Things That Happen in a Writer’s Mind

After months and years of research, I’ve finally started outlining So Far Appalachia, my next book project. The early part of the writing process involves organizing my anecdotes, inserting them within chapters, and arranging the chapters in a way that will elicit the reader to consider certain themes. It looks like this:

stasiland

Review: Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall

Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall by Anna Funder My rating: 5 of 5 stars My friend Aleks and I are each writing non-fiction stories that involve some form of first-person narrative. It’s a troublesome form, first person, because quite often the narrative gets in the way of the story. Done poorly, it’s a…

2014-01-22 16.19.25

January: The Year of Focus Update

We know that the best way for humans to change their behavior patterns is through tracking mechanisms. If you want to lose weight, you have to count (somewhere) what you are eating. If you want to get stronger in the gym, you have to count what you are doing. Without that tracking mechanism, we lose…

Age of American Unreason_small

Review: The Age of American Unreason

The Age of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby My rating: 3 of 5 stars Susan Jacoby’s book is at its best when she’s weaving together her philosophical take on intellectualism and elitism with failings in modern education, American citizens, and public debate. Unfortunately, she sometimes falls into a sense of “days gone by,” reminiscing about…

hope

The Year of Focus

I think thematically. As each year comes to a close, I spend December sitting with the work of my previous year. I sift through what I’ve created, I look at what I didn’t create, and conceptualize what I want my next year to become. I’ve always been methodical and particular in my thinking, but I’ve become much…

What Writing Looks Like: Home Den Addition

People have this romantic notion of what it must be like to be a writer. More often than not, it looks like this. Of note: the giant coffee mug, the beard, the sleeveless undershirt the clipboard, and the look of utter disdain at having a creative palette that consists of the worst tools known to man, “words.”…