The Busy Writer

October 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

What’s up, internet? How you living?

I know I promised that I’d be back to regular posts on here once I finished the final episode of Slash, but I’ve somehow managed to keep myself busy damn near every day since. I hope you’ll at least count it as progress that I’ve given up on the rounds of promise and apology posts that dominated the blog for a while and will instead just tell you what I’m up to whenever I can—with a sprinkling of essays about literary humor added in whenever I’ve got something to say and the time to say it.


My wife took this photo and labeled it “Portrait of the Writer”; I commented: more like “Portrait of the Promotional Emailer” because I knew what I was actually doing; which my wife read as “Portrait of the Emotional Emailer” because she knows my heart.

After working on Slash for the past two years (with nothing but revisions, edits, and layouts for the past year), I was excited to jump into a new project, but what I thought would be a fun and fast revision of a short-story I wrote as an undergrad is ballooning into a novella (at least I hope it stops at a novella). I’ve also read through fifty-some chapbook manuscripts for Red Bird’s 2014 submission period and have chosen three I am very excited to work with and publish in 2015. To top it all off, I’ve been reading as much as I can about Paul the Apostle, as I think the next novel I write is going to be a romantic comedy set in one of his early churches.

And that’s just my writing life. With my first garden winding down after a pretty fruitful year, I’ve been doing lots of pickling and now I have to extirpate it (Pauline vocab!) for the winter. I’ve also been podcasting about comic book adaptations and running a double D&D campaign (that’s four D’s, dudes, if you do the math).

All this is to say that if you want to connect, you might be  best served by looking for me in the real world. I’ve actually gaffed a few obligations lately because they came at me through FB and Twitter and a I feel like I just can’t keep track of it all anymore. The good news is you’ll have a chance to see me in person—reach out and touch me, even—if you are so inclined in just a couple of weeks.

As part of the 2015 St. Paul Almanac Reading Festival, I will be reading at Claddagh Coffee at 1pm on Saturday, November 1st. You can get all the details (as well as a list of all the readings in the festival) at I’ve taken part in many Cracked Walnut events over the years and attended even more, and they are always fun—a great mix of readers of every style and genre from all sorts of different points in their writing careers. I’m especially excited for this reading because I get to share the stage with my wife, the poet Jenny McDougal. But that means there will be one less person in the audience, so it would be really great if you wanted to show up. I’d love to see you.

If you’re busy or somewhere other than St. Paul, you’ll just have to wait until I update here again, hopefully with a post about self-publishing I am working on. In the meantime, I will leave you with this great Nigerian joke about being busy (taken from

A young doctor had just opened office and felt really excited. His secretary told him a man was here to see him. The young doctor told her to send him in.

Pretending to be a busy doctor, he picked up the phone just as the man came in. “Yes, that’s right. The fee is $200. Yes, I’ll expect you ten past two. Alright. No later. I’m a very busy man.”

He hung up and turned to the man waiting. “May I help you?”

“No,” said the man, “I just came in to install the phone.”

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