March 2013

Bookmark This: 25 Signs You're A Writer

Are you a writer? Are you sometimes not sure? Thought Catalog's Nico Lang compiled a list of traits belonging to the classic writer-type. If this describes you, you're on the right track:


Sunday I got to the PEN offices over an hour ahead of time. Anticipating traffic and road closures due to the marathon, I thought I would need more time. I grabbed my notebook and walked down to the Coffee Bean. The extra chunk of time allowed me to sit with a story.

Bookmark This: How to Write a Sex Scene

Author Steve Almond has some excellent rules for writing about sex. Utne has republished his three-page essay on the tricks of the trade. Here's a sampling below. Read the full text here.


Last Sunday I had my Mid-Project Review, and that same night, someone stole my car. I had just left a party to drive home, but the car was not where I’d parked it. I scanned the block. No car. Trying not to panic, I noticed two guys nearby hanging out in their yard, and asked if they’d seen a blue Subaru parked there. They had, but also recalled two guys getting in it and driving off.

The Gift of Criticism

Image: Kelley MacDonald

Yesterday I had my Mid-Project Review for The Mark Program. Usually, I get so nervous in interview-type situations that everything becomes a blur. I become both energized and exhausted. It’s exciting and, at the same time, I leave bone-tired and not remembering half the things I’ve said.

Early Morning Writing

Driving to work each day, I pass by the Alcove in Los Feliz. The Alcove is a charming indoor/outdoor restaurant/café. A few months ago I learned they opened at 6:00 AM. Ever since, I’ve wanted to get up an hour early so I can go there before work. Every time I plan to do this, however, something gets in my way. Mainly I get in my own way. I am not a morning person.

Bookmark This: Literary Feuds of 2012

Woody Allen with his pet flea.

Seattle, I'm Sorry

I’m starting this blog post on a plane returning from a brief trip to Seattle, where I re-connected with old friends and saw a play called These Streets, about Seattle's underground music scene in the early '90s. I lived there for most of that period and for the majority of my 20s. Just being in the city again brought back many memories, and seeing the show on top of it only dipped me further into this endless pit of nostalgia.

Writing and Running

Image: Judy Evenson

Running is something that, like writing, I simply can’t put my finger on. It’s probably because it’s so precious, so close, something I love so much, that I can’t see it objectively enough to name why. I’m not particularly fast, I’ll never place in any category for any race, and I sometimes wheeze—but it makes me so happy. As author Benjamin Cheever says, I run “for the joy in it.”

Writers Helping Writers

This is not a new notion. Writers have been offering advice to other writers forever. Books such as Letters to a Young Poet by Rilke document this phenomenon.