J. Bradley

J. Bradley Writer

Writer/Performer/Producer

I Fought The Site Admins (And The Site Admins Won)

I need to stop using the word “never” whenever I say that I won’t ever do a project again. I’ve done this with running a poetry slam (which I started doing on and off again in 2015), writing new Jesus Christ, Boy Detective stories (I’ve written a one-act and a three-act play) and my Yelp review project.

Some background: from September 2013 until early 2015, I wrote prose poems disguised as Yelp reviews and posted them on Yelp. I also submitted them to literary journals. As literary journals published them, I took them down. Yelp started catching on and took them down as well for violating their Terms of Service (ToS). Once they took down over 40 of them in a great purge around late 2014, I knew it was time for me to stop. I said then I wouldn’t ever do them again. Then a couple of things happened.

First, I got into Art in Odd Places – Orlando last year because of my Yelp review project and I started writing Yelp reviews reviewing each project. There were over 40 projects to review but I only got to about half of them. Overall, they were well received.

Second, we elected someone not qualified to be president and I started writing Yelp reviews reviewing the various properties that our president (still) owns, and then moved onto government buildings that his (incompetent) cabinet members would inhabit. After the site admins took down more of my Yelp reviews, they emailed me this.

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After that, I posted two more reviews, one on Yelp’s HQ building and the other on Melbourne International Airport. Those were the last straw for the site admins.

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I have no regrets doing what I did. I only wish the site admins had a better sense of humor about it, a sense of artistry. There are a lot of shitty Yelp reviews out there that, while they may confirm to the ToS, don’t necessarily have anything to do about the place that they reviewed.

I have a favor to ask: if you enjoyed this iteration of the Yelp review project, please pick up a copy of my book, Pick How You Will Revise A Memory, which contains some of the Yelp reviews from 2013-2015. Also, reviews about it for Goodreads would be helpful (which you can add over here.)

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Refer below to some recently published work that I have either been too lazy or too depressed about the current state of affairs to properly promote.

This Hobbit Takes Manhattan

I refer to myself as a hobbit from time to time because a) I like to walk long distances and b) my feet tend to be dried and cracked probably because of a) but also because I don’t moisturize my skin enough. Next week, I am indeed going on a journey, a long one, but not walking because it would take me weeks to get to where I’m going.

I’ll be doing two readings from my novel, The Adventures of Jesus Christ, Boy Detective at the following places in Brooklyn next week (links to the Facebook event pages).

  • January 24 – Cool as F*** Reading Series: I’m excited that I’ll get to meet Bud Smith (finally) and get to read with this amazing line up of writers.
  • January 25 – J. Bradley Reading: There’s a ton of people who I have not heard read before at this one that I finally get to. (I promise I’ll read something different at each show if you come to both).

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I’ve hit the post-MFA emotional rut that seems to happen after getting conferred with your MFA. I was driven by imposed deadlines (and maintaining a 4.0 GPA) and, while it was stressful at times, I appreciated the structure and the discipline needed to manage all of that. I’m working on some new things but it still feels a little directionless at times. This emotional lull seems to always happen at the end of something big. I have to constantly remind myself to let the next big project come find me, not the other way around.

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And now for some recent publication news:

  • I have a poem as part of Indolent Books’s Transitions: Poems in the Aftermath. Please check that out over here. I would also encourage you to check out the rest of the poems in the series, as well.
  • I have new flash fiction in Stoneslide Corrective’s Aftermath issue, which you can read over here. Again, I would also encourage you to check out the rest of the pieces in this series, as well.
  • I have new flash fiction over in the inaugural issue of (b)OINK, which you can read over here. Yes, I am going to again encourage you to check out the rest of the content in this issue, as well.

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I’ve been posting Yelp reviews again, partially to promote my Yelp review collection, Pick How You Will Revise A Memory. You can follow me on Yelp over here. If you like these reviews, please consider getting a copy of my Yelp review collection over here.

Lastly, please also add the following to your Goodreads. They both need more love and attention.

It’s Finished

I’ve been quiet here lately. I was on the homestretch towards finishing my MFA program and as of Monday, I’m officially graduating with a 4.0 GPA. This is a huge personal accomplishment as the highest GPA I ever maintained was back in elementary school (mostly Bs).

My MFA experience was good. I found a program that was online only, which didn’t require any travel on my part. I was able to take workshops and classes outside of my comfort zone or expertise, such as narrative journalism, magical realism, the literature of war and the apocalypse, and playwriting. I had professors who encouraged my weirdness throughout the experience. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

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I have a new piece of flash fiction over in Microfiction Monday, which you can read here.

I have a new Yelp review poem over at New Verse News, which you can read here.

My Yelp review prose poem collection could use some love over on Goodreads. You can go here to add it to your shelf. You can also buy a copy over here.

Art is Hard

I’m currently recovering from my first Art in Odd Places as an artist. This was the first time I crossed over into public art and I learned a couple of things:

  1. Don’t have a project that relies on power. I didn’t realize the limitations that power requirements would cause in terms of where I could have my digital frame showing my Yelp reviews. I also didn’t realize the role the sun played in terms of people being able to see said project.
  2. Set a performance schedule. It’s challenging to be with your project for the duration of the festival. I underestimated the endurance that it required (and overestimated my own endurance, which is a personal issue I have to deal with). It would have been easier on me physically if I set times that I would be there.

Would I do this again? Absolutely. It allowed me to engage people who typically don’t read poetry or literature in general. I have an idea on what I would do for next year if the curators are willing to have me back again.

Click here to watch the project.I also wrote new Yelp reviews reviewing projects at Art in Odd Places (there were 41 and I could only write 21). You can check out the ones posted on AiOP Orlando’s Instagram feed here.

My Yelp review collection, Pick How You Will Revise a Memory, is still available for pre-order. Go here to pre-order a copy. You should be able to use the code NEWTITLESFALL2016 to get $3.00 off until Friday, November 18.

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A ton has happened as well on the flash fiction front/Jesus Christ, Boy Detective front.

First, I talked about the musical DNA of Jesus Christ, Boy Detective over at Largehearted Boy. You can read about it (and listen to the playlist) over here.

I have new flash fiction over in the following places:

I also interviewed John Jodizo for Maudlin House, which you can read here.

Also, I recommend heading on over to this article to see what organizations you can donate to. They will need all the help they can get to fight against the incoming sexist, racist, xenophobic Trump administration.

It’s Raining Flash

October’s been a pretty good month for me on the flash fiction end. Here’s what’s up:

  • I have a new piece over in The Airgonaut, which you can check out over here.
  • My first contribution to The RS 500 – Telling Stories in Stereo is up. I wrote a new piece of flash prompted by The Cars album “The Cars”. You can read it here.
  • I have a piece in the horror issue of Yellow Chair Review, which you can read here.

I’ll be reading this Friday, October 28 at Culture Pop. More details about the event are here.

Yes, You Too Can Choose Your Own Adventure

A little over a week ago, I performed my first Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) Florida Man story live at Loose Lips. I got the idea from B.J. Best based on his interactive fiction class (great academic label for CYOA stories) after he mentioned the tool that his class is using called Twine, an open-source tool for telling non-linear interactive stories.

When I write fiction, I don’t plan at all. I chase a core idea and see what happens as I write. This is the anthesis of how I approach my day job as an instructional designer/technical writer. I plan. I outline or storyboard. Only after I storyboard do I build what I want to build in the applicable tool. I realized that before I could start using Twine, I needed to have a loose idea where I wanted to begin.

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CYOA beginning outline while heading to Ft. Lauderdale on a Megabus.

After I had my initial outline, I was able to sit down and write the story in Twine. The interface takes a little bit getting used (including how to insert links). Once you figure it out, it gets easier.

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B.J. also mentioned a free hosting resource that his class is using to host their interactive fiction called Neocities. Twine exports your story as an html file. All you have to do is drag and drop the html to a hosting site. It’s really easy.

I wanted to perform this live but I knew of the technical limitations. I didn’t want the audience to stare at a screen as I read the words to them as they appear on the screen (that’s a presentation no-no). I didn’t figure it out until the night before the reading: choices and responses printed on double sided paper.

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What would you choose?

I picked someone from the audience to be the chooser and the performance went off very well.

If you want to check out the web version of my CYOA story, head on over to here to Due Process.

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I have some new flash fiction up in the following places:

  • Central American Literary Review published my story “Cerulean” in English and translated it into Spanish. This is the second work of mine to be translated into another language (my e-chapbook A Patchwork of Rooms Furnished by Mistakes was the first). You can read the story here.
  • I have a 100-word story over in Short Tale, which you can read over here.
  • Maudlin House published my flash fiction story “Shadowboxer”. You can read that over here.

 

New Work in Cheap Pop & Upcoming Readings

I have some new flash fiction over at CHEAP POP that you should check out over here.

I read earlier in August as part of There Will Be Fan Fiction 2: The Revenge. You can check out the entire reading here.

Here’s are my upcoming readings for September.

  • I’m reading with Lenore Myka at the Sunday Salon South Florida reading series on Sunday, September 4. This will be the first time that I’ve read in Ft. Lauderdale since going down there to support my first collection of poetry. More details about the event are here.
  • On Tuesday, September 6, I’m reading at Loose Lips, one of my favorite local reading series. You can check out more details here.
  • I’m doing two shows through my reading series, There Will Be Words. One is my regular reading series on September 13. The other show is my audience applause judged poetry slam There Will Be Verse on September 15. Check out the details below:

And Now For An Update

I had a great conversation with John King at The Drunken Odyssey about Jesus Christ, Boy Detective. You can check that out in full over here.

Cahoodaloodaling included my e-chapbook Neil in their latest issue that reviews e-chapbooks that have come out over the last year or so. Check out all of these excellent free reads and reviews over here.

Here’s my upcoming appearances for August:

  • August 4 – I’m hosting Spilled Milk Literary Open Mic. More details can be found over here.
  • August 9 – I’m one of the readers at There Will Be Fan Fiction II: The Revenge. More details can be found over here.
  • August 16 – I’m the featured reader at Wordier Than Thou Storytelling & Prose Open Mic at Studio@620 in St. Pete. Fun fact: my St. Pete book release for my first collection of poetry was also held at Studio@620. It’s a lovely space to read at and I’m excited to be reading from Jesus Christ, Boy Detective. More details about this show can be found here.
  • August 18 – I’m one of the readers at the First Draft Reading Series in Tampa. The event page hasn’t been posted for this reading yet, but you can like their page on Facebook over here.

Jesus Christ, Boy Detective is Here

My book, The Adventures of Jesus Christ, Boy Detective officially came out on July 15. I’m really proud of how this turned out. I never thought that I would write a novel and in a way, I accidently did. If you haven’t gotten a copy yet, you can go here for the available ways to get yours. (And if you’ve gotten a copy, please add it/rate it on Goodreads and/or Amazon).

This past Thursday, I was on Functionally Literate Radio, an extension of the fantastic Functionally Literate reading series run by Burrow Press. We had a really good conversation about Jesus Christ, Boy Detective and my personal literary history. You can listen to that entire conversation here.

Book Riot named Jesus Christ, Boy Detective as one of the eight books you should read in July, which is rad (and should be another reason why you should get a copy, if you haven’t).

My book release in Orlando is on July 26. Bookmark It will be selling copies of it and the show itself should be wonderful. More details about the event can be found here. Hope to see you there.

Jesus Christ (Boy Detective) Is Coming

July is going to be a really busy month, so let’s get right down to it.

Artborne Magazine was kind enough to interview me about Orlando’s literary history and about The Adventures of Jesus Christ, Boy Detective. You can check out the interview here.

You have until July 6 to enter a Goodreads giveaway to win a free copy of Jesus Christ, Boy Detective. Click here to enter it. You can also pre-order a copy here if you don’t get picked for a free copy or if you just want to order a copy.

On July 9, I am facilitating a webinar on what poetry has taught me about writing flash fiction through the Florida Writers Association. You can read about how I discovered flash fiction over here. If you are interested in attending the webinar, click here (It’s $15 for non-FWA members, $10 for FWA members). I’m really excited that I get to facilitate this webinar and have some fun surprises in store.

On July 12, I am hosting Clash of the Word Titans III. This is an event I invented that pits four poets against four prose writers in a head-to-head elimination slam until only one team is left standing. This has been a really great show the last two times and I don’t expect anything different this go around. More information about the event is here.

On July 15, I’m reading at Culture Pop: Untold Stories. Click here for more information about the event.

On July 26, I’m holding my release party for Jesus Christ, Boy Detective but not in the traditional way of author reads his/her/their work and hopes people buy it. I’ve curated some kick ass readers for a special event called A Religious Experience. Readers will read work regarding religion and I’m looking forward to seeing what they have come up with. You can check out more details about the event here.

I have some dates in August that I’ll share a bit later.

Whew!

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