Ross Gale

6 Magazines | 7,508 Articles | 6,433 Followers | 2 Likes | @rossgale | Ross is a writer and editor living in Oregon. He earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Seattle Pacific University. @rossgale

Trump blasted for mocking disabled reporter

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump faced heavy criticism this week for his comments and apparent mocking of a reporter for the New York Times who is disabled.

Referring to Serge Kovaleski while on the campaign trail in South Carolina, Trump told a rally: "You've got to see this guy." He …

Donald Trump

Some Great Science Fiction and Fantasy Books To Keep You Sane on that Long Ride Home

Thanksgiving weekend is almost upon us! Many Americans will be making the long or short trek to family gatherings, or maybe a short vacation. Whether …

Science Fiction

How to cope with writer's block

‘Writer’s block’ is a weird phrase. It implies that writing is an arcane art that channels a mysterious force—a force which may, like a drain, become blocked by malevolent forces beyond the writer’s control.

You can probably guess that I don’t believe in writer’s block. But what I know for sure is …

Writer's Block

Why Creative People Are More Likely to Be Dishonest

We prize creativity. Being able to produce a novel and useful idea, solution, or product is what fuels innovation and differentiates you from competitors. This helps explain why, in a recent global survey, more than 1,500 corporate and public sector leaders reported that creativity is the most …


The Dark Side of Creativity

Few psychological traits are as desirable as creativity — the ability to come up with ideas that are both novel and useful. Yet it is also true that creativity has been associated with a wide range of counterproductive, rarely discussed qualities. Being aware of these tendencies is important for …


Can reading fiction prepare us for tragedy?

I was a vociferous reader from an early age, eating my way through books and desperate for more and more; bigger ones, longer ones, books full of grown up words and grown up deeds.

From a young age I had a special dispensation brokered by my mother at both my school and public library that I could …

Fifty Shades of Grey

David Eagleman: ‘Humans are real storytelling animals’

The Brain investigates ways we might “hack” our neural hardware to substitute and add senses. Can you give an illustration?
In my lab we’ve developed a Vest [Variable Extra-Sensory Transducer] that’s covered with little vibratory motors so that we can pass new kinds of data streams to the brain as …

Life Sciences

Special Education Teacher Gives Awesome...

Mary Gaitskill broke my heart: “The Mare” stuns — in all the wrong ways

Discovering Gaitskill's short stories was a revelation. Perhaps that explains why her new novel is so disappointing

I came to Mary Gaitskill in my early twenties after a teacher recommended her debut short story collection Bad Behavior, for its “dark potency.” In those pages, I found power, but not …

Popular Fiction

Marilynne Robinson: ‘We don’t know anything about the future, as everything is in flux’

Marilynne Robinson is the author of four novels, Housekeeping, Gilead, which won a Pulitzer, Home, which won the Orange prize, and Lila. One of her legions of fans is Barack Obama, who visited her recently in Iowa, where she lives and teaches. Famously dedicated to her work, she once told an …

Marilynne Robinson

Ben Carson's lies reveal a fundamental truth about candidates' tall tales

From Ben Carson’s tale of maybe stabbing someone to Ted Cruz’s stories of the exploits of his father in the Cuban revolution that don’t seem to hold up to the light of inquiry, once again candidates are getting grilled for the anecdotes they have been telling audiences for years.

But in reporters’ …

Ben Carson

Louisiana police arrest 2 officers in autistic boy's death

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana investigators are combing through evidence in the shooting death earlier this week of a 6-year-old autistic boy after authorities charged two law enforcement officers in the shooting.

Col. Mike Edmonson, in a late night press conference Friday, said the two officers were …


Reading with your ears: do audiobooks harm or help literature?

It was Alan Garner’s audio story, The Common Dean, that started me thinking. This second in a series of Forest fables spins a mysterious yarn about an incomer discovering the history layered beneath the fallen leaves of an ancient Cheshire wood. It was thrilling to hear the voice of a writer who is …


France: Where Men Have a Monopoly on Good Writing

The country’s top literary prize has been awarded to a woman 11 times—and to a man 102 times.

Are francophone women unusually mediocre writers, or is the Prix Goncourt unusually sexist? Some day, one hopes, this question will no longer surface every November when the jury members for France’s top …


Inside the Shady World of Craigslist Ghostwriters

The mainstream media is but one slice of the paid writing world. The deeper you go, the murkier it gets.

In the past week, we’ve heard from dozens of …


'Hopeful' study of autism wins Samuel Johnson prize 2015

Steve Silberman’s investigation into autism, Neurotribes, has become the first popular science book to win the Samuel Johnson prize, praised by judges of the prestigious non-fiction award for “inject[ing] a hopeful note into a conversation that’s normally dominated by despair”.

Working for Wired …

Samuel Johnson

3 lessons on writing from J.K. Rowling

Muggles and wizards alike have J.K. Rowling to thank for her skillful writing. Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters

J.K. Rowling, a.k.a. Robert Galbraith — …


Neurotribes review – the evolution of our understanding of autism

Currently, the most high-profile person on the autistic spectrum in Britain is a garden designer with flamboyantly pink hair and muscly, tattooed arms. Star of Channel 4’s latest makeover show, The Autistic Gardener, Alan Gardner is just three years younger than my autistic older brother, but if you …


Egypt to put editor and writer on trial for sexually explicit writing

Egypt’s prosecution has referred to trial the editor-in-chief and a writer for Egypt’s top literary magazine for publishing sexually explicit material and allegedly violating public morals.

Mahmoud Othman, a lawyer representing writer Ahmed Naji, said prosecution officials had told him on Sunday …


Christian Wiman: The Power of the Word of God Comes From Its Many Meanings

The following is an excerpt from What Did Jesus Ask?, edited by Elizabeth Dias and published by TIME Books, available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Read other excerpts from the book here.

“Who do people say I am?”—Mark:8:27

Jesus’ question is general, social, a finger on the pulse of the people, the blab …


Why History Is the Toughest Subject to Teach

Alia spotlighted that major screwup from publisher McGraw Hill (seen above) in her piece last week addressing how high-school textbooks “too often gloss over the American government’s oppression of racial minorities.” She continues:

If nothing else, the [McGraw Hill] incident may serve as yet …


Terry Gross and the Art of Opening Up

On a late-summer morning, Terry Gross sat before a computer in her office — a boxy, glass-fronted room at WHYY in Philadelphia — composing interview questions. Gross, who wore a leopard-print scarf knotted at her neck, was typing rapidly, occasionally pausing to refer to a memoir open beside her. …


'Sesame Street' debuts first autistic Muppet

Sesame Workshop is hoping to help destigmatize autism by digitally introducing its first autistic muppet, Julia.

Julia is part of Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children, which lives on an app with visual elements intended to help children with autism and their families. Among those …


Loren Eiseley, the Science Writer Our Planet Needs Now

Loren Eiseley’s revelatory works pondered the complex forces that brought forth this vibrant, beautiful planet—while acknowledging humanity’s, and our world’s, impermanence.

Science is taking a beating these days. Take the crop of Republican presidential candidates, few of whom acknowledge that the …


Bill Richardson takes on the graces and disgraces of aging in new poetry book

Although writer and former CBC host Bill Richardson's new book of poems is about aging — it was a form of social media, used more by teens and young …


Books At Home Tied to Future Reading Skills

The reading environment in the homes of very young children is strongly linked to their reading progress once they begin school, according to a new …


A Girl Gets Her Period And Is Banished To The Shed: #15Girls

Kamala B.K. is tiny. She's barely 5 feet tall. A bright red ribbon sets off her dark hair.

As she walks past our guesthouse in the village of Thankot, we try to get her to come over and talk to us. But the 14-year-old won't come over to the porch.

This story is part of our #15Girls series, profiling …


President Obama & Marilynne Robinson: A Conversation in Iowa

President Barack Obama and Marilynne Robinson
Pete Souza/White HousePresident Obama and Marilynne Robinson at the Iowa State Library, Des Moines, …

Marilynne Robinson

Girls behaving badly – the thrilling rise of the YA antiheroine

Antiheroes don’t feature in a lot of kids’ or young adult fiction. Likability, someone to root for, victims of clear-cut injustice – classic main characters tend to the plucky and put-upon, à la Harry Potter or Sara Crewe. And dislikable, amoral, even monstrous girls are especially few and far …

Young-Adult Fiction

Glen Hansard On World Cafe


Session Set List

"Her Mercy"
• "Grace Beneath The Pines"
• "Winning Streak"
• "Paying My Way"
• "McCormack's Wall"

Glen Hansard won international acclaim for his starring role in the 2007 film Once. The Irish singer-songwriter, who's spent 25 years leading The Frames, also wrote or co-wrote the film's …