Month: November 2017

  • Why Live? Good Question

    Why Live? Good Question

    It’s the end of the semester at my university, and I see near-horror on every single one of my students’ faces. Haggard, stressed, they walk the halls with a vacuous look, with nine essays and five exams whipping their minds into near-submission. Every fiber of their existence is as taut as a bow string; and […]

  • My Guns, Part 2: My Blackbirds

    My Guns, Part 2: My Blackbirds

    I was both a city and country mouse, living between my father’s deep-Appalachian world of sharecroppers, hunters, and, yes, moonshine, and the bustling metropolis of Rogersville, Tennessee, population around 5,100. I grew up in a small, middle-class suburb on the edge of town, a place where people kept their grass cut and their children played […]

  • My Guns, Part 1

    My Guns, Part 1

    I don’t remember Dad handing me my first rifle. I do remember killing my first rabbit. It was winter, I’d just turned nine, so, in Appalachian thought, I was two years late. It was time to kill something. But Dad hadn’t put pressure on me. We were walking through four inches of snow in a […]

  • A Weaponry of Journals

    A Weaponry of Journals

    I’m dipping into my journals in order to write about writing, looking for the notes on old manuscripts to see what tricks of the trade I’ve used through the years. It’s an interesting journey, to read what you wrote twenty-five, thirty years ago. It’s not always pretty; a journal is the place we turn to, […]

  • Become a Famous Writer!

    Become a Famous Writer!

    If you’re a writer, and you think you’re going to live off your writings. . .well, you’re not alone. And since you’re not alone, that means you’re a marketing target. And since you’re a marketing target, people will come along and make shitloads of money off your dreams. Again, I’m going to write about MFA […]