“I’m interested in the emotions underneath these rituals, not the specifics”

As a complement to my earlier post, here’s a quote from Alain de Botton’s Dec 23 article for The Guardian, in which he describes how secular thinkers might take advantage of aspects of Christmas: “We live in a crowded but lonely world. The public spaces in which we typically encounter others – commuter trains, jostling pavements – conspire…

“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…

4 Reasons to Write the Hell out of (What’s Left of) 2013

Ok so it’s almost Thanksgiving. If shopping, family drama, travels, and/or assorted year-end hells are killing your writerly motivation, here are four reasons you’ll want to go write anyway. Like, right now. It’s my latest for Ploughshares Literary Magazine: Consider yourself kicked in the ass.  (you’re welcome)   PS. If nothing else, you can always employ your…