God is dead.
I was in denial of this very obvious fact, like a man holding a still-smoking gun who can’t believe he had the tenacity to pull the trigger. There was no such immediate moment, however, when this realization came to me. One day he was and on another he wasn’t, and I can’t draw a distinctive line between the two days.
I guess it all started with doubt in a coffee shop in New Jersey. Continue reading →
I usually do these posts before the end of the year in which I’m writing, but I’m late this year. That’s okay; I won’t beat myself up over it.
2015 saw as much change in my life as 2014 did.
Just as I started 2014 in Providence and ended it in Syracuse, NY, I found myself in a reverse situation in the beginning of 2015. A relationship that ultimately wasn’t going to work out ended (we’re still supportive friends), and I came back to the city I’ve called home for over ten years. Continue reading →
I read a pretty irritating piece today by a blogger on Popsugar, in which the author lamented how occasionally her husband or pre-school age son might see a woman breastfeeding in public without a full cover.
The truth is, I don’t want to see your naked boobs. I don’t want my husband to, and come to think of it, my preschool son either.
That doesn’t mean I’m sexualizing breastfeeding. It means that a naked boob, to most people in our culture, is a sexual thing. (Sorry. It’s true. Whether there’s a kid attached to it or not.) And, at least in my opinion, no amount of kids eating on a naked boob is going to change the fact that the breast is still considered a ‘naked part’ in our society.
Of course, we can’t blame her. It’s true that in a large part of our culture, boobs are sexual. Should that be the case? Probably not. Continue reading →
I watched the original iPad announcement in 2010 with great disappointment. I’d always liked the idea of tablet computers, but when this one was turned on and unlocked on stage, it just looked like a giant iPhone. This was a groundbreaking new product category?
The day of release came, and I picked one up and held it. I swiped. I opened apps. I put it on its side and typed. And I realized that the iPad was far more than a giant iPhone. It was a new way to interact with content. I could hold web pages in my hand like a magazine, or carry a small television around the house. As soon as I could get my hands on one, I bought it. And ever since 2010, I’ve had at least one iPad in my stable of electronics. Continue reading →
I want to scream.
As President Obama is in Paris, pledging the support of the United States to reduce carbon emissions and trying to take a stand as the frontrunner in slowing down climate change, Republicans are at home undercutting his efforts at every turn.
While this state of affairs is certainly status quo and has been for a long time, the public’s fury at Republican opposition to common sense has been growing, and will reach a head with today’s most recent news: not only does the GOP want to do nothing about climate change, they now want to do nothing while simultaneously recognizing it’s a problem. They’re also embarrassing us on a global scale. Continue reading →
This isn’t a review of the new iPad Pro, because I’ve had it for about 4.5 hours, but I wanted to share some of my thoughts as the first day of sales comes and goes.
Before we get into that, a few things to note: I don’t have an Pencil yet, because it seems no stores (or at least, very few of them) have any Pencils. In fact, I couldn’t even get a charcoal-colored Smart Cover; the only one available at my local store was the white cover, which doesn’t interest me. I also don’t have a keyboard cover, and I probably won’t get one.
Now that those things are out of the way… Continue reading →
Just a short month ago, I went part-time at the “bill-paying” job. See, writing doesn’t quite yet pay the bills, so I stayed in my full-time job to keep a roof over my head and food on the table. However, at the beginning of October, I finally cut my hours down to about half of what they were so I could spend the rest of the week focusing on “becoming a writer,” whatever that means.
But what does it mean? People have asked me quite a few times over the last month, “how’s the writing going?” And I either reply with the fast answer that deflects more questions, “slow,” or I give a short tour of what the week looks like, some of which doesn’t involve actual writing at all.
So what is it I do? Any combination of the following things, but any given week will usually contain these things:
- Actual writing. And lots of it. The problem is that it doesn’t all go somewhere. I work on different essays, some of which I plan to sell, some of which might go on this site and Medium, and some of which end up as fodder for something else that may work in the future, like a collection of essays.
- Learning the business. I haven’t gone to school for journalism and haven’t taken any expensive courses on how to get published. I have been published in magazines, anthologies, and in book form, but I haven’t got down yet how to make a living at these things. Actual publication has been sporadic, because I’m only now finding the time to focus on learning the “business.”
- Finding and cataloging publishers. I keep a database of publishers that buy the sort of things that I write. Every week, several companies send me lists of publishers that are looking to pay for essays or short stories. The ones that look to be a good fit for me go into the file.
- Editing. And lots of it. My book, With a Net: An Internet Memoir, was self-published, and I couldn’t afford an editor at the time. When you’re that close to your own work, it’s hard to look at it objectively. I’m taking a new look at it, seeing how bad it is, and essentially re-writing whole sections that need it. (It certainly helps that over the last few years, attention to detail and to the craft of writing are things that I’ve been focusing on getting better at. It pays off sometimes.)
- Keeping an eye on the news. I don’t necessarily expect that I’ll suddenly become a journalist, but if something comes along that doesn’t seem to get too much attention – or I think it might be part of something bigger – I might be interested in pursuing it in a piece that I could then sell to a magazine. To date, this hasn’t happened, but I still keep my ears and eyes open.
All of this keeps me occupied during the week. Writing is a huge part of it – the part that I hope to spend the most time on – but all of the other things are important to help build a career out of it. The writing part, however, is what makes me a writer. Even if I’m still just starting out.
Growing up, I had exposure to a wide variety of music. I began the ride with my first two cassettes when I was seven years old; Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA,” and Twisted Sister’s “Come Out and Play.” Later I would hone in on Duran Duran, Michael Jackson, Def Leppard. Not that I would slight anyone with those tastes today (I still have a soft spot for the Leppard, and the Boss is still a relevant singer/songwriter), but once I discovered Pink Floyd, it changed my life forever and set me on a course of discovery for deeper aural stimulation.
Before that night when I stumbled on Floyd, hearing Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” when I was five or six did nothing for me, though I actually remember my brother and his friend playing it repeatedly on vinyl. The sounds were strange, the singer’s voice too… something for my just-beginning musical likes.
But as I grew up into a young teenager, other classic and progressive rock artists were making their way into my ever-expanding repertoire of vinyl and mixtapes, bands like Genesis (the early stuff), Yes, and Led Zeppelin. These weren’t just fly-by-night artists that would disappear from the radio in a month; they endured for years because of their timelessness, and their focus on musicianship ahead of fads. Continue reading →
Livejournal.com used to suck up a ton of my time. I spent days, nights, and weekends on the site, writing up incessantly boring treatises on emotional fallout, movie reviews, and experimental journaling, not to mention the usual mundanity of life (such as what I ate that day and what celebrity I found attractive that week).
Looking back at the beginnings of my online journal, one would never have guessed that I would eventually begin to turn essay-writing into a career. And in fact, it’s something I still struggle with (those of you reading this probably still don’t know who I am). However, if you followed my progress on Livejournal, you’d see someone who eventually wants to write more, and write better.
I never even knew I loved writing until years after I began writing on the site. Eventually, I built my own crappy little webpage, and began writing there. Since then, I’ve had dozens of blogs, writing things both longform and short form, yet it never occurred to me that I should really be improving my craft and maybe start doing it full time. Continue reading →
Hello, dear reader. Once again I’m finding a digital home, and once again I’m trying out having my “own space” as a place to showcase my writing. Why has it taken so long? Because, frankly, I am more often than not just plain lazy. The dreaded L word. A most terrible trait for a writer.
But here I am, once again making a go of it. It’s been quite a while since I’ve written anything significant, at least a year and a half by my reckoning, and I’m eager to get back to work. So, what have I been working on? A few things.
You may remember my How to Be Human series on Medium. I plan to continue working on that, but I will not be posting all (or even most) of my material there any longer. All of it will live here, with select pieces also appearing on Medium. I’ve also been working on essays for varying publications that I hope will find a home. And I’m still working on my first novel, which seems like it’s taking forever (and may take forever longer!).
With all that being said, I’ve been considering collecting my How to Be Human stories and turning them into a book, likely with contributions from other writers.
So, here’s to a new beginning, and I hope you’ll stick around.