The Annual Thanksgiving Letter

The other day I realized I hadn’t updated the blog in over a year. Partly it’s because I wanted to focus on writing books rather than blog posts. But this being the holiday time of year, I figure a blog post can function a bit like the traditional annual Christmas letter to sum up myContinue reading “The Annual Thanksgiving Letter”

I’m in Best American Essays 2011!

My essay “Farzad, Son of Glory,” is on the list of Notable Essays in Best American Essays 2011! This is pretty exciting, because when I started with creative writing a few years ago, that was a goal I had in mind for some misty far-off future era when I’d have toiled long and hard inContinue reading “I’m in Best American Essays 2011!”

May Concussions Bring, Um … Publishing Discussions?

It’s been an eventful spring and summer in some ways, so I thought I’d do another catch-up post. May: Concussion In mid-May I had an odd experience. I was coming home from a dinner with friends at restaurant downtown around 11:00 at night, and took the American University shuttle bus from the Tenleytown metro station,Continue reading “May Concussions Bring, Um … Publishing Discussions?”

A Surefire Recipe for Unassailable Faith, Involving Four Judgments and a Vegetable Analogy

I have a new essay out, published in the latest issue of a literary magazine called Hotel Amerika, which is run by Columbia College in Chicago. The essay is called “A Surefire Recipe for Unassailable Faith, Involving Four Judgments and a Vegetable Analogy.” In it, I give my own homecooked recipe for getting faith andContinue reading “A Surefire Recipe for Unassailable Faith, Involving Four Judgments and a Vegetable Analogy”

First Print Publication

My first print publication in a literary journal is out (my previous publications were both in online journals). This one is a nonfiction essay called “Farzad, Son of Glory,” and appears in the 2010 edition of Bayou, a literary journal published by the University of New Orleans. (Support the cause of literature by buying aContinue reading “First Print Publication”

In Which the Author Loses Her Moonshine Virginity

(Quick announcement first: I’ve added a┬ánew section on Mormon-interest books to my “Recommended” page, in case anyone’s interested.) So, the weekend before last, Amandine and I drove down to Knoxville, TN, so she could spend some time with her dad. The drive was long (8 1/2 hours), but I dulled the pain somewhat with oneContinue reading “In Which the Author Loses Her Moonshine Virginity”

Novels In Which Nothing Happens

I’ve been thinking about novel plots lately and what makes the difference between good ones, bad ones, and nonexistent ones. Of the critiques I’ve received on my last novel from various people who’ve read it, the most troubling one for me is that “almost nothing happens.” Of course, in writing it, it seemed to meContinue reading “Novels In Which Nothing Happens”

Postcard from Columbus, OH: Blind Spots

Amandine and I are in Columbus, OH, this weekend visiting friends. It has been a pretty low-key visit so far, mostly just hanging out, chasing Amandine around, eating, and reading. I figured I might as well take advantage of not having a job yet to get a little traveling in before I start work. TheContinue reading “Postcard from Columbus, OH: Blind Spots”