What if “Carrie” were YA fiction?

My awesome editor came to our first meetings about my novel The Puppeteer with the expectation that it would be "Young Adult" literature, a goldmine of a subgenre within the publishing industry.  Without trying to quash my vision, she explained to me what was expected of a YA title. I told her, hold the phone, I hadn't …

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Getting Tattooed in Thailand? 3 Sak Yant tattoos to consider, what they mean, and how to get them.

High on my to-do list for Thailand was to get a Sak Yant tattoo. I'm sure I could be accused of cultural appropriation; I'm not Buddhist, and I mainly wanted one because Anthony Bourdain got one in his classic Chiang Mai episode of "Parts Unknown." I spent much of my trip to Chiang Mai walking …

I took a pill in Budapest to show Avicii I was oh wait he’s dead.

  By the time the DJ played the song "Wake Me Up" by Avicii, inspiring rapturous screams from the crowded main dance floor of Club Instant in Budapest and finally alerting me to what the fuss was all about, Avicii had been dead for months. https://youtu.be/IcrbM1l_BoI   https://youtu.be/Nad-6skTClE   I had heard the song before …

Novel Excerpt: “Dark Matter”

Dark Matter is a police-procedural horror/mystery/scifi thriller. It has two major inspirations: the weird fiction of H.P. Lovecraft, particularly "The Dunwich Horror"; and the hard science of astrophysics and particle physics popularized by the likes of Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Matt O'Dowd.  The main character is Frankie, a single mother and FBI agent whose obsessive pursuit of …

8 Awesome Things you Miss by shit-talking Season 5 of “The West Wing”

Season 5 of The West Wing is the red-headed stepchild of the venerated series, which still holds up despite the dated political discourse thanks to excellent writing and acting. Creator and head writer Aaron Sorkin had left the show between Seasons 4 and 5. The ensuing season is generally considered a low point of the series, as …

Review: Hannah Gadsby, “Nanette,” possibly the most remarkable stand-up special ever

I was just in Stockholm and it popped into my head -- "Could I nominate Hannah Gadsby for the Nobel Peace Prize while I'm here??? That seems like the kind of thing you could do in Stockholm." Turns out ... no. You actually have to be somebody important to nominate a Nobel candidate to the …

Sick Fuck pt. II – “Hereditary” Film Review

It has been fascinating to watch opinions evolve around Ari Aster's horror film Hereditary.  It had incredible advance hype, with critics gushing about how it was the scariest, most traumatizing movie in decades. https://youtu.be/V6wWKNij_1M Meanwhile, audience response has been much more tepid.  Maybe a letdown was inevitable. Although the film did well at the box office (with that much …