An American Failure: Confronting Urban Homelessness

Last week, while attending a conference in Nashville, Tennessee, I had a chance to walk around the downtown area. Traveling alone has always been something I’ve enjoyed. I can give myself permission to wander without any destination in mind — it’s a great way to get immersed in a new city. Without anyone else toContinue reading “An American Failure: Confronting Urban Homelessness”

Why We Must Protect Funding for the Arts

“I see little of more importance to the future of our country and our civilization than full recognition of the place of the artist.” – John F. Kennedy The National Endowment for the Arts (along with its sibling agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities) was established by Congress 1965 as the fulfillment of aContinue reading “Why We Must Protect Funding for the Arts”

The Value of a Truly Terrible Book

I have a lot of books crammed into my little office at home and I’d estimate that I’ve only read about two-thirds of them. The rest are books that I just haven’t gotten around to yet. I’ve spent years collecting these books and dragging them halfway across the country on the off chance that onContinue reading “The Value of a Truly Terrible Book”

Harper Lee’s Second Novel Will Change Everything

“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.” – Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird Fifty-five years is a long time to wait for a second novel, but more than half a century after her debut, it appears that Harper Lee is publishing a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird.Continue reading “Harper Lee’s Second Novel Will Change Everything”

Let’s Change the Narrative About Mass Shootings in America

We need to do something about gun violence. This week, a student opened fire in a high school outside of Portland, Oregon, killing one student and injuring a teacher. It would be shocking enough if the Oregon tragedy was an isolated outburst of violence, but it isn’t. It’s the fourth multiple shooting in the UnitedContinue reading “Let’s Change the Narrative About Mass Shootings in America”

Nothing’s New; Everything’s New

I’ve spent a significant portion of my writing life discovering that my brilliant ideas have already been done. I wanted to write a fantasy epic, but J.R.R. Tolkien beat me to the punch by 50 years. I wanted to write about a socially challenged consulting detective only to find that not only was I aContinue reading “Nothing’s New; Everything’s New”

Seeing The World Through a Smaller Screen

This weekend, my girlfriend and I settled into our balcony seats at the historic Neptune Theatre in Seattle’s University District for a concert. As the blue and purple houselights dimmed and the band took the stage, a hundred smartphones were borne aloft to capture the moment. It was easy to excuse the first time. TheContinue reading “Seeing The World Through a Smaller Screen”

The Madness of Clocks

For most people, changing over into Daylight Savings Time is no big deal. I am not most people. For me, this setting my clocks an hour ahead feels like tumbling down the rabbit hole. For 12 years, I lived in Arizona, one of only two states in the union that don’t participate in Daylight SavingsContinue reading “The Madness of Clocks”

How Mickey Mouse Killed the Public Domain

On January 1, 2014, hundreds of works of art, literature and film were supposed to enter the public domain — to be used and modified by anyone for any purpose. Classic books like The Cat in the Hat, From Russia With Love, and On the Road; and landmark films like The Bridge on the RiverContinue reading “How Mickey Mouse Killed the Public Domain”

The Existential Millennial

Earlier this week, as I walking from my day job to the Starbucks where I write my freelance articles, I passed a dead crow. The crow was lying on its back under a tree by the side of the road; wings spread and legs in the air. It had apparently frozen to death in theContinue reading “The Existential Millennial”