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Category: All posts

Novelist, Essayist, (Recovering) Journalist

A family illness

While I’m a fan of many sports, and my following of these sports is quite tidal, there are three bloodsports in my life that return time and again. I will follow these sports rigorously for a time, take a break if the talent wanes, and return again at some point to again root for my…
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Bailouts have Strings?! Nooooo!!!!

Four years ago, AIG begged for and received a $125 BILLION bailout from the citizens of the United States. They paid that money back–with interest. In exchange, the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank held a 92% equity stake as collateral on the loan. Over the weekend, AIG began to air television commercials in which the company…
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The Vegans and the Carnivore: a parable

(AUTHOR’S NOTE: This started out as a note to all my Christian friends. But the message is something bigger and I think it bears sharing. Then again, I’m a novelist, an English major and a reporter. So I usually think every thought in my head is worth sharing, even when it’s not.) Post-election, it’s important…
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Finding inspiration and will power

One of the most frequent questions writers are asked is about their “writing space,” that special place to which they retreat to spend hours upon hours with a keyboard and a stack of blank paper. The question is a tried and true staple of interviewers seeking to get inside the heads of their writer-subjects. Ernest…
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Villain, thou name is Grammar

I’m not a grammar Nazi. I don’t wander around with a copy of Strunk & White‘s Elements of Style in my satchel, waiting to pounce on the first individual to dangle a modifier or end a sentence with a preposition. (Okay, fine. I do carry a copy of Strunk & White. But I don’t lie in wait…
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Technology Retrograde

Or: Why we need frontiers to succeed as a species. One of my favorite television shows is AMC’s Mad Men. For the three people on the planet unfamiliar with the hit drama, the story revolves around the lives and work of a group of advertising executives at the height of the Madison Avenue golden age,…
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A Dab of Luck?

(Or: How astrology seems to impact the pattern of literature) Let me begin with a disclaimer: I do not buy much into the belief that where the stars are when you are born plays a large role in your development as a human being. I’m enough of a hard determinist to refrain from discounting the…
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The joys of a french press

For years, I was one of those people who looked at the glass and steel lines of a French press sitting in the corner of a friend’s fancy-dancy kitchen with about the same look of condescension that I shot at countertop pasta machines. I mean, seriously, people. Why does a simple cup of coffee require…
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The end of hatred on (our) airwaves?

(Or: Rush Limbaugh should just STFU.) I believe we are witnessing the death of hatred on the public’s airwaves. Let me start by saying that I will defend, to the death, the right of anyone to say anything they damned well please, so long as they do not represent a public threat (the classic “shouting…
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Wal-Mart, you’re still the Devil

A couple of weeks ago, I tweeted that Wal-Mart is the Devil. This morning, the company’s Twitter-monitor replied. Below is the e-mail I sent to the Twitter-monitor, who asked if there was anything that Wal-Mart could do to make my customer experience better. To Whom it May Concern: I recently received a tweet-reply to a…
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