The wishing tree

In my neighborhood here in Northeast Portland, someone has put together a Wishing Tree. The tree is full of small nails, and there are two clipboards, one explaining the concept and the other holding a plastic baggie full of cardstock tags and a permanent marker. The idea is to take a tag, write your wishContinue reading “The wishing tree”

The Revenge of the Scammed

A while back, a fellow writer, Edward J. Rathke, got ripped off. Long story short: a guy hired him to write a book, wrote a fraudulent check, and wound up scamming Rathke out of his entire savings. So we in the writing community are banding together to help Rathke out — and get revenge on theContinue reading “The Revenge of the Scammed”

A Writer’s Notebook: a blank page

Today, dozens of very young children and at least a handful of adults are dead in Newport, Connecticut after a singe shooter opened fire in the elementary school there. And I cannot write anything here today. I have a lot of things to say today, actually. And I’ve written a lot of them down. I’veContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: a blank page”

Jersey Devil Press. Keeping it real.

Ordinarily, when Jersey Devil Press releases a new issue, our editor does the official intro on the website and I just spout off whatever I think about the issue here on my blog. But this issue’s special, and really, I can’t say much about it better than Mike Sweeney already has, so I’m just goingContinue reading “Jersey Devil Press. Keeping it real.”

A friend in need

Eirik Gumeny is Jersey Devil Press’s founder and godfather (I have yet to kiss his ring, but only because we’re several states apart). And right now, Eirik needs our help, folks. With the cost of a transplant often exceeding $500,000, many families are unable to shoulder the financial burden of such a procedure. The Children’sContinue reading “A friend in need”

Sandy storm relief

This week, I’ve been getting back into the hard, eye-numbing work of researching literary agents with whom I might like to work. Most of them are based in New York and are, either literally or very nearly literally, under water right now. So are a lot of publishing houses, a lot of writers, and some of myContinue reading “Sandy storm relief”

Eleven years ago today (and also a Tuesday)…

I was driving a two-hour commute to teach a college class. I listened to the news on the radio. At one point I had to pull over on the side of the road just to catch my breath. Later, I passed others who had done the same. When I got to school, I spent halfContinue reading “Eleven years ago today (and also a Tuesday)…”

Zot!, heroism, love, and the bravest story in comics

I’ve been a fan of Scott McCloud’s books on writing comics — books on writing in general, really, because his insights into narrative purpose and narrative structure are fascinating — but for some reason it wasn’t until a few months ago that I finally picked up McCloud’s own graphic fiction, Zot! When I did, itContinue reading “Zot!, heroism, love, and the bravest story in comics”

“Teacher Sam”

In the next couple of weeks, I’ll be finishing some term-long or year-long tutoring jobs I’ve been working. Two of my students are high schoolers (one is graduating, and I’m proud to say I had a hand in her getting accepted to the University of Oregon, though my part was small). But one of myContinue reading ““Teacher Sam””