On Sherman Alexie and Testicles

In between Sherman Alexie’s reading at Books & Books and his reading at Palmer Trinity the next day, he won the National Book Award for Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.  I worked both events just to be close to him. I couldn’t speak a word to the man. Then I attended a trade…

Writing Memoir is a Kick in the Ass

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” – Robert Frost As a Musical Theater major I participated in an acting exercise called The Chair.  In it, a plush chair sat alone in a dark room, illuminated by a single, bright light.  One by one, everyone in class sat silently in the chair.…

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…