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Novelist, Essayist, (Recovering) Journalist

Pressure Cooker

Or: How to Make the Perfect Pot of Beans for a Cold Tennessee Day It wasn’t so long ago that I didn’t own a pressure cooker, had never used a pressure cooker, and to be honest, wasn’t too sure I knew what one was. Jessica changed that on my 35th birthday, when she and her…
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Veblen was Right

Or: Gravitational Waves and the Complex Economics of Higher Learning in America   (Author’s Note: I began this post last night, but events of the day — namely a deadline and work followed by the governor’s speech mentioned below–conspired to delay completion. I’ll post twice today.)  Earlier today, I logged into the computer early, propped back…
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A Year in Review

Every year since 2005, one of the hallmarks of January was a “Year in Review” story for whichever newspaper or magazine I found myself writing at the time. What sounds like a herculean task–cramming an entire year’s worth of news or commentary–into a single article of no more than 2,200 words isn’t exactly the most…
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God Save the King!

God Save the King! Those are my sentiments today upon learning that U.S.-based Burger King, Inc. will buy Canadian donut slinger Tim Horton’s, a move that is charitably being called a “merger,” and then subsequently relocate the articles of incorporation to Canada. This move concerns me, especially given that the Right Wing media is establishing…
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Stopped Clocks

Stopped Clocks Or: God’s been talking through Jackasses since the Book of Numbers Ann Coulter is almost 100% wrong all the time. Anytime I see her appear in my newsfeed, I think to myself there she goes again. And I almost never read the linked story. I don’t have to. I know what she has…
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When the heat is a sulter?

Or: On Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner and the English Language There’s an old joke that goes something like this: Why did the broke writer pay $5 for a latte at Starbucks? How else would everyone get to see him writing his novel? Sitting in a Starbucks before the mountain of pulp totaling some 350 pages, I’m slogging through…
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The Best Part…

When I was 14, I met Joe DiMaggio. He was sitting in the front row of an arena, listening to a speech by then-Arkansas First Lady Hillary Clinton and chatting with Paul Harvey. This meeting and the subsequent autograph represented one of the biggest moments of my young life and, though I’ve lost the autograph I…
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What We Get Wrong

Today, I made the mistake of tuning into the Rush Limbaugh program and just so happened to catch El Rushbo opining what he sees as the sudden fixation of the American Left on the literature of dystopia–specifically, The Hunger Games series and how, in his estimation, this series of books and films which he has neither read…
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Transitioning

Or: That moment when you quit fighting and join the party For years, my friend Matt Courtman insisted that my best works weren’t my fiction. Instead, Matt always said I was a born essayist. I do well, according to Matt, with the brief, sometimes poignant, sometimes funny snippets of real life, with subjects grounded in…
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The 2013 Top 10 – A look back on an extraordinary year

By almost any measure, 2013 has been a remarkable year for me.  Looking back, it’s hard not to pick the image at right as the highlight. But any other event would also be worthy of its own blog post (something I’ve not been doing regularly, anyway, but we’ll get to why) and definitely its own…
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