When he lost his job at Best Buy, Dad packed all of our things into a Conestoga wagon and we crossed the border into Canada, in search of the American Dream.

(from Hoopty Time Machines: Fairy Tales for Grown Ups, 2016, Atticus Books)

Though it makes me a little nervous to release this into the wild, I’ve decided to make HOOPTY TIME MACHINES available for free to anyone who wants it for “educational purposes.”

Writing teachers, writing students, curious-minded folk: have it it. It’s all yours.


A friend wanted to learn the arguments against #NetNeutrality, but said he doesn’t want to read long essays. Could we explain it in haiku form?

So here are three haiku about net neutrality:

Imagining a
better world, where everything
is owned by Comcast.

We sell the product,
so don’t tell us what to do.
Just pay your money.

God gave us the right
to monetize everything
and plunder the world.

The problem with social media isn’t with social media. The problem with social media is with me.

Social media encourages me to be reactive, and this, day after day after day, chasing after other people’s news, discourages me from quietly discerning what I think is important, and chasing after that, with diligence.

Autoshareaphobia. Noun. That distinctly 21st-century fear that the things I write in one place are auto-posting somewhere else—partly on account of my own carelessness or ignorance, but partly because the robots are asserting their dominion.

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There’s a pressure in my head. In conversation I call it “my inner ear thing,” some complicated arrangement of fluids in my sinus cavity and their inability to drain properly, and it means sometimes (and more and more lately) I feel a gentle squeeze inside my head, and I can’t hear you very well, and you might notice me hang my head down below my knees because that momentarily clears my ears and relieves the pressure, and I can hear you again—at least until I stand up.

There’s a pressure in my head. It starts more or less the moment I wake up, as I imagine the day and how I want it to play out — as I imagine the list of things I hope to accomplish. The pressure doesn’t come from this list of things, exactly; rather, it comes from the list of things I have not accomplished, the endless, ever-growing list that I can only address one day at a time, the list which, no matter how I whittle away at it, only seems to grow longer — a list that corresponds, not coincidentally, with the piling-on of student loan interest and the piling-on of years. There’s a new list, too, or rather a list of which I’ve only recently become aware: the list of things I will never accomplish. At half my current age, I didn’t even believe in the existence of such a list, and now this list occupies a fair amount of my thoughts. …

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The day I understood that the world was ending was January 10, 2016.

Other prophets might point to a different date, one year and ten days later: January 20, 2017: the Inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States. Many people will point to this moment as a turning point in Western history, and one that — it’s easy to imagine — might result in its actual demise.

But, truly, by that date, so much of Western civilization was dead already. If the ideals of the Enlightenment had been alive, then Trump would not have been elected in the first place. …

Christopher DeWan

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