Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Greatish Hits

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

New Suburban Glossary: Lawngoer

lawngoer: a pet, esp. a dog, who prefers squatting on the neighbors' lawns rather than on the grass between the sidewalk and the curb, or on other essentially public green spaces. E.g., "Son, if you hadn't let your dog become such a lawngoer, his hide wouldn't be full of buckshot."

5 Books to Read Before College

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The New Suburban Glossary: Enail

enail: (1) An email message of an especially sharp and direct nature, usually critiquing or denouncing the recipient or recipient's behavior. For example, "When Georgia-Anne saw me eating lunch with Samantha, she sent me the mother of all enails." (2) Any electronic message that stabs, gouges, slashes or scratches. For example, "That wasn't a bad text message, dude. That was a freakin' enail."

5 Books to Read Before College

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

My brush with near fame

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

As you can see, I'm in 5th place

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Friday, December 6, 2013

Harvey Silverglate of FIRE explains the 'corrosive' attitudes against free speech at Harvard and other colleges

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Yes! Explained in 43 seconds! 'Politics makes us worse. Find out why.'


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Saturday, November 16, 2013


This poem first was published online in the Winter 2012 edition of New Mirage Journal, but unfortunately for me, the site appears to have gone away. So, I'll post it here, with one edit: "glittering" originally was "glittered."


Regarding Joy and Grace

By Colin Foote Burch

Spinning, apropos or no,
Grooving on glittering club floors
Or shimmying on scorched highway medians:

You will be like the sunflower
Willfully set in the crack
Of the dirty city sidewalk,

Grateful the dark lattice dome crumbled
And now we have sky --
Blue, unbounded sky.

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

'Sudden Fiction: American Short-Short Stories' -- a Goodreads review

Sudden Fiction: American Short-Short StoriesSudden Fiction: American Short-Short Stories by Robert Shapard

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I found gems in this collection, like Stuart Dybek's "Sunday at the Zoo," which takes barely a page to accomplish craziness, desperation, and hilarity.

Raymond Carver's "Popular Mechanics" flares up and chars the imagination in little more than a page and a half.

In the Afterwords sections, I also found several insights into the short-short story from Dybek, Tobias Wolff, Joyce Carol Oates, Paul Theroux, Russell Banks, Mark Strand, and several others.

For example, in one of the Afterwords, Joe David Bellamy writes, "Compression and concision have always been part of the aesthetic of the American short story form. Some writers, perhaps spurred on by information overload of our time, began to experiment with just how far these values could be pushed without losing the minimum weight needed for a memorable dramatic statement."

Fred Chappel writes, "Unease, whether humorous or sad, is the effect the short-short aims at."

Charles Baxter: "It's a test of the reader's ability to fly, using minimal materials."

Baxter again: "It's not that people don't have attention spans. They just don't believe in the future, and they're tired of information."

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'Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction' -- a Goodreads review

The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction: Tips from Editors, Teachers, and Writers in the FieldThe Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction: Tips from Editors, Teachers, and Writers in the Field by Tara L. Masih

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The intro surprised me by establishing the historical and critical validity of "flash fiction." After all, acclaimed writers who've ducked under 1,000 words to tell a tale include Ernest Hemingway, Donald Barthelme, O. Henry, Jayne Anne Phillips, Jorge Luis Borges, Joyce Carol Oates, Raymond Carver, Ambrose Bierce, Sherwood Anderson, Ron Carlson, Stuart Dybek, and many more. This book has 25 craft essays paired with 25 examples of flash fiction. It makes a heck of an intro as well as a short master class.

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