You, Me, And Margaret Atwood: Pelee Island Writer’s Retreat

The Pelee Island Writer’s Retreat has four more days left on the clock. You can, right now, go there and sign up for a week-long writing retreat on the island with either Margaret Atwood or myself as your instructor. Margaret asked me to be a part of it, and in my experience, when she asks you something like that, you say yes. She could pull up in a wizard van full of mysterious birds and, you know, c’mon. You say yes to that adventure. You just do. So, I said yes.... Read The Rest →

Yes, Virginia, Writing Is Too A Job

First came the article about the writer who wrote a novel and then went broke. Then came the response at The Billfold, which said blah-blah something-something about how you can’t really make a living working as a writer because writer isn’t a job. ‘…but come the fuck on. Kafka, Dickens, Nabokov — they all had day jobs. Novelists have day jobs! Roxane Gay, who is busy and accomplished enough to be several people, still has a day job. Writers have day jobs because being a writer isn’t a job. Writing is a thing you... Read The Rest →

It Is Art That Will Help Us Survive

It’s a little… it’s a little fucked up out there. Right now, outside my window, it’s calm. It’s sunshine and trees. It’s the last crickets of the season. It’s squirrels, and okay, the squirrels are not calm because the squirrels are losing their fucking squirrel minds, going gonzo over every acorn and hickory nut that falls from the trees, but even still, it lends itself to an overall picture of normalcy. Looking outside, I wouldn’t know that everything is wrong, and people are on fire. Or maybe it’s that people are... Read The Rest →

Here’s How To Finish That Fucking Book, You Monster

That book you’re writing is mewling again in the dark. It’s a half-formed thing — all unspooled sinew and vein, its mushy head rising up out of the mess of its incomplete body, groaning and gabbling about this life of misery it leads. Its life is shit because you haven’t finished it. It’s flumping along on stump legs, pawing its way through your hard drive, bleating for attention. It needs words. It needs plots. It needs resolution. YOU MONSTER. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE. It’s okay. I’m here. I can help... Read The Rest →

What Fiction Can Do For The Writer And The Reader

The power of fiction is a slippery, elusive thing — what it provides is not scientific, and often ephemeral. But stories matter. Stories shape the world. And sometimes we don’t necessarily realize how it’s shaping the world — or how it’s shaping us as the writer and those who read what we put out there. Sometimes I get emails, though, about how a book of mine affects people, and that’s what starts us ON THIS GLORIOUS STORIFIED JOURNEY. Let us begin. [View the story “What Fiction Can Do For The... Read The Rest →

Macro Monday Has Luminous Spines

It’s not the greatest photo I’ve ever taken, but really, I quite like it. Those are, of course, the spiny spines of the luna moth (Actias luna) caterpillar, spines that, should you touch them, will give you a nasty little passive sting for your intrusion. If you want to see something really freaking weird, PEEP THIS: BEHOLD THE MOUNTAIN OF FLESH ALL HAIL THE SQUIRMLORD BE CONSUMED BY ITS QUIVERING PILE OF TENDONS AND MEAT Okay, fine, it’s not a mountain of flesh, nor is it a Squirmlord – Those are... Read The Rest →

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