CB's Stories:  Creative Nonfiction

    If 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 interminably).
Occasional Dispatches
Who is CB Bassity? (brief bio)
profiles: (what's a profile?)
   A Portrait of Byron  Looks like a dumb hick in a pickup? Look again.  (Published in CROSSTIMBERS, fall 2003)
   Juiced 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, fall 2002)
   Find What You Need At the Swap Meet More than just car parts. (Published in CROSSTIMBERS, spring 2002)
   Indian Tacos,Uncertainty, and Burger King  Where's the best eating? 2001
   An Unlikely Character: Bud Exendine Bud, a Delaware Indian. At first, I misjudged him. 1999 (Published in CROSSTIMBERS, spring 2001)
  Bitsches A different sort of character. 1997
  Pete Frick, Who Lived in Farley  A gun-slinging Harley-rider? 1997
  Backstage: The People Who Make it Fly Who are those shadowy people backstage? 1999
  Handle With Care  Eddie ran upstairs with a dresser on his back ... 2000
                                                                              (Brooks, Pete Frick, the Vernons I've changed names in some stories.
                                                                                           Bud Exendine and Bitsche these are their real names.)
just fun:
   The Twenty-Nine-Pound Rat Trap You think it wouldn't get under your skin? 2000
   The Real American Cowboy A myth exploded. 1996 (Published in the journal CROSSTIMBERS, fall 2001)
   True Genius Goes Unappreciated A practical mind at work. 1998
   The Price of Plumbing Versus the Cost Your plumber charges too much? 1998
   Flatulent Traffic 1997                                                                    It's Not My Job--self-explanatory image
essays and other true stories: (essays?! --yuch!)
   The Green Limousine: How We Got By Before SUVs  2000 (Published in Andrei Codrescu's
                                                                                                       e-journal Exquisite Corpse, Issue 7.)
    Cross-Examining Criminal Justice: Like dunking witches to see if they float. 2000
   Recovering My Father: History in Pictures  Be warned it's not a warm fuzzy. 2000
   The Draft Board and Me: or, How "Alice's Restaurant" Saved My Life2000
   When Brooks Died: A Story You Won't Get on ER  1999  My wife works in a real emergency department.
   July 27th  Questioning the "news." 1998
   Muleskinner Blues  (Published in The Small Farmers' Journal, Spring '96.) 1990
   The Five-hundred Dollar Phone Call  $500 cash, mind you. Live and learn. 1996
   The Arkansas Massacre Far from help, in the Arkansas woods. 1994
   The Cross  You tell me what it means. 1996
    Duck Eggs  I never liked him. 1994 (names changed)
    Lost, Perplexed, and Other Orientations  Lost in the woods. 1996
   Memory and Water Fire, water, a boat, and a wood cookstove. 1992
   Wheat Harvest  It happened one time. 1992
   Whose Place is This?  Reassigning price-tags. 1993

   The Real Story of the Day at the Lake  Get yourself a pager, quick! 1996
    Urban Folklore Inspires a Novel  It's not about mothers-in-law. 1996
   Let's 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 criticism)
    people "denying the fact of their own castration" an honest-to-God lit. crit. excerpt.
   Urban Folklore Inspires a Novel  It really has nothing to do with mothers-in-law. 1996
   An Anonymous Manifesto  Ted Kaszinski was a natural product of academia. 1996
   Barthes and a Hot Roasted Chestnut  A meeting of the literati. 1998
    miscellaneous 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 Shandy.

   A Leaf In the Wind  Walk a mile in someone else's shoes. 1994
   Runt  It's easy to be strong, when you're strong. 1994
   Thinking it Through  I'm no fan of a certain popular novelist. 1994

Do you like these stories? Email CB at: cbb@ don't spam me ionet.net (connect the cbb@ with ionet.net)

odds & ends and excerpts: or,
        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).

recommended reading:
    good stuff to read

    Kelly Joe Phelps--one fine acoustic bluesman. He packed the house, and then shook it, at the Blue Door, OKC.
    Don 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 kayak.

My résumé 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.