A little book to which I contributed has just come out in the UK. It's called Dear Old Love, compiled by Andy Selsberg, and it's a paper version of the terrific blog of the same name. I interviewed Andy last year for Jess Holland's Hustle, London! zine, so perhaps this is a good opportunity to put that Q&A online for the first time.
Who are you?
I'm a freelance writer, and I teach freshman composition part time. I'm originally from Wisconsin, now living in Brooklyn.
What was the inspiration for the site?
I had a personal, aphoristic blog for a years. I love the openness of the web, mixed with a disciplined concision - looking for those perfect lines. My focus on the original blog started to dip. I got married this summer, and briefly considered writing a book-length fictionalized letter to an ex (along the lines of Home Land by Sam Lipsyte). But I can't seem to write much more than a few sentences at a time now. All that somehow pointed to Dear Old Love.
Are you on the site yourself?
I'm definitely on the site, definitely more than once. I wanted to set a tone. And I don't think you need to have had a lot of relationships to have a lot of DOL notes in you. It's more a way of looking at the world, sussing out the right details. You could get dozens out of childhood crush on a sweetie down the block. I'm reading the Charles Schulz/Peanuts biography right now, and it's amazing how much "little red-haired girl" mileage he got out of very little raw relationship material.
Do you ever get any submissions that are simply too sad to include?
Most submissions don't get posted, but not due to excess sadness. I'm looking for freshness, humour, poignancy - an old feeling expressed a new way. The site exists for the pleasure of readers more than the therapy of writers. In the midst of heartbreak, it can be tough to come up with original, resonant ideas on the topic. I worry that one boring entry or two will turn readers off. The web is tough like that.
What’s your favourite break-up song?
Favourite break-up song is "Missing You" by your countryman John Waite. Love the way the proclamation "I ain't missing you" contradicts itself. Plus I was born in the early 70's and think pop culture peaked in 1984.