The Name on the Sign

I’m cleaning up an exhaust valve with a bench grinder when my mechanic tells me this: There used to be this ol’ boy who worked for me. I had him cleaning the parts. One day he said to me, “Why do I have to be the one that gets greasy all the...

Wedding on Friday

My phone rings. I answer it. It’s my mechanic. “You know how we were talking about working on your car on Friday?” he says. “Yeah,” I say. “Well, I forgot my son was getting married on Friday.” “That’s no problem....

Michael Armstrong: Brilliant

On the first day of class, Michael Armstrong instructed us to write about an object that we each had left back home and that we would miss during the six weeks we were in Vermont. I wrote about how I would miss my grandmother’s ’70 Volkswagen Bug, driving my kids to...

Reckoning

Thanks to the Bread Loaf Journal for publishing my short story “Reckoning” this past summer. You can read it here on page 18.    

The Word was God

“It’s just like Charlie Brown!” I knew my stepmother’s words came from a place of affection, but it didn’t feel like it. I had worked diligently on this short story about a young boy and his debilitating crush on a girl. Her words had reduced my work to a story that...

Unique vs. unusual

I just had an unusual experience with two of the books I’m currently reading. Ben Yagoda’s How to Not Write Bad: The Most Common Writing Problems and the Best Ways to Avoid Them is an engaging read. It seems geared for college writers, but anyone could...