On publishing stuff at medium.com…

So I’ve been re-publishing a few of my published stories on medium.com this month. Medium can be described as many things, but one thing it is… is a site that looks beautiful where people can self-publish their writing. It has been on my mind to do this, because many websites – even sites that post amazing content – are not so pretty. Either they are poorly designed or they have intrusive advertising or something else. I have no grand plans here, I just thought it would be fun to post some of my favorite stories on this uncluttered site so a few people could read and enjoy them. Or at least if they don’t enjoy them – it is entirely my fault. So here they are, in case you want to check them out. Most are quite short…

when my body smashed into the sidewalk my last thought was this: i should have bought my mother a birthday present…
WHEN MY BODY SMASHED INTO THE SIDEWALK on medium.com
it was hot that day, sitting in the backseat of our mother’s car in the piggly wiggly parking lot. she was in the grocery store. she had told us, “don’t talk to a soul,” before she left…
HEAVEN on medium.com
“let’s go bowling,” she says. “i know a place that has guardrails so you can’t roll a gutter ball.” your first thought is, “aren’t those for children?” but then you realize that a man as nervous as you are should accept all the guardrails that he can get…
BLUE on medium.com
first thing you should know about me: i’m into buses. the 57 is bumpy and dreary and it twists you out of the beautiful belly of portland and into the strip mall nightmare of beaverton. i used to take that one to get to work. but now i’m free of that job…
GOD AND BUSES on medium.com

more stories and essays…

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone

New Frontiers of Vulnerability (pod-16)

In this podcast episode, we discuss vulnerability, shame, and my own craziness. We talk about Brené Brown’s research and we talk about the essay I recently published. Join us for this delightfully vulnerable romp.


Things we discuss this episode:

Podcast Information
Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone

vid002: From head to heart

In this video, I fixate on one particular topic: Scott’s quest to turn his second book (a novel in progress) into a deeper story. And more generally: can you turn something formulaic (and in your head) into something deeper (and in your heart)?

Not only is Scott smart, he’s also funny. So you’ll notice that I can’t help but giggle through a lot of Scott’s stories. Sorry.

Regarding the making of this video: I forced myself to create it mostly through still shots with my iPhone (while also learning how to crudely edit video in Final Cut Pro!) just to make things awkward for me (and maybe for you too). Hope you enjoy it just the same…

Thanks again to all those who submitted hug photos. I hope I did those great photos justice.

Related links:

For more information about this half-baked series (and how to subscribe to it), check out The Creative Turn.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone

tctpod-season1-02: The second big thing (with Scott Sparling)

In this podcast episode, I talk with Scott Sparling about the challenges of writing the second book. We talk about bringing a work-in-progress into your heart when it wasn't born in the heart. We talk about the egomaniacalness of comparing your work to the Beatles. We discuss the pros and cons of having a deadline for your writing project. We discuss bad book sales, writing in tree houses, stones on the beach, delusions of grandeur, depression, tenacity, stubbornness, and masturbating while writing. Enjoy!

Show notes:

Video inspired by the conversation

Meta links:

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone

17.5% less sucky

The week that John Gruber and Merlin Mann linked to my video tribute of their SXSW conversation, I started getting (temporarily) 8,000 hits a day on my website. As opposed to the previous 50 hits a day. I don’t count these things too closely, but it was a shocking change. I’ve had a few other notable spikes in attention. Once for writing about my Twitter code of conduct, once for talking about my failures with the New Yorker magazine, and once for talking about my failure to read Malcolm Gladwell’s book that discusses 10,000 hours.

Why am I telling you this? Well, because numbers are tricky. [Read more...]

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone

Brave on the Page

Have you heard of the Espresso Book Machine?

No?

Well I hadn’t either. Until my friend Laura Stanfill told me she was publishing a collection of interviews and essays on one of these things.

What I love about the this device is that it seems to embrace both the past and the future. A device that allows you to print a real-life, old-school, physical book. In one way, the machine looks like a relic from another era. But also, this machine is tapped in to an online database of books that can be printed on demand. Within minutes, you have a new, warm book in your hands.

Today, Laura’s book (BRAVE ON THE PAGE) is one of those magical books. It is a fabulous collection of voices and insights about writing, with a focus on Oregon writers. Eerily enough, I’m interviewed in there, and I say the word “shame” seven times in this interview. But there are some great writers in here. And the book is beautiful too.

Here is more information about the book launch (and related prizes).

And check it out at an Espresso Book Machine near you.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone

The (semi-) Great Fear & Failure Experiment of 2012

I’ve said before that I’m terrified about reading in public… especially this upcoming weekend in San Francisco where I’m reading with Cheryl Strayed to celebrate the release of her enormously beautiful new book TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS. I’ve also admitted to being scared of how people will review my book once it comes out on August 14. Even more than these two fears is my fear that I can’t tackle my next novel. Or that I won’t be able to figure out where to take my failed writer video series. I’m scared of failing on all these fronts. I’m not talking about one of those fakey failures where everything comes out just fine a week later and I’m better for it. I mean one of those big messy failures where I’m crushed by the disappointment of book #1 and I grow too disheartened to write book #2 or make any more videos. Or where I start drinking heavily instead of writing or my marriage gets really rocky due to my paralyzing self-loathing. Or something like that.

[Read more...]

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone