Math in words

We survived the fake Mayan apocalypse, and though people still seem pretty worried about this fiscal “cliff” (slope) thing, I’m going to go out on a limb and say, what the hell, we’ll make it through that, too. I feel pretty confident, because 2012 has been the Year of the Dragon in eastern astrology, andContinue reading “Math in words”

A Writer’s Notebook: notes from a reading

When I go to literary readings, I always take my notebook. Before I got my iPod, I took my notebook everywhere, but now that I can rely on the much slimmer iPod for emergency idea-jotting, I sometimes leave the thicker notebook at home. But at readings? I have to have paper and pencil to scribbleContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: notes from a reading”

A Writer’s Notebook: yearbook memories

I don’t know what this is or where it would ever go. But it felt good to write. In my 8th-grade yearbook, on the inside covers where people are supposed to leave their indelible wisdom for the ages alongside their silly doodles and autographs, there is a fantastically artistic signature from Shanna J. She claimedContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: yearbook memories”

Ampersand West Coast Invasion!

So, this is happening: Portland, Oregon, at the Blue Monk, Sept. 18 at 8 pm. The very, very cool indie press Ampersand Books is hosting killer literature readings by Carrie Seitzinger, Hannah Pass, Gabriel Blackwell, Hobie Anthony, Jamalieh Haley, and — that’s right, folks — ME. That’s awesome. But wait, there’s more! The always excellent Dena Rash Guzman and Reuben Nisenfeld will beContinue reading “Ampersand West Coast Invasion!”

A Writer’s Notebook: Why I cried at the Superman trailer

I mentioned last week that I’ve been writing an essay on Superman. I gave it up for a recollection of the ’96 Olympic Games, but the essay has still been on my mind. Then, the other day, a friend of mine posted an outraged link to Newsarama’s list of the 10 Worst Comic Book-Based MovieContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: Why I cried at the Superman trailer”

A Writer’s Notebook: Olympic history

I’ve been writing an essay on Superman for almost a day straight, intending to post it here as an essay draft. But then I remembered that today, this evening, we will get to see hundreds and hundreds of superheroes, representing the whole planet, competing in peace and camaraderie during the Olympic Games. Not that I needed reminding. My wifeContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: Olympic history”

A Writer’s Notebook: Kevin Sampsell and Chloe Caldwell’s nonfiction workshop

So, as I promised yesterday, here are (some of) my notes from Kevin Sampsell and Chloe Caldwell‘s excellent nonfiction workshop at Crow Arts Manor today. I’ll include a couple of quick headings in the notes so you know what you’re reading, but I’ll write more about some of the things we talked about afterward. For now,Continue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: Kevin Sampsell and Chloe Caldwell’s nonfiction workshop”

A Writer’s Notebook: on hold till Saturday (for awesomeness)

I’m putting the Writer’s Notebook on hold until tomorrow, because tomorrow, I’m attending a killer personal essay workshop here in Portland, led by the inimitable Kevin Sampsell (of Future Tense Books) and Chloe Caldwell (of Legs Get Led Astray). So tomorrow, I’ll post whatever I get up to in the workshop. Stay tuned! The workshop, byContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: on hold till Saturday (for awesomeness)”

A Writer’s Notebook: more of Beth Locke’s “A Louisiana Girl”

This is more of my grandmother’s story. The year is 1945. My grandmother, Beth Locke, has just turned 20, and she works at the nearby Navy base, where troops are returning from the war. (I think you see where this is headed….) Along about this time, my social life was at a complete standstill. I hadContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: more of Beth Locke’s “A Louisiana Girl””

A Writer’s Notebook: Beth Locke: “A Louisiana Girl”

This is another exercise drawn from my tutoring, this time from a high school junior who’s been studying The Grapes of Wrath. I’ll explain more below, but before you start reading, a little context: What appears in the Notebook is not my own work but an edit of something my maternal grandmother, Beth Locke (néeContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: Beth Locke: “A Louisiana Girl””