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What I’ve Been Reading–one Month into my Book Diet

Last month, I started a “reading diet.” The idea comes from Ray Bradbury who recommended that the aspiring read one short story, one poem, and one essay every day, and one novel per week. I’m reckoning with something I wish I had known a long time ago, that reading is part of your workday as a writer. It’s not laziness… Read more »

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Writing All Night in Dublin Airport

Note: the following was written, edited, and published in the middle of an all-nighter. All typos and style fails are strictly rhetorical. (Dec, 2016) I’m writing this in Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport at four in the morning. I’ve decided to turn an overnight layover into an espresso-fueled writing spree. Here’s what I got up… Read more »

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If Literary Legends Were on Social Media — the Modernists

The Lost Generation would have killed it on social media. 21st century publishing would remove the obstacles that kept many now classic authors from wide readership in their lifetimes. Platforms like Twitter and Medium would play to the strengths of different schools within modernism (Twitter for minimalism, Medium for stream of consciousness.) Here’s where I… Read more »

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Interview: Alizé Meurisse – Novelist, Painter, Parisian

Back in 2012, while studying abroad in Paris, I did an interview with Alizé Meurisse that became one of my first blog posts and kicked off the Orange Typewriter series. Alizé is back to talk about her new novel, Ataraxia, and the journey that has produced four novels, a book of artwork, a few album covers, a solo… Read more »

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“We off That.” Don’ts for Writers in 2017

Jay-Z’s “Off That” is a concise guide to what was no longer cool as of 2009: everything from baggy clothes and Timbs (Timberland boots,) to fighting in the club and telling your girl you love her. We writers could use a similar style audit. With all the wackness being perpetrated in the writing game today,… Read more »

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Friday Roundup

“We must continually remind ourselves that there is a difference between what is natural and what is actually good for us. There is nothing more natural than being mauled and eaten by a bear.” —Sam Harris    I’m on Medium now. Follow me.   History’s great authors request nudes at the New Yorker.   Throwback… Read more »

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Aleppo Needs Writers to Put it on the Record

The news from Aleppo today makes me sick. We can come at this from any angle we want, but the fact is we are all bystanders. We are “the good man who does nothing.” This is a bad day for those of us who can write and photograph and otherwise document. I’m reading tweets from… Read more »

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50 Things to Collect when you Read

Favorite quotes Gorgeous prose Bad prose Lines that make you laugh and cry Lines you wish you had written Scenes that make you wonder how the hell this book got so popular Place names Character names Obscure words (the word for a collector of words is sesquipedalian) Words you derive the meaning of from their… Read more »

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Friday Roundup

“He traveled in order to come home.”  –William Trevor    Goodbye William Trevor.   F. Scott Fitzgerald ‘that sad young man’ profiled in the New Yorker April, 1926   The Defunct Language of Nautical Flags.   Leonard Cohen at BrainPickings.   A visit to Nouvella’s studio.  

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Showing Up, By the Numbers

If you do three morning pages  every day, you’ll write 273,750 words every year (assuming 250 words/ page.) That’s Crime and Punishment plus Lord of the Flies, all before breakfast.   Writing three hours a day gets you to 10,000 hours of practice in ten years. A decade will go by fast if you’re living the kind of life worth writing… Read more »