Behind the Beautiful Forevers has changed the way I look at journalism—changed the very way that I want to tell stories.
Language is flexible and fun, and normally I’m the last person to tell you how to use it. But insults are an entirely different beast. These are words used to destroy people.
You’ve probably noticed how quiet my blog has been lately–even quieter than usual. That’s because I participated in NaNoWriMo this year. In the month of November, I wrote more than 50,000 words of a novel. First of all, let me say: WOOOOOO! I’M A WINNER! I’M AWESOME! I set out to write a what seemed like an impossible number of words last month–not to mention maintaining a full-time job, buying a new car, keeping my house clean and in good repair, celebrating […]
When Cheryl Strayed set off to hike an 11,000-mile portion of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), she wasn’t just leaving the comforts of home behind. She was attempting to discard a lifetime of emotional baggage as well: grief over her mother’s death, anger over her father’s abandonment, pain over her recent divorce, promiscuity, and a heroin problem.
David Vaipan has written and directed more than seventy projects. Currently, he’s at work on a feature-length adaptation of James Joyce’s Ulysses, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and Homer’s Odyssey, titled You (Plural). Recently, he answered a few of my questions about screenwriting and the process of adapting classic literature to film.
Toby Wolff is used to running–driving from Florida to Utah to Seattle to escape his mother’s boyfriend; moving to Concrete, WA, with his stepfather; dreaming of high school in Paris, France. But when he stops to face himself, he finds only scattered shadows of an identity.
Sloane Crosley didn’t grow up in a broken home, or a broken neighborhood. She wasn’t abused and didn’t abuse alcohol or drugs. She has two loving parents and one fun sister, and very few truly bad things seemed to have happened to her.
I’ve contributed to the wonderful Literature and Libation, which is run by my classmate and good friend Oliver Gray. Check out the post, and don’t forget to subscribe to his blog–he’s got some very solid advice for writers! So you want to be a writer? Join the club. The book club, that is. If you are serious about writing, start reading. Whether you want to write fiction or nonfiction, articles or trilogies, you need to be aware of what else is out […]
A friend of mine once shared a thought that I’ve since adopted as my own mantra: “I no longer do for fun that which I do not enjoy.” There are some things that are unavoidable. I need a job, at least at this point of my life; I need a place to live and nutritious meals and regular doctor’s visits. But I have a tendency to overcommit my personal time, to view the things I’m choosing to do as duties rather than […]
I’ve had a subscription to Poets & Writers for a few months, and I highly recommend a subscription for amateur and professional wordsmiths alike. Each issue is devoted to an important part of being a writer: finding a literary agent, choosing an MFA program, establishing a writing community, staying passionate and inspired.
This week, I’m back to reading more books, but a few articles caught my eye. Enjoy! Work “Letter From Nucla, Colorado: Dr. Don” by Peter Hessler The New Yorker, September 26, 2011 Hessler introduces us to “the life of a small-town druggist,” who dispenses medical wisdom and compassion in equal shares. The description and history of his town, Nucla, is fascinating. “What Looks Like Productivity” by Rachel Toor The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 2, 2011 How do you stay on task–working […]
I was just accepted into the Master of the Arts Writing Program at Johns Hopkins University! I will be focusing on nonfiction; hopefully you’ll see a marked improvement here in my reviews! I’m hoping to branch out into freelance writing, and I’ve already placed one article at chinadialogue.net: “Bikes are green, but in the red.” Check it out!