A Very Powerful Statement. Also, Wet.

It was a sweltering, humid day in Gilman, Illinois as Cole and I hauled the truck around to the front of the building and pulled the line on the motor. The gigantic, oil-stained engine on the trailer roared to life, vibrating and screeching and chuffing out clouds of black smoke, and after hooking the machine up to nearest water source, one of us—I can’t remember which—untangled the rubber hose from its crank, slid a finger through the trigger on the nozzle, and dragged it through the glass doors.

Nobody asked what we were doing. Nobody stopped us. We moseyed unmolested down the short hallway in slow-motion, Reservoir Dogs-style, and kicked open the bathroom door.

Then we pulled the trigger, and a laser stream of high-pressure water exploded from the barrel in a cloud of mist. The carnage had begun. Continue reading


Editing Is Hard and It Sucks and I Hate It

I give my high school writers a lot of grief because I know exactly what they’re doing when they submit a “final” draft of an essay for me to assess. Here’s my impression of them writing a paper:

“Type type type type. Don’t read anything. Okay I’m done. Submit.”

I’m very good at impressions, obviously. Continue reading

So, How’s It Going?

A little over a year ago I started telling people that I had decided to try writing a book that would be good enough to land me a literary agent and ultimately be published traditionally, and because I made this desire so public, I’ve fielded all sorts of questions from people curious to know how it’s all going.

So here I am, at the podium, fielding questions.

Let’s start with you, in the back.

Continue reading

Won’t You #AMMConnect With Me?

About ten years ago, I wrote my first YA novel. It was dumb.

The main character was this kid named Miles who wrote a fantasy story about a vampire named Raphael Vedemicci that rode a dragon named Sylph. The kid’s actual real life sucked, so he made awesome things happen in his story to compensate for the disappointment.

I called it “The Vampire Diary.” I was deeply, inconsolably upset when “The Vampire Diaries” became an actual show on TV like a year later, but I don’t know why. My book was a G-Darned disaster. I’m embarrassed to have said so much about it here, frankly. Readers deserve better. Continue reading