Ross Gale

5 Magazines | 8,215 Articles | 13,498 Followers | 4 Likes | @rossgale | Ross is a writer and editor living in Arizona. He earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Seattle Pacific University. @rossgale

Why Is it so Hard to Find Good Sex Writing?

In "literotica," there's no faking it.<p>This is how I generally spend an evening alone in my bedroom:<p>Close the curtains<br>• Crank up the Rihanna to drown out any subsequent noises<br>• Plug in my Hitachi magic wand<br>• Take off my pants (jk they've been off for hours already)<br>• Open a new window in Google Incognito<br>• Head …

Writing

Interview with a Bookstore: Magers and Quinn in Minnesota

Magers and Quinn was opened in the summer of 1994, by Denny Magers, who has been the sole owner for 21 years. Before Magers and Quinn, he’d purchased a small antiquarian bookstore near the University of Minnesota that was not infrequently compared to the bookstore in <i>The Neverending Story</i>. Looking …

Minneapolis

'Hidden Figures': How Black Women Did The Math That Put Men On The Moon

Many Americans are familiar with the astronaut heroes of the 20th-century Space Race — names like Gus Grissom and Neil Armstrong. But who did the calculations that would successfully land these men on the moon?<p>Several of the NASA researchers who made space flight possible were women. Among them …

Mathematics

The Letters of Samuel Beckett 1966-1989 – digested read

Ussy, Paris, Berlin, Tunisia<p><i>Dear Whoever,</i><p>Thank you for your letter of whenever.<p>Giacometti dead. George Devine dead. Yes, drive me to Père Lachaise and go straight through the red lights.<p>Still alive. Just.<p>Thank you for the book you sent me that I will read later.<p>I regret I must decline your …

Playwrights

The Political Magic of C.S. Lewis

WHEN I was on Christmas break from college in 1980, I wrote a letter to the editor of my hometown newspaper, The Tri-City Herald. It was published soon after I began to embrace Christianity, a gradual rather than a dramatic process that didn’t come all that easily.<p>The letter was a response to a man …

C. S. Lewis

In 1988, Kurt Vonnegut Writes a Letter to People Living in 2088, Giving 7 Pieces of Advice

The mind of Kurt Vonnegut, like the protagonist of his best-known novel <i>Slaughterhouse-Five</i>, must have got “unstuck in time” somewhere along the line. …

Kurt Vonnegut

Some people say movies are dead. These 5 types of movies say otherwise.

Memes and trending topics come and go, but one truth remains eternal: If you want to start an argument on Twitter, declare that an art form is dead.<p>In the old days, people routinely declared the death of the novel, but these days it’s the movies that are always dying in one way or another. (One can …

TV

Cal Ripken Jr. Opens Up About the Hardest, Most Painful Games He Ever Played

And talks 2016 playoffs and legacies.<p>No one will ever again do what Cal Ripken did. He played 2,632 Major League Baseball games in a row, beating Lou Gehrig's unbeatable record in the process. He was a formidable competitor outside of that, but that will be his legacy. His Hall-of-Fame career is a …

Baseball

How science fiction has imagined colonizing our solar system and beyond

Next week, Elon Musk is slated to make a big announcement about SpaceX’s most ambitious goal to date: the colonization of Mars. Musk has never shied away from the science fictional aspects of his ventures, and it’s a very safe assumption that genre works have played some role in his outlook on the …

Science Fiction

How Do You Know When Your Book Is Finished?

How Do You Know When Your Book Is Finished?: The Blunt Instrument on How to Begin and When to End<p><i>The Blunt Instrument is a monthly advice column for</i> …

Books

Bon Iver: 'There are people who are into being famous. And I don’t like that'

Even on a midweek morning, the line for Al’s Breakfast, a 10-foot-wide, 66-year-old establishment in the Dinkytown neighbourhood of Minneapolis, runs all the way out of the door. At the back of the queue stands Justin Vernon, sweltering in the heat and sharing his latest preoccupations: the wonder …

Bon Iver

Art House Blog - True-ing

Photograph by Luci Shaw<p>Maybe I've reached a stage in life where my course feels pretty well set. At 87 I'm still enchanted by words and meanings, …

Poetry

Songwriting State Of Mind: The Stories Behind Alicia Keys' Hits

There are a few elements that reliably form the basis for an Alicia Keys song: heartache or infatuation, an essential tenderness and emotion made heavy with wisdom, a patiently unfurling melody and, of course, that voice, yearning and ready to break, even as it remains in control. Even though these …

Alicia Keys

Writer Risks Life to Save Life’s Work

A cautionary tale that reminds us all to back up our work<p>In the digital age, despite differences in creed, color, and craft, all writers share one …

Books

What is Bad Writing? 3 Successful Writers Stephen King Can’t Stand

We all have our own list of favorite authors. Some we have decided to keep a secret because we’re afraid of the judgment we’ll face if we say their …

Writing

We asked nine authors which books inspired them most

Reading a book won’t necessarily make you a writer, of course,<br>but for many authors, one (or two) books set them on the path.<br>In the spirit of the Library of Congress’s program “A Book That Shaped Me,” we asked some of the National Book Festival participants:<br>“What book — or books — influenced you …

Books

Flannery O’Connor: A Reading Primer

When I was in grad school, we read and attempted to discuss Flannery O’Connor’s story “Greenleaf,” about a prideful and piteous farm-owner who gets …

Literature

'She makes the ordinary feel as important as the epic': the gift of Ursula Le Guin

What makes readers fall in love? You might want to start your answer by explaining Ursula Le Guin. I can only speak for one childhood — and one adulthood — spent reading Le Guin, but I’d bet my last nickel there are thousands of us out there. Tolkien knew how to conquer Evil; Beverly Cleary and …

Popular Fiction

Why Writers Are the Worst Procrastinators

The psychological origins of waiting (... and waiting, and waiting) to work<p>Like most writers, I am an inveterate procrastinator. In the course of writing this one article, I have checked my e-mail approximately 3,000 times, made and discarded multiple grocery lists, conducted a lengthy Twitter …

How to Be a Writer: 10 Tips from Rebecca Solnit

<b>1) Write.</b> There is no substitute. Write what you most passionately want to write, not blogs, posts, tweets or all the disposable bubblewrap in which …

Writing

College of Charleston bets on its students with new creative writing master’s program

College of Charleston professor Bret Lott directs the MFA program in creative writing and leads a discussion with graduate students following Raena …

Creative Writing

Three Writing Tips From Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Jennifer Egan

Writing

Salem cheerleading squad welcomes girl with Down syndrome

Lora Harrington has wanted to be a cheerleader since she was a little girl.<p>"She started out cheering on her uncles as they played football and …

Salem

The Plight of the Overworked Nonprofit Employee

Do mission-driven organizations with tight budgets have any choice but to demand long, unpaid hours of their staffs?<p>Earlier this year, at the encouragement of President Obama, the Department of Labor finalized the most significant update to the federal rules on overtime in decades. The new rules …

Nonprofits

'Ghosts' Takes On A Tough Topic For Children

Raina Telgemeier's new graphic novel <i>Ghosts</i> is about death. But it's written for children.<p>Telgemeier tells NPR's books editor Barrie Hardymon that stories serve as a way to begin difficult conversations. "Stories are such a powerful way of communicating ideas and in comforting people," she …

Kids

Ernest Hemingway’s Six-Word Sequels

<i>Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway won a bet by writing the six-word story “For sale: baby shoes. Never worn.” Hoping to cash in on that story’s success, Hemingway wrote some six-word sequels.</i><p>For sale: baby shoes. Really big.<p>For hire: giant baby. Very amusing.<p>Rent baby for fun, scary evening.<p>Have …

Ernest Hemingway

The scary, intrusive thoughts you can only confess to a search engine

<i>Editor's note: This story discusses violent and graphic mental imagery.</i><p>Most people have experienced an intrusive thought even if they can't put a name to it.<p>These unwelcome flashes of imagination force us to consider horrible scenarios. A new mother might envision dropping her child several …

Psychology

Italo Calvino Offers 14 Reasons We Should Read the Classics

In a previous post, we brought you the voice of Italian fantasist Italo Calvino, reading from his <i>Invisible Cities</i> and <i>Mr. Palomar</i>. Both of those …

Literature

Fiction in the Age of Screens

The anxiety of obsolescence is strong in contemporary letters, not so much because literature is actually obsolete as because any downward graph, …

Popular Fiction

Bonfire of the theories: Wolfe battles Chomsky over roots of language

The arcane study of language has a new literary entrant: the famed New Journalism author Tom Wolfe. Never one to back away from a fight, Wolfe, 85, has picked two disputes in his new book, <i>The Kingdom of Speech</i> – one with Charles Darwin and a second with linguist Noam Chomsky, 87, professor emeritus …

Tom Wolfe