My First Book’s Coming Out. Cue Panic?

My first book releases March 31st. This isn’t the post I thought I’d write about such an occasion, but then– this isn’t the book I thought I’d write, either.  Here’s a confession. Publishing this book is easily one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever done. Writing it involved excavating and articulating stories, fears, and beliefs…

Creativity: Neither Magic Nor Madness

Nothing like telling the entire world about one’s clinical depression to enliven a Tuesday. Here’s my latest for Ploughshares Literary Magazine, in which I own up to the depression that yanked me out of music-touring… and in which I punch the Mental-Illness-Makes-Better-Artists myth in the throat. Regardless of whether you’ve suffered from mental illness, there are…

Waiting for a job? grad school? publishing deal? Here’s HOW TO WAIT BETTER:

My latest for Ploughshares Literary Magazine is a bit of a confession: I SUCK AT WAITING. And so do many other writers and artists. We hover over email inboxes, trying to survive the feeling of teetering on someone else’s whim. Thus: Hey Writers: Four Steps to Better Waiting Check it out, leave a comment. Tell…

Silencing the News about (Over)Consumption

In a January 4 SF Gate article, Carolyn Lochhead raises creepy, blasphemous questions, like: Can the earth sustain the (misguided) notion that a healthy economy must grow – constantly and indefinitely? Can we trade “having stuff” for a better way of life? Can we share resources — cars, power tools, etc — rather than approaching everything…

“Peace on Earth”

For the Mess, for the palpable grappling with failure, for the sting in some of the carols that are bludgeoning speakers today — essentially, for the “rest of us” — Jesus this song you wrote The words are sticking in my throat “Peace on Earth” Hear it every Christmas time But hope and history won’t…

(In which Rilke nails December. And depression.)

It’s been a dark December. I mean this metaphorically, although (oh god) it’s raining again. It’s the kind of December to which one should invite Rilke, post haste. Particularly since, 100 years ago, Rilke was having a rather dark December himself. So for you fellow depressives, grievers, broken folk… from Melville House, this today: Rainer…

And then there’s the time you go off Cymbalta.

Not because you no longer need it, but because it may be doing harm. Not that you know; it’s an experiment. A new doctor playing fast and loose with neurotransmitters. Famously terrifying to quit, Cymbalta loves and leaves with jerks and starts, fuzzy rods between your eyes, hilarious nausea. Blurred and frozen, then unfrozen. Cymbalta…