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Letters from the Country

Famous Quotes

Recently I was poking around on Pinterest and was reminded of that famous Shakespeare quote: When I saw you I fell in love, and you smiled because you knew. And I decided I should start collecting some other lovely quotes that have touched me in some way. Here goes: Expectation is the root of all heartache. Geoffrey Chaucer I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe […]

Unlikely Objects My Dog Has Eaten

This is Gracie Mae. We adopted her about nine months ago from a local shelter. She’s a little over a year old. She’s sweet and cuddly and one of my top-ten favorite mammals. But. Boy howdy, she has a penchant for eating the inedible. Here are some non-food items Gracie has ingested or attempted to ingest: 1 balloon, yellow, deflated 1 lens cloth, maroon, microfiber 1 remote control, silver, Apple TV 1 remote control, beige, DirecTV 1 printer power supply, black, HP PhotoSmart […]

This. Very Much This.

I ran across a post on Tumblr and followed a link, and long story short, I ended up finding an article on The Wire that sums up beautifully why I recently deactivated my Facebook account and less recently left Twitter. Here it is: [R]ather than stopping to consider or looking at shades of grey and digging into intent-versus-appearance, often we simply put our energies into getting very, very angry, very, very quickly, laying blame and demanding apologies, which are given, and then […]

Lessons Learned while Sprucing Up

I started this blog in 2009, kept it up for a couple of years, let it slide, moved it to Tumblr, moved it back here, and let it slide again. Ugh. That’s a lot of sliding. The end result of the round-trip import/export was that things had gotten kind of messy. The Tumblr stuff resulted in 5,500+ tiny little untitled posts—pictures of galaxies, writing quotes, “asks,” and so on. Those are all gone now, leaving only my mostly original content, […]

Compare and Contrast

A Simple Desultory Philippic, 1965 A Simple Desultory Philippic, 1966

Mexican, Woh-oh-oh, Casserole

I’ve never pictured myself being the kind of a guy who posts recipes and pictures of food, and yet here I am. I made this semi-homemade thing last night and it turned out great. You could call it Mexican casserole or Mexican lasagna, but in the latter case, the name doesn’t make you think of this.       Ingredients: 1 can black beans 1 can pink beans 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes (diced, and I used Harris Teeter salsa flavor) […]

A Thing Happened

  My short story, “The Chosen House,” appears in Jonathan Issue 3. Yay!

30 Things Every Writer Should Know

irisblasi: – Choose battles wisely. – Choose agents even more wisely. – Literary fiction is a genre that pretends it is not a genre. – Editors are essential. – If an editor is talking about culling their list in the first meeting, this is a bad sign. – You have to be good. And keep getting better. For every writer taken on, another is dropped. A paradox: you have to rise to stay level. – There are two types of […]

Dorianne Laux Reads “Facts About the Moon”

Dorianne Laux Reads “Facts About the Moon”

Gotcha Covered, Part Fifteen: Books-I-Just-Had-Lying-Around Edition

If you’ve been hanging around for a little while, you know how I usually prepare for these posts: I bum around at the B&N, snap pictures of book covers I love or hate, and pour some snark on them. This time, I thought it might be cool to use books I already have on hand. Recently, I reorganized my bookshelves* and put all my books in one place. I have a lot of books, but not nearly as many as […]