Friday, August 26, 2011


After much consideration (and much derision from one writing instructor), I have decided to apply to graduate school to receive my M.F.A. I spent about a month narrowing down the list of schools to apply to, with the help of resources such as these:

The Top 25 Underrated Creative Writing MFA Programs (2011-2012)
2011 MFA Rankings: The Top Fifty

I narrowed it down to 9 schools. Then I did even more research and replaced two of the original 9. And what do you know, the 2012 list is up at Poets & Writers. Perhaps it will change again in the future (thanks a lot P&W!), but for now I am applying to the following schools:

The University of Texas at Austin (but not the Michener Center)
The University of Georgia
Virginia Commonwealth University
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Oregon State University
Cornell University (might as well try one of the Ivy Leagues)
Eastern Washington University
North Carolina State University (they have an awesome radio station that I can perhaps volunteer to work at)
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

I know a lot of people have mixed feelings about M.F.A.s and whether they are necessary. But if I get accepted to any one of those above schools, I will (hopefully) have full funding. And its not a lot of money, but if someone basically wants to pay me to do what I love, I'll be happy to do so.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I know this is coming a little late (it was announced in October of last year), but I realize that with this blog I set out to capture the ups and downs of the writer's life and have so far seemed to focus only on the downs. Well, this is definitely an up! Two of my short stories placed #31 and #33 in the Writer's Digest Annual Short Story competition in the Literary/Mainstream category.

Now on to the next adventure! Trying to get another story finished by August 31st to enter it into the Glimmer Train's contest for the Short Story Award for New Writers.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

It Sure Pays to be a Writer!

Note: If you are a writer, you probably read the title of this post with an all-too-familiar hint of sarcasm. If you're not a writer, go ahead and read that again and just really let the sarcasm drip this time.

Rate of pay at my new writing gig: $1 per article (if it adheres to certain rules), a penny per visitor. You don't get paid until you earn at least $25. Published: 11 articles, Time spent on each article: 2-3 hours, Time invested in getting readers: 1 month and counting. Think I've gotten my first pay check yet?

Look, I'm not complaining, but you know who else gets paid in peanuts? Zoo animals.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Writer's Market

I've decided no more editing! Tomorrow I shall start the laborious search through the Novel & Short Story Writer's Market for literary magazines to send my manuscript to. Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

What do you do?

What do you do when you are too lazy to keep up with your fiction writing? Well, try freelance article writing instead. It's so much easier to write a "How To" article because it involves research, facts, steps, introduction, conclusion, etc. All those things we learned in school.
No, really, I actually did write a bit last weekend. Well, re-write actually. I have a short story I want to send to literary magazines, but when I re-read it, I continued to make changes. It'll never be perfect. It gets frustrating when you can't just let it go! All this talk about re-writing calls to mind a scene from Naked Lunch:

Hank: Well, how about guilt re: censoring your best thoughts? Your most honest,
primitive, real thoughts. Because that's what your laborious rewriting amounts to, Martin.
Martin: Is rewriting really censorship, Bill? Because I'm completely fucked if it is.
Bill: Exterminate all rational thought. That is the conclusion I have come to.

Friday, June 5, 2009


So, I finally bought my tickets for CineVegas! For a complete schedule, go here: As for my highlights, look no further.

Harmony and Me
Playing: Friday, June 12th and Sunday, June 14th
Synopsis: The most creative works of art, music and literature often come from heartache. In a way, that’s all we can hope for and from Harmony, a sullen 20-something lyricist, as he pines for a woman who broke his heart with seemingly little remorse. Harmony finds some solace in song, yet he fails to find tangible compassion from those around him...
Why should it be seen?: To support an Austin filmmaker. Looks to have indie-cred.

Jon Voight - Marquee Award.
Playing: Sunday, June 14th
Synopsis: Q&A with actor and screening of one of his films.
Why?: Duh! Jon Voight. And the screening is of a Hal Ashby movie, Lookin’ To Get Out, which I'm sure is pretty hard to come by.

Palermo Shooting
Playing: Sunday, June 14th
Synopsis: On the outside, Finn has few troubles: he’s a famed photographer, he’s respected, he’s busy. But underneath it all, Finn is not at peace. He barely sleeps and fails to connect. While he struggles to choose between art and commerce, he remains lonely, stuck in a tormented state of indecision and depression...
Why should it be seen?: It's directed by the brilliant Wim Wenders and Dennis Hopper, Milla Jovovich, and Lou Reed starring in the same movie seems like something to be seen.

Playing: Friday, June 12th and Saturday, June 13th
Synopsis: Wit and comic verve are the twin props of this alternately charming and biting satire. PATRIOTVILLE humorously explores the roles greed and corruption have played in the slow deterioration of small-town America. Talmage Cooley crafts a timely story with a delightful mix of characters who will have you laughing and thinking throughout...
Why should it be seen?: Justin Long is cute and funny. That's all you need.

Willem Defoe
Playing: Sunday, June 14th
Synopsis: Q & A with actor and screening of one of his films.
Why?: Defoe is one of the most bad assiest actors around (he even made JC look tough)!

Jury Prize Film
Playing: Monday, June 15th.
Synopsis: It's a gamble, and that's what Vegas is all about!
Why should it be seen?: Hopefully the pricey opening night film, St. John of Las Vegas, or the sold out film 500 Days of Summer will win the jury prize and then you will be able to see one of them. Anyways, it seems worth the 10 bucks.

Some other highlights that I unfortunately won't be able to attend the screening of: Moon (starring Sam Rockwell), Beautiful Darling (documentary about the famous Factory scenester, Candy Darling), Adam (endearing looking romance starring Rose Byrne and Hugh Dancy), 500 Days of Summer (Marc Webb, J G-L, Deschanel -- this one is understandably sold out), All-In: The Poker Movie (not much interested in poker, but interested in what Ira Glass has to do with it)

Monday, June 1, 2009


Yet another great night at the library: When The Handshake Is Mightier Than The Pen: A Literary Open House. I get butterflies in my stomach just thinking about attending this event. What sort of people will be there? How do inform people that I write, but am not published? Will there be a lot of young hopefuls such as myself? In this town, will anyone of note actually show up? Should I try to promote my blog? I guess sometimes you just have to take a leap and ignore the jitters. Look for a detailed update after the event (it's not until June 24th)!