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Love or fear

Last week I listened to an episode of Off Camera, in which Sam Jones interviewed Rashida Jones about her life and career. At one point, asked how she made some career choices, Jones said her father, legendary music producer Quincy Jones, had always taught her to make decisions based on

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Morning view

Up a bit early this morning. I wasn't the first one awake—Felicia's often up before me, getting a workout in—but I was the only one stirring upstairs. I went from window to window, pulling curtains and raising shades. The sun wasn't yet up, but the horizon was tinted

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Friday Harbor

For the last fifteen or so years—I honestly can't remember when it started; perhaps with a long weekend in Cambria, CA, while writing Eleanor?—I have taken a week off in September, then traveled somewhere alone to work on whatever project I have going. A book I'm writing. A

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Brothers on a hotel bed

Recently I spent a few bucks to watch a livestream of Death Cab for Cutie playing a show at Red Rocks. The band was on its first (small) tour in nearly two years, playing a vaccinated crowd; the idea of being in a crowd, regardless of vaccination status, still sets

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Wonder famous almost boys

Recently I was talking with Felicia about movies, in particular movies about writers. Movies about writers shaped my beliefs, as a younger man, about what a writing life would be like; for the last many years, I have learned to unwind those beliefs, as they don't reflect any kind of

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Dear Mrs. Gruhn

Recently I received a letter in the mail from my high school creative writing teacher, Mrs. Gruhn. We've been in touch here and there the last few years, but it's been a little while since the last time. In the letter, she hoped my writing was going well, and that

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The books on my desk

A couple of years ago, taking a cue from Austin Kleon, I squeezed a second desk into my study. In Steal Like an Artist, Kleon wrote: I have two desks in my office—one is “analog” and one is “digital.” The analog desk has nothing but markers, pens, pencils, paper,

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A place for writing

I built my first web site a little over twenty years ago. Twenty-three, I think. At the time, I worked as a computer salesperson for a small shop in Anchorage, Alaska. We weren't terribly busy, I wasn't a very good salesperson, and I didn't like cold-calling, so I spent hours

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Two drafts in one

Sitting on a hard drive in my study are my earliest novels, each written in Microsoft Word in the mid-to-late nineties. That's how I started writing Eleanor, too; somewhere along the way, however, I migrated to Scrivener, though I never really took advantage of its features. For a little while

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A red sun

One thing that I've missed since the beginning of the pandemic is my sense of morning routine. It's a small thing, I know; I've learned over the last 18 months just how adaptable I really am. Things I felt were essential to my happiness aren't as critical anymore. I used