fbpx
  • Email Sign-Up

    Free eBook

    Sign up for my mailing list and download Frankenstein's Legacy for free

    Get the Book
  • Podcast

    The Downtown Writers Jam

    Listen as writers try to explain what went wrong in their lives that led them to the page.

    Listen Now
  • Author

    My Books

    Check out the books I've written & edited.

    Click to Buy
  • Editor

    Development + Story Editing

    I worked as a senior + story editor for national magazines. Now, I help fiction and nonfiction writers develop their work.

    Hire Me
  • Design Thinking

    Copywriting + Design + Development

    I work with small- and mid-sized companies to develop their content with design thinking and strategy sessions.

    Hire Me

Blog

GenX Tribe: Breaking Bones and Other Stories of Walking it Off

GenXers grew up breaking bones, having accidents, and dealing with mayhem—and many times going to the doctor was the LAST thing we did. So—share your story of GenX Catastrophes!

Read More

Review: The View from Flyover Country

This is less a view of flyover country and more a response to flare-ups in flyover country.⁣ Still, I sat down and read the book in one sitting because it's smart, well-written, on point, and unapologetic. I dig that.⁣

Read More

Review: Alien: Out of the Shadows

While the story doesn't really add much to the Alien universe—it really is a mash-up of the two movies—it's still fun as hell to be back with Ripley (although she feels a little less feminist badass in the book, but not offensively so).

Read More

Review: Sapiens: A Brief History of Human Kind

The book chronicles the rise of Homo sapiens from our earliest days on through the very near future, gently walking the reader through the complex issues of empire building, the development of cultures, and the ethical examinations of what it means to even be human.⁣

Read More

Review: It Didn't Start with You

The book was okay, but not great. I was a technology journalist (Wired, MIT's Technology Review) so I'm reluctant to recommend books that get the science not exactly right.

Read More
The Downtown Writers Jam Podcast

Episode 35: Danielle Sepulveres

Author, actress, and Tweeter extraordinaire, Danielle Supulveres‘ memoir Losing It chronicles the medical, emotional, and physical toll that comes from falling in love with the wrong person—and not trusting you own instincts.

Read More
The Downtown Writers Jam Podcast

Episode 34: Keri Leigh Merritt

Historian Keri Leigh Merritt's book Masterless Men explains the how the social and economic fabric of the “white working class” came to be—and what it means for America.

Read More
The Downtown Writers Jam Podcast

(Bonus) Episode 33: George Carlin (aka, the one that started it all)

In 2001, I interviewed comedian George Carlin for my streaming audio show on Wired.com. That show was the genesis of The Downtown Writers Jam Podcast.

Read More
The Downtown Writers Jam Podcast

Episode 32: Vikki Tobak

Vikki Tobak left Detroit for New York City and found herself at the center of the nascent hip-hop scene in 1991. Her new book Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop will change the way you think and talk about the music that shook up America.

Read More
The Books that Influence My Writing Life

The Books that Influence My Writing Life

My favorite conversation: What books influenced you? These are the books that influenced my life as a writer.

Read More
The Fourth of July

The Fourth of July and the Meaning of the Declaration

My middle school history teacher John Viall—a dedicated and decorated teacher—wrote a wonderful post about America, the Fourth, and e pluribus unum.

Read More
Mister Rogers and the Border Wall

Won't You Be My Neighbor, or How Mister Rogers Took on a Border Wall

King Friday XIII orders a border wall to be built. Lady Aberlin takes balloons, tied with messages of peace and love, and floats them across the wall.

Read More
Upper Panther Hollow Trail Throne

The Magnificent Mr. Maxx in Schenley Park

I love Schenley Park, but it's made for mountain biking, running, and walking your dog. Oh, and it's good for streams and water, which is where we meet Mr. Maxx.

Read More
Final Training Push

A Final Training Push, or...

Competitions had once been my respite from real life. But the last few years challenged me emotionally. My heart needed more serene endeavors. Until now.

Read More

Free eBook on Machine Learning, A.I., and the Modern World

Sign up for my mailing list and get a free PDF of my latest book, Frankenstein's Legacy: Four Conversations about Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and the Modern World.

Read More

"We Are Not A House Divided"

My friend KT Peterson and I embarked on a writing challenge on August 4-5: write 10,000 words and the read an excerpt from it. The title of this piece is "We Are Not A House Divided."

Read More

About That Thing You Ask Me About Hillbilly Elegy

That's where the single narrative becomes so dangerous. Because people don't know the history of the region, and they don't understand its problems. Yet many of those same people have a great number of preconceived notions they aren't afraid to unleash.

Read More

Review: Crapalachia: A Biography of a Place

I'm still trying to wrap my head around Crapalachia. It's not quite memoir, it's certainly not a biography of a place, and as we find out at the end of the book it's not entirely real.

Read More

Review: The Arts of Legerdemain as Taught by Ghosts

The Arts of Legerdemain as Taught by Ghosts is a fantastic story that explores the divergence between the way we want to see the world and the way the world is.

Read More

Review: Watch Me Disappear

Janelle Brown's book Watch Me Disappear is a deft page-turner that explores the intersection between what we think is true...and what is actually true.

Read More

Review: Harriet Said: A Novel

I'm generally not inclined to go all praise the prose about writers because that's a complement that is subjective. But I don't know how to write about Harriet Said without telling you that Bainbridge tells a tight, taut story that unfolds in all of its horrifying details.

Read More

What We Mean When We Talk about Infrastructure

The Appalachian region faces an uphill battle to survive. But that's how it was designed. If the region -- and its people -- have any chance to prosper, it'll come from the most boring of places: infrastructure building.

Read More

The Curious Case of Explaining, not Excusing

As I sat down to write this book, I was faced with this strange tightrope act: I wanted to write a book about why Appalachia and its people ended up as they have, but I also needed to acknowledge its sometimes brutal and horrible history.

Read More

Roger (& Jared & J.D.) and Me, or Breaking Appalachia

The things that have always sustained me, and carried me through the darkness, and given me a world with color: the writing, and the voices, and the stories. I've found my voice in the wilderness. I've found other voices in the wilderness.

Read More

 

Download a Free eBook
If you're interested in keeping up with my writing projects, I’ll overlook your bad judgement on that and instead say thank you. A writer's life blood is readers. Without you, I'm just a crazy guy sitting in his office furiously screaming on the page for no reason. So sign up for my mailing list, and download Frankenstein’s Legacy, my latest work published by CMU’s ETC Press.
Never display this again