Calls for Submission

Call 1 Aubrey Barnes, the Midwest Writing Center’s Poet-in-Residence, is curating a community blog. He’s accepting submissions until November 25th – a little over two weeks from today. Nowhere in the call does it specify that you must be from the Quad Cities or even the Midwest; we’re a tolerant people. In addition to my own contribution,…

Use & Lose Interview Blues

A couple of months ago, I wrote a list of tips for new graduates looking for work. Actually, at the time I wrote it, the end of the academic year was so imminent that anyone graduating should have been looking for work for months. That didn’t necessarily mean they’d found a job in their field….

DIY is dead. Long live DIY.

The final death toll is 36. According to the L.A. Times, the Ghost Ship in Oakland was considered an “enchanting ‘safe space’ that many called home.” Yes, people lived there, but they also opened their doors for others to meet and gather. I’ve been in plenty of spaces like that: filled with wooden furniture and antiques,…

The Power is Glorious – Condor and Jaybird

It’s taken me nearly a month to write a review of Condor and Jaybird’s newest album, The Power. No, it’s not just because I’ve been busy teaching and writing and giving readings in laundromats. It’s because The Power is not the type of album you listen to a couple of times and think, “Oh, I get…

Fiends are Friends

Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore My rating: 3 of 5 stars While Christopher Moore wrote this comedy-horror novel in 1995, I didn’t read it until twenty years later. During that period, unfortunately, the vampire-as-sex-object ascended from transgression to trope and into cliché. It happened with impressive speed, but I’ll leave an analysis of that phenomenon…

Bettendorf Public Library › Call for entries for NaNoWriMo flash fiction contest

Source: Bettendorf Public Library › Call for entries for NaNoWriMo flash fiction contest Judge Ethan Canin presiding. He currently teaches at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. I haven’t kept up with the workshop since 2009, when I applied to two graduate programs in writing. IWW turned me down. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago…

Deteriorations in Domestic Peace

We’re going to look back on this as a profoundly dark time in American history. The Institute for Economics and Peace just published its 2016 Global Peace Index report. The United States is charted alongside Saudi Arabia and Peru. (As the world’s largest producer of cocaine, Peru actually sees more homicides related to environmental activism…

New Amsterdam

One of the great things about abandoning your blog for over a year is the feeling of renewal when you get that email telling you your domain name is about to expire and you decide, what the hell, this is my piece of the Internet pie. I’m an American. And a Viking. I’ll take this…

I Owe More Money Than I’ve Ever Imagined

I made my first student loan payment today! Though I graduated a year ago, I had to defer for a year because, with the crappy job market and shaky employment for those first few months, I couldn’t quite afford the roughly $900/month payment. But today, October 8th, is a day I will remember forever as the…

Some Things I’ve Taught My Nephews

1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will always be cool. 2. A large box can be a rocket ship, a fire engine, and a racecar all in the same afternoon. 3. How to burp the alphabet. 4. Inadvertently ­– how to swear in German (oops). 5. Momentum = Mass x Velocity 6. Some adults aren’t worth…