Building Empathy Through 10 Books

I want to be a better person.

I think deep down, we all want to be better people, but sometimes finding tangible ways to get there can feel overwhelming. Continue reading

The Ol’ PitchWars #BoostMyBio

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 who rode a dragon named Sylph. The kid’s actual life sucked, so he made awesome things happen in his story to compensate for the disappointment.

I called it “The Vampire Diary.” I was inconsolable when “The Vampire Diaries” debuted 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

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