it's not satire; this is
already happening near here. Just six years ago this seemed outrageous
enough to be funny.)
lit. crit.: (literary
"denying the fact of their own castration"
honest-to-God lit. crit. excerpt.
Folklore Inspires a Novel It really has nothing
to do with mothers-in-law. 1996
Anonymous Manifesto Ted Kaszinski was a natural
product of academia. 1996
and a Hot Roasted Chestnut A meeting of the literati.
rants and comments Miscellaneous rants and comments.
Latour or a Hen?
—after reading Bruno Latour's We Have Never Been Modern. 1998
How Lit. Crit.
is Like TV This is what grad. school did to me. 1998
Other work I've written: the
introduction to my master's thesis, "Creative
Nonfiction and Storytelling," and a paper on the hilarious and
brilliant 18th-century English novel, Tristram
Leaf In the Wind Walk a mile in someone else's
It's easy to be strong, when you're strong. 1994
it Through I'm no fan of a certain popular novelist.
Do you like these stories?
at: cbb@ don't spam me ionet.net
(connect the cbb@ with ionet.net)
odds & ends and excerpts:
they had to
come up with the wind-chill index when they quit making brass monkeys.
(stuff I didn't write): The Bad
Writing Contest, prize-winning examples of the most incomprehensible
scholarly writing (it's too easy a search).
good stuff to
Joe Phelps--one fine acoustic bluesman. He packed the house,
and then shook it, at the Blue Door, OKC.
Conoscenti--catch his live performance if he's in your area.
My brother-in-law Jon
Albrink, a fine musician who lives and records in New York City
(and performs all over).
Want to see a great movie? Midnight Mile
orThe Royal Tennenbaumsor Oh
Brother, Where Art Thou?or Duets
or Mifune,or Happy Texas or
The Fast Runner
Other recommended movies.
Branching out beyond writing: a little about the boat I love, my Klepper
I'm available as a writer (or editor). Someone searching
the internet on "Chris Bassity," my given name, will now find me.
For readers who might be wondering about the lack of new work lately,
for two years I've been working on a book (nonfiction of course): Resurrecting
Nelia Mae. I have a publisher interested and now I'm down to
revising and completing a final draft.
This site is committed to an absence of dancing babies and flashing,
grinning, spinning icons.
Here you'll find content instead, a drab haven
for the weary eye.