Author Archive

Fair Pay

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Three things coincided recently. 1)  Jana Hunter, the singer for the band Lower Dens, recently wrote about her band’s relationship to streaming music services. 2) Scott Repass, Houston writer and saloon keeper, said in an article in the Houston Chronicle, “Our profit is actually made by a community. You

Seven Chipmunks Twirling on a Branch: An Interview with Gillian Flynn

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Gillian Flynn is the author of the New York Times #1 Best-Selling novel Gone Girl as well as Sharp Objects and Dark Places. Gillian is a fan of true crime books and a gold mine of popular culture data. She was over at my house for dinner one night with her husband, not too

Surrealist Writing Rule with Comic Addendum

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In my last couple of years at the University of Houston, I twice got the chance to teach an undergraduate creative writing class with Antonya Nelson. The students were all hand-picked and their talents ran over them like… You know those scenes where the horses on a stage coach

It’s Just Like TV, But Without the Bodies

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“But,” I said, “I once heard something that I trust. Leontius, the son of Aglaion, was going up from the Piraeus under the outside of the North Wall when he noticed corpses lying by the public executioner. He desired to look, but at the same time was disgusted and

Gatsby and Locusts: The Daily Fitzgerald vs. West Prize Fight Inside of My Head

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When I was a child I had action figures. Articulated plastic made to look like men from television and the movies. To make them fight I danced them around each other until I smashed them against each other. I smashed them again and again. None of the grace with

What Happened to My First Draft

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I have this memoir that’s coming out next year. I had never written a memoir before so it was more fraught of a writing experience then I had expected. I rewrote the first fifty pages nine times before I could move forward. And when I say I rewrote, I

Trying Anything Else

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The nineteen year old that I work with setting up the Hydration Stations on the Lakefront path told me that this was her second job ever and that she wanted to do really well because she saw a future with the company. I scoffed at her in exactly the

#GurneyEssay – The Trending Topic that will Topple Kitten Videos

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I want to claim that I have invented a new form of essay. It’s easy and fun and with the uptrending in retirement age demographicals in the USA regionality, it might just become the dominant form of essay writing in the next decade. It’s possibilities for depressing content are

Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby?

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At my job working the early morning Hydration Stations along the lakefront path serving Gatorade to Chicago-area runners, I work with a 19 year old who also works at the duty-free at the airport (she’s the one who looks at your ticket and tells you that you can’t shop

Writing Soundtrack: A Step-by-Step Playlist

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A month ago the author Mat Johnson (Pym, Drop, Incognegro) went crowdsourcing on his Facebook page for new music to write to. He’d been listening and writing to Endtroducing by DJ Shadow for years and he’d exhausted the thing. It got me to thinking about what makes good writing music. I