Praise Craze Part 2: Us and Them, “Love Take Me-Love Take Me Over,” Especially When Faced With A Smoking Handicap Parking Tag Fraud

So these ideas (you know, from Part 1 wherein I sang Amazing Grace with a naked stranger) began pinging around inside my head the other morning as I tooled around in my car between the bank and Target. In an effort to refocus my thoughts from Twitter, kid worries, my thesis and job woes onto Something BiggerContinue reading “Praise Craze Part 2: Us and Them, “Love Take Me-Love Take Me Over,” Especially When Faced With A Smoking Handicap Parking Tag Fraud”

Praise Craze Part 1: Singing Amazing Grace Naked In the Shower With a Naked Stranger

Certain church types are really into praise music. They engage in a practice that must strike non-churchies as silly, ridiculous, and maybe even a little embarrassing. They—okay, we—have this bizarre habit of singing at full voice, under the steeple with of all the peeple and also within the privacy of our own earbuds, songs to proclaim doctrinal tenetsContinue reading “Praise Craze Part 1: Singing Amazing Grace Naked In the Shower With a Naked Stranger”

Writer’s Block Ain’t No Thang

Writer’s block is bullocks. That’s what I always thought. Plumbers don’t get plumber’s block, that’s what this guy taught me—along with the discipline of writing daily. And also, carpenters don’t wait for a muse, they just pick up the hammer, the nail, and pound. Writer’s block, I have always been convinced even before this guyContinue reading “Writer’s Block Ain’t No Thang”

Those Christians. And These Strip Clubs.

Originally posted on Hello:
*This post was written while on assignment with World Next Door: a digital social justice travel magazine. Check out our website (www.worldnextdoor.org) for more information and download our most recent issue! This blog became an excerpt of this feature story our Las Vegas magazine issue about The Cupcake Girls, published in…

It’s Not Flashy, It’s Not the Himalayas Or Vegas; BUT Giving Back (and not) Can Happen Here and Small

Brooke and Jeff are taking a year away from their real jobs as social worker and physical therapist to travel the world writing and photographing for a social justice travel magazine—first to Rwanda, then Cambodia, Nepal, Vegas and Cuba. Kind of kicks the shit out of the cans of creamed corn and kidney beans I plunked into a grocery bag and placed on my front porch for a local church to pick up for their food drive a few Sundays ago.

Why I’m Not Comfortable Using the Word Motherf*^#er (but please feel free, unless you’re my kid)

 Short answer: I have teenagers. “Like they don’t hear it at school,” you say. “Or say it themselves.” Yeah, I realize teenagers are fluent in profanity—I was in junior high and high school once. But that doesn’t mean I’m off the hook from preserving for my daughter, 13, and son, 16, one pocket in theirContinue reading “Why I’m Not Comfortable Using the Word Motherf*^#er (but please feel free, unless you’re my kid)”

AWP 2013 RECAP: WRITE LIKE A MOFO

Dear Butler University MFA program, Booth, Hilene Flanzbaum, Rob Stapleton, and Andy Levy, Thank you. Thank you for sending me to AWP 2013. As an expression of my deep gratitude, I offer this wee token of my affection and appreciation for you and your commitment to your staff and students. So. Let’s recap. AWP isContinue reading “AWP 2013 RECAP: WRITE LIKE A MOFO”

My Next Right Thing This Morning

I had a writing professor who recommended copying, literally, tangibly, work by authors whose style most lights your writing fuse. Pick an author, prop open a book, lay it next to the laptop, and type the words, sentences, paragraphs, and chapters until, I suppose, some sort of osmosis (and muscle memory?) occurs.

Maud Newton Is a Nice, Selfish Reader

As I drove to hear her address the MFA students in the Butler University Efroymson Center for Creative Writing the other evening, I formed a question to ask during Q&A. I can never think of an original question at these things or have burning curiosity about anything I haven’t already read about an author in an interview, but there was one thing I really wanted to know from this Rebecca “Maud” Newton, who has been a champion literary blogger since before blogging was even a word. What I wanted to ask her was,