The Red Pen of Doom

Conventional wisdom about writing is conventionally wrong.

Barnes and Noble, tear down these walls

Readers and writers need each other, and we won’t connect when there are thick, artificial walls and book covers so filled with testosterone – or estrogen – that you may as well … Continue reading

July 16, 2014 · 8 Comments

The Red Pen of Doom harpoons MOBY DICK by Herman Melville

Now, this classic book is so ingrained in our culture that movies can get all deep and interesting simply by alluding to a metaphor–which is like a simile, only different–that … Continue reading

January 29, 2014 · 9 Comments

Banned substances for writers

Click here to read the whole post at McSweeney’s here, because it is brilliant. My personal favorites: CAPOTEX — A vintage 1960s designer drug. Unlike most other banned literary substances, this … Continue reading

March 6, 2013 · 6 Comments

Why every man MUST read a romance – and every woman a thriller

In college, wise men with Einstein hair stood in front of lecture halls to tell you literature isn’t really about verbs, adverbs and dangling modifiers. No. Beneath the surface, lit-rah-sure … Continue reading

April 18, 2012 · 68 Comments

Friendly Friday: Amanda the Nelson of DEAD WHITE GUYS: An Irreverent Look at Classic Literature

We all read them in high school, then college. You know the books I’m talking about: the classics. LORD OF THE FLIES and WAR AND PEACE and GIANT NOVELS BY RUSSIANS … Continue reading

April 6, 2012 · 4 Comments

The best Fabio romance cover OF ALL TIME

What is the most amazing, over-the-top Fabio romance cover of all time? We are talking about Fabio here, so there is an embarrassment of riches. How can we pick one masterpiece … Continue reading

December 16, 2011 · 18 Comments

Is this high-brow poetry — or pretentious garbage?

Poets are crazy. This much I have learned. In my endless quest for the truth, I have discovered more Gertrude Stein-esque free verse. I did so after writing the post, Gertrude … Continue reading

December 12, 2011 · 11 Comments