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@rossgale | 7,058 Articles | 6 Magazines | 5,768 Followers | Ross is a writer and editor living in Oregon. He earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Seattle Pacific University. @rossgale

Why I Broke Up With My Novel to Write a Memoir

One of the most important rules I learned about writing fiction from my MFA is that an author has to put her protagonist through hell. I embraced …


BBC Radio 3 - The Essay, Minds at War, Series 2, Akhmatova's July 1914

The poet and translator Sasha Dugdale explores the impact of the First War on the great Russian poet, Anna Akhmatova.

Her focus is on the collection, White Flock, published in 1917, but written during the war. In many poems, Akhmatova mentions the war directly, and in others, echoes of loss and war …

Television (UK)

Sven Birkerts - The art of attention

It starts with the slightly awkward heave — leg up and over the seat, feet locating the stirrups — and the indrawn breath that says ‘Let’s go.’ This …

Western Philosophy

Why You’re Pretty Much Unconscious All the Time

A surprising new paper argues that consciousness is just a bit player in the human brain

Your body has a lot of nifty parts, but it’s the brain that’s the it organ of the summer. The brain’s all-the-rage moment is mostly a result of the box office hit Inside Out, from Pixar, the animation company that …

The Brain

The Top Five Audiobook Voice Artists

"I guess my guilty pleasure would be listening to the British audio versions of the 'Harry Potter' books."- David Sedaris

As I mentioned in The Most Overlooked Treasure of a Library - The Audio Book a good narrator can make a mediocre book great and an average narrator can ruin a classic. I am sure …


Haruki Murakami: The Moment I Became a Novelist

The following is the introduction to Haruki Murakami’s Wind/Pinball: Two Novels, out August 4th from Knopf. The Birth of My Kitchen Table FictionMost …

Great Books

Director John Waters On How To Live A Creative, Disruptive Life

The Pink Flamingos director gives RISD grads sage advice: "Go out in the world and fuck it up beautifully."

With his trademark pencil mustache, Pink Flamingoes and Hairspray director John Waters took the podium at the Rhode Island School of Design earlier this month to deliver the commencement …

John Waters

The crisis in non-fiction publishing

Amid the ambient wails of doom about the publishing industry, I’d like to enter a note of encouragement. The mainstream may be getting dumber by the day, but we are living in what looks like a golden age of publishing for, of all people, the university presses.

At the moment, I don’t think there’s a …

Malcolm Gladwell

Review: Nelly Arcan’s Breakneck shows why she’s one of the best writers Canada has ever produced

CanLit marked a milestone this spring, but you could be forgiven if you missed it. In May, Vancouver-based Anvil Press published the last of Quebec writer Nelly Arcan’s books to be translated into English. (Arcan, who died at the age of 36 in 2009, published four novels in her lifetime; Breakneck

Canadian Arts & Culture

This Will Be Surfing’s Most Inspirational World Champion

Adaptive surfer Alfonso Mendoza. Photo: Ernesto Borges

Surfing is about to have a new World Champion, and it’s not going to be Kelly Slater. This …

Kelly Slater

The Maui Crew is on a Whole Different Level

The Maui crew has a habit of surfing on a whole different level than pretty much anyone else. A few years ago, when Matt Meola was just some …


Fake Harry Styles is getting his own erotic fanfiction novel

All wildly popular erotic fanfiction must be rewritten from the brooding hero's perspective. That is the new world order.

First, E.L. James rewrote Fifty Shades of Grey from Christian Grey's perspective for her newest novel, Grey. Now the One Direction fanfic-turned-novel-turned-screenplay will be …

Fan Fiction

Great Job, Internet!: Exclusive: Hear Wil Wheaton discuss his mental illness with Project UROK

Child actor-turned-maligned-Star-Trek-character-turned-geek-icon Wil Wheaton has been fairly open about his struggles with mental illness and depression. But for those who haven’t heard about that side of his life before, Project UROK spoke with the actor/writer about the way his anxiety affects …

Mental Health

Publish a Book and Change Your Life, or, Well, Maybe Not

I spent a lot of time in the car this past spring, commuting from my home in Evanston to Urbana, Illinois where I’ve been teaching at the state’s …


A Book Buyer’s Lament

A Book Buyer’s LamentUnread books remind me of promises made to read them when they were bought; some of these promises are now decades old. …


Nazi-Era Snapshots and the Banality of Evil

"Do you know about the Lakota Indians?" asked Daniel Lenchner, handing me a slightly faded photograph from the early 20th century. It was a class portrait with a location printed at the bottom: Lakota, North Dakota.

"Now," challenged Lenchner, "can you find an Indian in this picture?"

I scanned the …


4 Ways to Access Your Creative Genius

Like this article? Find more great tips by subscribing to my blog here.

Creativity may be in more demand than ever. With the rapid rise of the internet economy, creatives have begun to make unique work opportunities for themselves. Online entrepreneurs are making things up as they go because the …


Ancient Arts: On Independent Catholic Literature and Edward Mullany’s ‘The Three Sunrises’

I recently traded music for podcasts as the soundtrack for my long commute to work. My favorite is novelist Brad Listi’s interview series, Other …


This Is What Editors Know About Publishing That Writers Don't

Answer by Gideon Rose, editor, Foreign Affairs:

Good editors really can add value, in two ways.

First, editors are industry professionals who can educate often-naive authors about the facts of life in the real world of publishing. (Agents are great at this too, often even better.) The other answers …


Why We Speak

An evolutionary biologist argues that humans started talking because they needed to negotiate.

Sometime around 120,000 years ago in the desert near Oued Djebbana, in what is modern-day northern Algeria, a human acquired some small seashells. The shells were from a species known as Nassarius …


Welcome to Smarter Basketball

The rise of big data is pitting the old school against the new school as the NBA undergoes its analytics revolution.

On Thursday, 60 of basketball’s most talented prospects will realize a lifelong dream when the NBA conducts its annual draft. Karl-Anthony Towns, the Kentucky University center, has …

Sports Analytics

Other Mothers Aren’t Like This

Photo by Cathy and Kevin Warner

Cathy Warner

I hit my daughter. Once. Hard. She was almost three and had been throwing tantrums about everything for a …


Jennifer Militello | Poetry | Antisocial Media via American Poetry Review

Antisocial Media

It’s easier to computer than to crash. It’s easier
to computer than to hold a hand or knit
a winter together from headlights on the …


The First Time My Son With Autism Got a Birthday Invite I Didn't Have to Decline

Dear (Super Cool) Mom,

You don’t know me and I don’t know you, but my son, Timothy, sometimes sits beside your son at school.

Timothy has severe autism …


Artistry is a Kind of Citizenship – Ploughshares Interviews Allan Gurganus

I’ve been aware of Allan Gurganus since I was a few years old; we hail from the same small town, Rocky Mount, North Carolina, and his books lined the …

Women Writers on Twitter: In Their Own Words

Literary Hub sent a series of open questions to writers, journalists, editors—women in and around the literary world with a significant social media …

For the love of dogs

Can an encyclopedic knowledge of dogs help an 11-year-old with Asperger’s connect with people?The post For the love of dogs appeared first on Aeon …

Developmental Disabilities

Get super stoked and go adapted surfing

Adapted surfing

You were once a keen surfer but tragically lost the use of your legs? Don’t despair, you can get back on that surfboard, dude! Or you …

Water Sports

I Made A Linguistics Professor Listen To A Blink-182 Song And Analyze The Accent

Blink-182 at the Whiskey in Los Angeles in 1996. (Photo: Daniel D'Auria/WikiCommons CC BY-SA 2.0)Two decades have passed since pop-punk exploded in …