Author: Michael

A Writing Update: The Wheel Turns

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Fiction

I’m taking a brief break from the What I Believe series to announce that my short story entitled On a Night in Shelby County was named as an Editor’s Pick in this year’s Literary Contest at Solstice Literary Magazine, and was posted this weekend. I also learned a couple of weeks ago that a story I wrote this spring was a named finalist in this year’s Fiction Contest at Salamander Magazine. So little by little, […]

What I Believe and Why, Part 4

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Course Ideas / Reflections

[Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] I realize I’ve been slow in getting to the point. About what I believe. You’ll want a point to all this, I know. Three, four, five parts. At least. You’d be crazy to read it all. It’s clearly a little self-indulgent, but on the other hand I don’t think the what matters so much as the how or why, maybe. The process. The route. I probably can’t actually tell […]

What I Believe and Why, Part 3

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Reflections

[Part 1] [Part 2] When I went to college I entered a time of considerable personal flux. Psychological pressures I’d held at bay by focusing on specific goals came to the fore as the goals themselves began to dissolve. There was a gnawing uneasiness in me that I felt had to be settled before I could state what kind of person I wanted to be, or determine what I wanted to do with my life. […]

What I Believe and Why, Part 2

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Course Ideas / Reflections / Science

[Part 1] The biggest challenge of my young life was finding my way to a meaningful existence. Like all children I wanted to enjoy myself and have fun, but something about this desire required companions, and from an early age I discovered true companions were hard to come by. My settings as a being have always been oriented towards introspection, and because I was gifted intellectually and also fairly athletic, and perhaps because of other […]

What I Believe and Why, Part 1

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Reflections

I’ve decided to embark on a series of posts in which I explore what I believe, and why, and in which I will do my best to make an honest accounting of my perspectives on things, as well as describe the experiences that have led to the formation and solidification of particular views to which I ascribe. I’ve had a number of discussions with bloggers online in which I’ve attempted to offer what I feel […]

The Ultimate Act of Generosity

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Course Ideas / Reflections

What I value most in the present time is the willingness to understand one another, in the absence of value judgments, efficacy assessments and deconstructions of validity, and I find this is an increasingly precious commodity. I see a lot of derision with respect to those who are different, a lot of over-simplistic explanations for another person’s views that allow for ready dismissal, and a lot of opinion masquerading as obvious fact or truth. The […]

As In Writing, So in Life

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Course Ideas / Reflections

Writing fiction well is intractably difficult. You begin with maybe one or two bricks at the ready, stand facing an unruly forest that is neither for nor against you, but possesses all the density and might of any previously uncontested wilderness, and you are armed only with the vague feeling that a Taj Mahal-like structure of beauty and possibility is alive inside you. There really is no way to know where to place the first […]

The Same, Only Different

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Course Ideas / Creative / Flash Fiction

What do you think the future will be like, Hafiz? I was thinking about fusion-powered hovercrafts and molecular sequencing technologies that could produce cheeseburgers from a teaspoon of good dirt. Redrawn political borders, bullet trains that crossed the ocean, and ways to download skills and information directly into your brain. I was thinking about teleportation and glass condominiums floating in the clouds. Something you drank that allowed your body to look whatever age you desired. […]

Inspiration and Grace

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Book Reviews / Reflections

When I was in high school I underwent one of those sea changes that sweep through us. My mother was hospitalized for a time for treatment of Multiple Personality Disorder, my dad lost his job, we made weekly trips down to the church’s food pantry, and eventually my parents separated. The real weight of it occurred during my senior year. One of the interesting things that came out of this was the freedom to leave […]

A Review of Lincoln in the Bardo

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Book Reviews

This morning I finished George Saunders’ novel Lincoln in the Bardo, which I greatly enjoyed. I enjoyed it not only for the quick flecks of prose that struck like the tongue of a benevolent snake; not only for the scenes of the self-evinced departed rummaging through their own private psychoses, e.g. the Bardo; not only for the utterly imaginative mechanisms and rules of the in-between to which they clung; but for the manner in which […]