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Writers, Damned Writers, and Statistics: The 2018 AWP Conference by the Numbers

Writers, Damned Writers, and Statistics: The 2018 AWP Conference by the Numbers

The closer you are to something the more you may be inclined to stay away from it. Some relationships are like that, including the relationship writers have with their craft and creativity. That sums up, to a large extent, why I vacillated about attending the annual conference of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) held last week in Tampa, Fla., which is right here in my neck of the woods. Other writers might understand my reticence to attend,…

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That’s Illegal, Isn’t It?

That’s Illegal, Isn’t It?

A short imaginary conversation. “That’s illegal, isn’t it?” she asked from across the little folding table. “Yeah, so? If I worried about everything that’s illegal I wouldn’t have any time left.” “Well, doesn’t the law exist to protect people?” “You’re kidding, right?” “No. I don’t think so. You mean it doesn’t?” “Hey, look, to the extent I obey the law I stay out of fucking trouble. But a bunch of laws are screwy, or way off the mark. And, no,…

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Planet Neighborhood

Planet Neighborhood

This story is in the Growing Up New Jersey collection, a series of vignettes slouching their way into becoming a book. See more vignettes in this collection at the Short Stories &c. link above. My neighborhood growing up was a little like a solar system, the neighbors’ houses being the planets revolving around our house. Except the planets didn’t move and were fixed in the neighborhood firmament. Other than that, though, it was kind of like a solar system, if…

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The Frankie Foodle and Tommy Truckman Show

The Frankie Foodle and Tommy Truckman Show

This story is in the Growing Up New Jersey collection, a series of vignettes slouching their way into becoming a book. See more vignettes in this collection at the Short Stories &c. link above. Give a kid a tape recorder, you know, one of those devices that took little plastic reels of magnetic tape and had a microphone you held in your hand, and it was just an invitation to head down the rabbit hole. I had one of those…

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The Following Preview Has Been Approved For . . .

The Following Preview Has Been Approved For . . .

My New Year’s Eve celebration consisted of hauling my sorry ass out to see the new Star Wars, The Last Jedi. But wait, before you take off faster than an imperial dreadnought in pursuit of the rebel command ship, this isn’t going to be about Star Wars. You’ll have to see it yourself and draw your own conclusions about that. No, what I want to talk about here are the previews that appeared, one after another, in a seemingly endless…

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