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Be the Verb (Writing) not the Noun (a Writer)

On episode 320 of Scripnotes, screenwriters Jon August and Craig Mazin fielded a question about calling oneself a writer. They urged those who write to identify with the verb (writing) and not the noun (being a writer.)   Here’s a my take on that distinction:   At its best, “writer” is the title you get to… Read more »

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Friday Roundup

“Evenings: See friends. Read in cafes.”  –Henry Miller   Here’s what I’ve been up to this week, besides trying to make a dent in my “unread” bookshelf to make room for Christmas presents. What I’m Reading “Swimming on the Hot Side” an article by David Goodwillie about divers who work in radioactive water.   Snow… Read more »

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12 Christmas Gifts for Writers

A version of this post first appeared on Broke Ass Stuart Writers are hard to shop for. Our tools are simple but we can be hopelessly picky about them–I don’t know how many white legal pads I’ve re-gifted–we already have all the books, and the things we really want you might not be comfortable buying… Read more »

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I Wrote 52 Posts in 2017, here are my Favorites

I was all over the place this year, literally and figuratively, usually in a good way. I lived in Spain for a while, spent my first fall in New England since before college, and took a few extended trips to Montréal. I started two longer projects (one fiction, one non) and got my first byline… Read more »

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Friday Roundup, “From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads…”

“All Rhodes Scholars had a great future in their past.” –Peter Thiel Part of the reason I title these “Friday roundups” is that I’m accountable to post throughout the week. If I don’t, my recent articles will just be a string of Friday Roundups.   What I’m Reading: Zero to One — Peter Theil. The startup… Read more »

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Maida Gayle, Hanoi’s abstract (expat) expressionist

On June 10th, 2017, Maida Gayle had her first solo exhibition in Hanoi, Vietnam. It was a significant date for her. One year early, on June 10th, 2016, she had been hospitalized, on the other side of the Pacific, following a stroke.   Motivated, in part, by her scare and the painful recovery that followed,… Read more »

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Friday Roundup, 600 days to go

“I’m a writer but then nobody’s perfect.”  —Billy Wilder Deep in first draft land on two longer projects, which means I haven’t gotten up to much this week besides writing. I’m trying to figure out the best way to balance blogging and my long-form stuff. I’ve thought about setting aside one full day to blog… Read more »

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Dad’s trip to the Marine Corps Museum

When I tell people my dad was in the Korean war, they often say, “You mean Vietnam?” (or even the Gulf War.) And when I tell them that his father fought in  WWI they think I’m really confused.   My dad and his dad only talked about war one time. Dad wanted to know if… Read more »

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Friday Roundup, without hope, without despair

Was reminded of some words of wisdom–I first encountered in my English major days–from Austin Kleon quoting Raymond Carver who was quoting Isak Dinesen. Carver and Kleon both put these words on a 3×5 card on the wall, and I’m doing the same. Here’s what I’ve been up to the past 7 days:   What… Read more »

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The things I’m Thankful for This Year

After Thanksgiving dinner, my family goes around the table and says what we’re thankful for. We’re not the kind of family that can do this with straight faces, and the whole thing tends to devolve into a parody of how we imagine “normal” families act at the table–picture the contrasting dinner scenes in Annie Hall…. Read more »