what we have

What We Have by Ruth Stone On the mountain the neighbor’s dog, put out in the cold, comes to my house for the night. He quivers with gratitude. His short-haired small stout body settles near the stove. He snores. Out there in the dark, snow falls. The birch trees are wrapped in their white bandages. … Read more

united lounge

i’m in the United Lounge at O’Hare and these are my thoughts: this is a soulless place, filled with lonely boys pulling carry-on luggage behind, talking stock option language on their cell phones best dealt with by listening to Fatboy Slim ‘Praise You’ on repeat and a gin tonic there’s something in the air i … Read more

the stranger

i’ve been edited before but not like this. i’ve learned a lot about craft, much more than i anticipated. my editor, Sean Virgo, pointed out my tics (in that moment), lazy phrasings (consistently describing characters by their eye colour), and repetitions of indirections (think, wonder, consider). the indirections, the indirections! his ability to hold eleven stories in his … Read more


frazil (defined): (plural) ice crystals or granules sometimes resembling slush that are formed in turbulent water here’s my recipe for a delicious Canadian cocktail called, you guessed it, the frazil: 1 1/2 oz. crown royal black 1/2 oz. maple syrup 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice garnish of cinnamon stick pour crown royal, maple syrup and lemon … Read more

tendency toward refusal

Zadie Smith gave a lecture on creativity last week and discussed a “tendency toward refusal” and “a little friction”. it was highly stimulating. my head hurt, afterward. and i’m still processing. i think it was a call to arms. to push oneself into new territory and make a personal stand. here’s an excerpt: To my … Read more

writing advice from Sherman Alexie

The Top 10 Pieces of Writing Advice I’ve Been Given (Or That I’ll Pretend Were Given to Me)* by Sherman Alexie [10] Don’t Google search yourself. [9]  When you’ve finished Google searching yourself, don’t do it again. [8]  Every word on your blog is a word not in your book. [7]  Don’t have any writing … Read more