why I write

An exercise in self-definition: why I write

What if I told you a story?   Breakfast with mamá, galleria area Houston, 2014 — the year I came back home to live with my parents.   She hints at my finding a job as casually as she stirs the sugar in her coffee. I ruffle my nose. It […]

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travel bucket-list

A Listicle of Fantasy Trips

Why not jot down the top ten bucket-list trips I would fancy? For now they are fantasy, that is deliberately wild. But thus all the more dreamy. Can you guess the common thread?   1. TRANS-SIBERSKI-EXPRESS The first would take a good two months, to do it real chill from […]

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artistic prostitution

Artistic Prostitution: the Bottom Line

This blogger knows he is about to walk through a room cluttered with cliches (ex, “Art for art’s sake,” “Business is an art,” “Selling out,” “Get ya money”), but stepping past each one, eyeing them a second, so as to reach the clear corner of the room, to breathe.   […]

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mentors

Mentors and Mentees

(Athena disguised as Mentor, helping the prince.) “Telemachus, no more shyness, this is not the time! We sailed the seas for this, for news of your father — where does he lie buried? what fate did he meet? So go right up to Nestor, breaker of horses. We’ll make him […]

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Sicilia Siracusa

Sicilia: a mistake to mull over, sing-along

A good chorus can be happy, tragic, annoying but catchy.   Like the one that goes: And I don’t want the world to see me / ’cause I don’t think that they’d understand.   But I know that you will, you will understand. So I’ll show you, I’ll show you […]

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Christmas

A Little Christmas Introspection

It occurs to me that, were I to exaggerate, I have never needed to write. My writing comes from a place of want. I want to write. The struggle is, in this case, when one wants to write, that the quality of the work comes into question. Wanting, one invests […]

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a typical full day

My Present Tense: a typical full day

This morning I assigned my students two simple writing prompts, exercising the present tense. They had to use the words “as soon as,” “first,” “next,” “then,” “before/after,” and “when.” We all learned. For example, I realized, as I chalked the prompts on the blackboard, that “when” plays as the middle […]

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new york city

What NYC means to me and what it’s like to live here

A buddy sent me this sketch from College Humor last Sunday, which satirizes the stereotypes Americans have against New Yorkers. My favorite part was the joke about NYC getting criticized more than any other city.   “Nobody ever talks shit about Cincinnati,” says the man from Ohio.   “That’s actually […]

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interview

Success, a NYC interview story

Pasó así, Papá, y aunque pese, como lo viví te lo narro, en inglés:   Completely cut off from chance, no hope, only needs and responsibilities. I got home at 1 PM from working a four-hour at the language school. I would talk about that shift later in the day, […]

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Stakes

∀ Art by Scott Gustafson ¶ Prompt from Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write.   Cameron ends her Stakes chapter with a quote from Shakespeare’s character, Polonius: “To thine own self be true. And it must follow, as the night the day. Thou canst not then be false to any […]

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ESP

∀ Who better to symbolize the extrasensory than a writer who wrote extrasensory? JJ. ¶ Prompt from Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write.   ESP: perception (as in telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition) that involves awareness of information about events external to the self not gained through the senses and not […]

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