Author Archives

    Franz Kafka famously said, “A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.” Who knew a Disney movie — one named Frozen, no less — could act as that axe, too? My four-year-old son Asher loves Frozen; the movie is on regular rotation in our house. He often sings, “Let it Go” […]

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    1. When your mother calls you on a Monday night Asking you how to spell “flexible” over the phone Do not tell her you are busy Or to just use a dictionary Or that you’ll call her back in ten minutes 2. When your mother asks if you’re seeing anyone these days Do not tell […]

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    I’ve always considered myself a no frills, linear, begin-at-the-beginning, chronological-until-the-end type of person. Experimental writing was only for the few, the proud, those who could consume or create it unsupervised, without being deemed unintelligible or pretentious. Experimental writing for me was a Zen thing: I had to ask about it,

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    My novel has received 70 rejections over the last 21 months. I have written dozens of short stories and have only published four. I have written over a dozen personal essays and have only published one. I have written a ton of bad poetry, but managed to get a single one to print. As a […]

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    I started working at Watson Wyatt in San Francisco after I’d been let go from my dotcom gig in 2000. I was the first person the dotcom execs called into the office when they learned their funding would be cut and they had to lay off half of their hundred or so people. This brought […]

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    I had fantasies about how hugely creative I would be while pregnant — my body’s creation of a new person would ignite unprecedented levels of inspired creativity for my brain. I never expected how appallingly far off that was. My brain had never before experienced such vacuous emptiness as it did during those early weeks […]

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    The year my dad died, I was taking writing classes at University of Chicago. I was twenty-two and I wanted to be a writer. But let me clarify. I didn’t want to write. Writing was fucking hard. Writing meant sitting alone in my apartment, something I already did more than I wanted to. But being […]

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    Writing on a keyboard has become a natural gesture of many modern humans. Not a gesture but a motion; not a motion but a manner of being; more like eating or making love, a mode with us; as an apprentice woodworker would, years ago, have carved a dove from a pine knot in the off […]

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    I wrote in a poem once that I am “ruled by ruled paper.” I buy ten-cent notebooks at back-to-school specials and proceed to make lists and notes in them throughout the year. Things like stop by the bank, make brownies, email Sean, scoop cat’s litter box, update google calendar, GRADE, work on chapbook, Casandra’s open […]

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    I wrote in a poem once that I am “ruled by ruled paper.” I buy ten-cent notebooks at back-to-school specials and proceed to make lists and notes in them throughout the year. Things like stop by the bank, make brownies, email Sean, scoop cat’s litter box, update google calendar, GRADE, work on chapbook, Casandra’s open […]

    Read more →