A List of Shots I Have Thrown Away (and One I Took)

In dueling, throwing away one’s shot meant deliberately firing into the ground.  Usually both men threw away their first shots to prove they meant business, which I find hilarious.  “You think I’m afraid to fire my pistol?  Check this out.”  BAM!  “Hole in the ground.”  Macho posturing, on the playground or the dueling ground, is…

Walking to Work: a True Story

It’s been six months since I saw the old man around the corner, walking his huge dog and wearing a baseball hat that feels like a hate crime, white letters on red. The first time I saw the old man in the red hat with the white letters, the country had just heard the Man…

Hard Truth About Writing: John Dufresne Edition

I don’t say, I’m not really an investment banker, Martin. I’m a writer, and I’m going to steal your story. I just listen. – John Dufresne; Requiem, Mass Writers are the most evil, vile, self-centered, cannibalizing people in the world.  We’ll take your life, your heart, and your soul, if it will make us look good…

Hard Truth About Writing: Diana Abu-Jaber Edition

On page 76 of Diana Abu-Jaber’s forthcoming memoir, Life Without a Recipe, she perfectly articulates every writer’s secret fear. Good excuses are everywhere when you’re too scared to do something.  Pick them like berries off the bushes- too hard; too late; too expensive.  Anything but admit it’s inside of yourself: you’re too scared.  I accuse…

Writers, Please Write Whatever the Hell You Want

In an interview with Vice about his upcoming Young Adult fiction novel, The Alex Crow, author Andrew Smith told interviewer Hugh Ryan that he considers himself, “completely ignorant to all things woman and female.”  Ryan had pointed out that Smith’s books contained little for female readers; “Where are all the women in your work?” he asked.…