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…

Dear God. If in the End

Dear God. If in the End we had no internet no hot water in the kettle no books riddled with notes or bedclothes yellowed by the lamplight If in the end you were as close to me as I am to knowing every star, marking each with naked eye, reciting cinematic names and vectors If…

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…

What Writers Can Glean from “The Wolf of Wall Street”

In my latest for Ploughshares Literary Magazine, I summarize the Crazy response to The Wolf of Wall Street, and tackle the Good that might come from ethically-precarious art. An excerpt: Criticisms of The Wolf of Wall Street both devalue viewers—by assuming they can handle only moralistic tales—and esteem them, by providing immediate evidence of their astonishing critical thinking skills. The film’s critics…

(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…

Perhaps We’ll Be Totally Harmless.*

But consider our vibrant bass for details, The drums on the mass – on the rush – of emotion This lust for threading needles through the story For the chance to recognize what we can’t argue with Again. How we’ve been socialized to respect fear to be responsible for the corner, for a place to…