I Will Take My Beating in Cowed Embarrassment

Writing brings out the mental illness in me. My wife can testify to this. I’m in control of my behavior almost all the time. As Mark Twain said, “For business reasons, I must preserve the outward signs of sanity.” If I wake up to find my brain mired like a mammoth in...

If I Start Looking Too Happy, Shoot My Cows

I’m thinking about murdering some flying cows. It wouldn’t be hard, at least on the technical side. They’re cows, so they’d just stand there and take it, or maybe they’d chew their cuds and hover a little. But I’d struggle on the emotional side, because they have huge...

I Couldn’t Tell He Was Real Until He Stopped Making Sense

When my grandfather went out to eat he always put sugar in his coffee, even though he didn’t like sugar in his coffee. He did it because the sugar was free. I’ve heard that little story dozens of times since I was a boy. It comes up all the time when my family talks...

Five Good Reasons Not to Write

I gouged out part of my soul and hurled it into a wood chipper the other day. It was no fun, although I did get to eat pie while I did it. It happened because I’m trying to write something longer than the instructions for assembling an armoire made in Korea, and...

I Should Never Be a Cyborg

I’m writing this with a tequila bottle in one hand and a five dollar cigar in the other. That’s not totally true, I guess, or even true at all in the technical sense. But I could be writing with booze and smokes in my hands if I wanted, and every writer in...