Adam Reger | Pittsburgh Writer, Editor, and Teacher

Pittsburgh writer, editor, ghostwriter, and teacher.

Month: April, 2011

I am minimally famous, Part III

It had totally slipped my mind that several weeks ago, I won Hang up and Listen‘s trivia contest for a precedented third time. (Revelry for the first and second times are here and here, respectively.) The question was about mascot overlap between the women’s Final Four, the men’s Final Four, and NCAA hockey’s “Frozen Four.” My answer: in 1985, the Georgia Bulldogs (women’s), Georgetown Hoyas (men’s), and University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs (hockey) were all in their respective final foursomes. (“Hoya” is a Latin word, but Georgetown’s actual mascot is, in fact, a bulldog.) Another great, challenging question from the great Mike Pesca.

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New Stories at Used Furniture Review

I have not one but two flash-fiction pieces up at Used Furniture Review, a great and classy online lit mag that is worth your time. I’m pleased not only to publish them, but for them to appear together, as they’re both what we might call “math lit”: experiments with the number of words in a sentence and the number of sentences in a paragraph or section. It’s a fun limitation to play with, and these are the rare pieces where I was pleased with the result.

Now It Can Be Told: My Book!

I’ve been holding off on saying much publicly, but as today is its release date, I’d like to announce that a book I worked on last summer—doing a lot of editing and a substantial amount of writing—is now out in the world.

It’s called U.S. Navy Pirate Combat Skills and the publisher is Lyons Press. It’s a humor book, taking public-domain military manuals and editing the text to create a manual on how to fight old-timey pirates (think Blackbeard, Captain Kidd, etc., not Somali pirates with motorboats and machine guns). It’s full of great, funny illustrations (that I thought up, so maybe some bias there) by David Cole Wheeler (who also illustrated U.S. Army Werewolf Sniper Manual and U.S. Army Werewolf Sniper Manual, predecessors to the pirate book, both edited/written by Cole Louison).

It was a lot of fun to work on last summer, and then to see the illustrations as they were produced, and, later, to answer copy editing queries about whether I perhaps meant “cutlass” instead of “dagger” on page 93, and if I could tweak the text of a figure caption to better match the image of hand-to-hand combat between a sailor and a crusty seadog. The staff at Lyons Press, in particular Keith Wallman and Ellen Urban, were terrific to work with.

The most fun of all, though, was writing prefatory materials for the book: a guest foreword by retired admiral I. I. Scuttle, commander of the most decorated anti-pirate fighting force in U.S. Navy history that includes “The Pirate Fighter’s Creed” and the lyrics of the sea-chantey “Pirate Slayers We.”

Below the fold, to give you a sense of what you’re getting yourself into by picking up this book, a few verses of that famous morale-boosting thumper, “Pirate Slayers We”:

Read the rest of this entry »

New story at Twelve Stories

Twelve Stories, an online journal I’ve always liked a whole lot—isn’t twelve an ideal number of stories for an issue?—is up with its brand-new third issue. I’d say that the journal continues to get better, but my modesty prohibits that.

Which is to say that my story, “Elegy for Lost Ambitions,” is one of the lucky twelve. Be sure to check out the whole issue. I’m getting to the last of the other stories now, but everything I’ve read so far has been terrific. Also, as someone who knows next to nothing about typefaces, layout, et cetera, I’ve always found Twelve Stories whole aesthetic wonderfully clean and easy to read. So, you know, one more reason to check it out.

Friday Fun

Looking through some old files, I came upon a quite forgotten, quite weird document that I wrote some time near the end of my first year of graduate school. It’s an appendix to the novel I was working on then. More specifically, it is a four-page script for a scene in an adult film. (All the caveats you would associate with such a document apply here—mature subject matter, adult language, sexual situations, clumsy dialogue, unnatural transitions from everyday life to sexual situations, bad double entendres, etc.)

Here is the file, if you’d like to read it. Below the fold I’ve put in the background which will give you context—not that you exactly need it—for where and how this fit in and why I was writing it in the first place. Read the rest of this entry »