The Perversity of US News Rankings

We Americans love rankings—sports standings, 12 Best Places for Hawaiian Poke. You name it, we rank it. Of course, these are the essential ingredients in clickbait, too. Let’s all fess up—no living human has ever been able to resist “15 Child Actors and What They’re...

Life in the Pre-GPScene Era

Although people have been writing about this for like a decade already, I just read an article about how our complete reliance on turn-by-turn GoogleMaps instructions is rotting our collective hippocampus. That’s a part of our brain that Does Many Important Things,...

A Terrible Beauty

If you’re interested in anything to do with Ireland—beyond drinking that repulsive dyed-green American beer on the 17th of March—you probably know that Ireland is smack in the middle of the centenary celebration of the endgame in the centuries-long struggle for Irish...

Circa 1935

I just spent a week back in my old hometown of Skeeterville. Maybe it’s just me, but either everybody there has gotten much cooler or I’m much less of a jerk than I was in high school. I’m open to either possibility. Maybe both. Kay-Kay—NOT a Skeetervillian, she is...

Tyranny of the 1099

My blog spans a rather eclectic range of topics. Mostly, it’s a reflection of stuff that a) I know a little more about than the average jamoke, and/or b) has intrigued, tickled, or annoyed me during the past week. Which makes me a lot like Andy Rooney, I suppose. And...

Care and Feeding of Characters

I’m still in the afterglow of the blue-ribbon win by my first novel, None of Us the Same, at last week’s writers’ conference in the Great Northwest. Let me just own up. Writers are all Sally Fields when it comes to awards—“You like me! You REALLY like me!!!” I am no...

Conferencing with Writers

I’m on the road at a writers’ conference this weekend—I usually limit my intake to one per year and this is the one. Mostly because my first novel, None of Us the Same, is a semifinalist for an award in historical fiction. Thought I’d (near) live blog my weekend, just...

My Notre Dame

It had for most of us the shocking suddenness of an assassination, and in a way that’s what it was. The sight of flames tearing through the roof with savage orange fingers and illuminating the irreplaceable windows of Notre Dame with their sinister hellish glow was an...

On the Nod

Besides never losing at Whack-a-Mole, I have exactly one other indisputable talent. I’ve long been able to sleep on demand. I count that as a significant personal advantage. I’ve known plenty of people with profound insomnia. To be honest, I’ve never been able fully...

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