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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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Fear, Loathing, and a Panic Attack in the Tobacco Warehouse

Fear, Loathing, and a Panic Attack in the Tobacco Warehouse

This story is written as a stand-alone short story, but it may eventually wind up 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. We were getting around Kentucky, the Blue Grass State, that particular June. Coming from New Jersey, I had never been to Kentucky before. But my girlfriend back then, who we’ll call Anne mainly because…

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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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One Second

One Second

This story, like many in The Last Word collection, is based on a true incident. See more stories in this collection and others at the Short Stories &c. link above. (for Lindsay) One second. She stops to pick up her bag. Checks that it is closed. Slings the strap over her right shoulder. One second. “I’m going out. Would you like me to pick you up something?” She is thoughtful like that. One second. “Oh, lovely. Would you mind getting…

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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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