The Story of a Path (first draft)

Chicago author Nelson Algren said, “A writer does well if in his whole life he can tell the story of one street.” Chicagoans, but not just Chicagoans, have always found something instructive, and pleasing, and profound in the stories of their block, of Main Street, of Highway 61, of a farm lane, of the Celestial […]

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The Story of a Path

7:00 on a Tuesday night.  We won the basketball game 43 to 40.  I flung open the gym door, and the roar of a hundred conversations flickered, as if blown by the cool dusk air.  With a slam, the noise was snuffed out, and I slowly began to notice the rising and fading rush of […]

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Review: Life of Pi


I remember watching Life of Pi on DVD and feeling confused, indifferent to the characters, and outraged by the plot. An arrogant Indian boy named “pissing” almost drowns in a ridiculously brutal ocean storm, but ends up surviving for many uneventful days on a lifeboat with zoo animals? Come on! Then the movie’s conclusion changed […]

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A Tourist in Your Own Hometown


Your friend just came back from an expensive trip to Hanoi, Vietnam’s historic capital, and is going on about the cultural experience. You jealously imagine the narrow, temple-lined streets filled with vendors and exotic delicacies, and that night you start saving up. You need to get away from your daily grind after all, and there just isn’t anything […]

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Review: The Road


The Road is not an easy book to dive into. Cormac McCarthy’s sparse narrative lacks the pace to hook me in the first couple of pages. The first 50 are filled with repeated observations of the bleak, ashy, apocalyptic setting in which “man” and “boy” aimlessly survive. Neither character seems very invested in their daily […]

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Review: Island


Island is a thoroughly challenging book. From the first page, Aldous Huxley’s complex diction and intelligently illusive opinions are like steam engines plowing through my consciousness. His brute force is not only limited to internal dialogue or reflection, nor is it softened by allegory. He confronts me on every page in the characters’ conversations, and […]

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Fahrenheit 451 Response


I have not been educated by “the world,” but by a community of conservative Lutherans. Therefore, my struggle is one less blatantly engaged with the animal perversions of American materialism and consumerism depicted in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. My ears are trained electric fences, charged to repel psychological advertising, and my eyes are fixed forward […]

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Spinning Confidence

Author’s Note In Spinning Confidence, the water is my sanctuary of encouragement. I reflect on my desire to construct or “spin” confidence in myself and in my accomplishments. I claim this faith by defying the ordinary and making the most of an average opportunity. Because the battle for self-confidence is internal, I chose to use […]

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Lost at Sea

Author’s Note In my Flash Fiction, Lost at Sea, water is seen both as a conduit of change, and a reliable source of direction. The jellies are content with their journey until they are tempted to move freely like the fish of the illusive depths. The jellies fall into destruction only when they carve themselves […]

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Back to Where It Was

Author’s Note I titled my short story, Back to Where It Was, alluding to Toni Morrison’s quote, “All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was.” My main character, Tess, echoes this nostalgia and laments how quickly present joy is lost behind clouded memory. She strongly desires […]

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