Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Story Slam: Family Matters

Here's my story from the Family Matters Story Slam. I was the host and just passed along an anecdote about my grandfather's hobo days.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Story Slam: Mischief

Happy Halloween Boogins! Here's my latest story, just in time for the last minute of the holiday. Go ahead, imagine me naked. Terrifying.

For extra Halloween weekend fun, here are all the posts I did in my Public Domain (PD) Project. Lots of free horror and sci-fi films. That work may finally be coming to something, but for right now, enjoy yourselves!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Story Slam: Animal

My latest piece, slightly delayed. I told this story as the host of the evening, which was a lot of fun and a real honor. The piece itself is about my dog kicking me in the balls. I don't know why the thumbnail looks like I'm giving a Nazi salute.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Story Slam: Lost in Translation & Wild Things

Two pieces. First, "Lost in Translation." A piece I'd originally intended to tell for the theme "Awkward," the reasons for which will become obvious upon listening. Re: being naked on the Internet, that's a story I haven't told yet.

Second, "Wild Things." This piece relates a moment I've been chewing on for a bit and something that I think will be part of a longer fiction piece although, as is the case in most of my fiction (but not non-fiction), in the end no one returns and no one is saved.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Story Slam: Sundry Pieces

I realized I haven't posted the various Story Slam pieces I've done over the past few months, so here they are.

First, The Great Outdoors where, for me, stepping out into the wild unfamiliar means going to New York with friends from Indiana.

Next, my piece from the Grand Slam whose theme was Dilemma. This is the story of my first two trips to the Indiana Academy.

Third, Liar Liar, where I try to tell a story about how we all ultimately lie about ourselves to ourselves in mixtape form. I hadn't rehearsed, hadn't sorted it out on paper the way I wanted, and, just reviewing the video to try to remember what the story was, I notice I mumbled a lot, making the story even more unintelligible.

Finally, Busted, the story of the job that broke me.

As a bonus, First Person Arts asked me to write a piece for their blog. Help Me Bro is one of the stories from my time working at a gas station in Houston. Other stories include selling beer-by-the-can at rush hour in little "DUI bags," finding myself the subject of a sting operation, and an itinerant carpenter walking the 45 miles to downtown.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Students in the Hands of an Angry Teacher

Classes start again for me on Wednesday so I'm preparing my paperwork and introductory lectures. Here's something I wrote last semester when I grew piqued during grading. It's now going to be part of my standard syllabi.

Classroom and paper rules: AKA Mr. Deeley's Manifesto
No first person: it gets in the way of your idea and leads to telling the story of writing, not making an argument
No questions: this is a specific rhetorical move that either directs inquiry through a mass of information (more than you'll be handling in a 10 page or less paper) or expresses a tone of moral outrage that belongs in a church newsletter, not a college paper
No semi-colons: you're bad at them.
All papers in required format: I say 12pt Times New Roman. If it's not, I won't read it. Follow the directions.
Don't use Wikipedia: apart from all the other issues with Wikipedia, you're in college; you need to use better sources than an encyclopedia.
No ALL CAPS or text speak in general: you're writing a paper, not a blog post
Papers are due on workshop days: this is not a work day for you to begin to write the paper, this is for you to focus on the process of revising. If you come to workshop without your paper, you are absent. If you are absent for workshop, I will not accept your paper.
No papers via email.

No coming in late
No cell phones, laptops, or tablets
If you haven't done the reading, don't come. If I find out you didn't read the piece, I'll ask you to leave and you'll be marked absent. If you haven't done the homework, you can't participate in the discussion, so you aren't actually present anyway.
If you miss more than 2 weeks of classes, you automatically fail the course because you've missed too much to catch up on. Real life happens and I will not judge you for making hard choices.
This is a critical reading/writing class which means it's focused on the skills of argument and writing. Do not focus on your grade, focus on improving your arguments and writing. I am a hard grader, I also curve hard. If you do the work this course asks of you, you will get a good grade so focus on learning. The rest will take care of itself.
Do what I tell you to do. I grade the assignments I give; I'm the judge. When I tell you what I'm going to look for, those are things you should make sure are there.
READ GOOD THINGS! Do not limit your reading to course assignments. Learning to write well comes from reading good writing. Get classics from the library, read the work of historical thinkers, ask people you respect for suggestions, and read as much as you can. There's a reason certain writers had an impact. Learn why, look at how they did it, and do that in your own writing. Avoid pop fiction whether it be the latest National Book Award winner or something you bought from a table at the subway. Such writing is to the classics as popcorn is to a true meal—it can fill you up and be delicious, but is mostly air and cannot provide the sustenance and substance of a real meal. While it may sate your hunger, you will ultimately starve on a diet of popcorn. Treat your intellectual appetite the same way; dine on something you can truly chew.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Spicy Dinner Menu

Here's a menu built around several spicy dishes I'm familiar with. I'm thinking of making this the next time I have friends over for dinner, maybe for an anti-Valentine's Day party.

Cheese Empanadas
Soup: Slow-cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup or Gazpacho
Main course: Tacos/Vegan Tacos
Side dish: Mexican Blackened Corn
Dessert: Aztec "Hot" Chocolate Ice Cream
Red Wine to pair