you’re not that busy.

“Meet the Busy Brag: social media’s hate-worthiest addition to the human experience. I am important, cry the crafted tweets and updates, because busy. Did you guys happen to notice I’m busy? If not, here are some pics about my busy. It’s a good thing you’re not as busy as I am, or you’d miss my social…

The (31) Number One Female Country Songs since 2004: Summed Up by Yours Truly

In January, Country Weekly claimed 2014 to be the Year of the Woman in country music. I replied with a new piece for The Ethos Review about how 2014… isn’t. Going. To be. [O]ver the last ten years, songs by female artists make up only ten percent of country music’s number one hits (31 of…

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…

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…

“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…

Poetry read over Pop Music: YES.

Confession: I’m utterly delighted by these poems read over pop music: [bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=2740518272 size=medium bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5] Click the forward arrow above for more greatness: track 1 frank o’hara & drake track 2 alice notley & justin timberlake track 3 dana ward & katy perry track 4 dylan thomas & miley cyrus track 5 william carlos…

The whole duck thing

Seriously kids omg I can’t take it anymore. “Freedom of speech doesn’t mean that one is entitled to a job in perpetuity in spite of incendiary statements.” (-Daniel D’Addario) Also, From a writer who’s all about breaking silences: If you’re interested in honest, compassionate dialogue, do it be it start it. Un-firing a character won’t…

The time I wrote a sultry french song about cats.

Since everyone knows that les chats noirs are french, it will come as no surprise that, upon adopting two chats noirs, I spoke to them primarily in French. They have failed to appear impressed by this, responding chiefly to effusive praise in whatever language. Elles sont des chats, après tout. Still, when my partner Justin…