Another day, another awful tragedy. Several months ago, I'd pitched a story to Huffington Post about tangible, rational, fact-based suggestions to help curb the epidemic of gun violence in America—specifically, things that might be a little uncomfortable for Left-leaning liberals to acknowledge, but things that would actually make a difference (and have a chance of getting passed).
But every time we planned to publish it, it was always felt too uncomfortably close to another mass shooting. So we put it off for a while longer, again and again and again.
Then Las Vegas struck. And if it wasn't clear before (it was), then it certainly is now (it is) that the time to talk about gun violence is right now, and the longer we put it off out of some kind of expectation of polite social courtesy, then the higher the body count will climb.
So here it is. Now let's do something about it.
(I also had the privilege of speaking with Chris Frates on the Smerconish Show on Sirius XM Potus Politics. You'll need to be a Sirius subscriber to listen, but we had a great chat about finding common ground on gun violence issues, which inspired some wonderful call-in comments from listeners as well) Read More
Clarion is a highly-renowned training ground for sci-fi/fantasy writers, so naturally, I wanted to make an impression. Hence, I introduced myself to my cohort and award-winning instructors by writing a recursive metafictional time travel story. The main “plot” was only about two pages, followed by another thirty pages of footnotes, each with multiple internal references to other footnotes, all to explain the theoretical science behind the causal loop that lead to the main characters’ spacetime-crossed romance. This had the effect of taking the reader on a self-directed non-linear journey through characters’ pasts, presents, and futures, in an endless circle of effect-cause-effect that was unique to each reader.
That was 2013. Me and the other 17 members of my cohort still talk regularly; some of them have already become award-winning authors in their own rights. And to this day, not a week goes by without at least one of them giving me shit for that story. But I have a good excuse for my obnoxious ambitions:
I have ADHD, so it made perfect sense. To me. Read More
A little support went a long way for a young woman who refused to give up. Now, she’s giving back. (Originally published on Upworthy. Read More
"We need to evolve and adapt to learning that best fits our kids — not the people serving, teaching, administering, and tutoring the kid." Read More
Leroy Mwasaru was a high school student at Kenya's prestigious Maseno School when a dorm room renovation created an unfortunate situation.
The school's outdoor latrines overflowed into the local water supply.
Understandably, this made some people quite upset. But Mwasaru saw this as an opportunity to turn something revolting into a revolution.
If he could redirect the overflowing human waste, it could give them cleaner water and help the school save money on fire and electricity. Read More
Once there was a Russian tree Read More
and she loved a little boy
and everyday the boy would come
and beg the tree for dirt on Hillary Clinton.
In 2009, Scott McGready stumbled on a massive phishing scam targeting his company's email server. Read More
Ever wonder what it's like to be hacked? Sarah Jeong did. So naturally, she decided to ask someone to hack her. Read More
When Heather Campbell-Lieberman first applied to teach at Lakota East High School in Ohio, she had one request:She needed the school to let her students give away a thousand dollars. Read More
Simply put, there aren’t enough #MAGA hats to replace health, diplomacy, or natural resources. And that’s why the Paris Climate Deal matters. Read More
The storyteller in me is always interested in what goes on in other people’s heads. There are various cliches about how every villain is a hero in their own story, and I generally think that’s true — both in fiction, and in real life.
And as more and more information comes out about the whole Russia-Trump-Comey-Hillary-Email-Clusterfuck, I think it’s important for us all to remember that these are actual human beings, who, like all of us, are often forced to make decisions with limited time and with even more limited information, and that sometimes, they get it wrong.
(Except for Trump, obviously; he’s little more than a spoiled chaos demonbaby in the middle of his greatest tantrum yet.)
So instead of arguing about conspiracies and fake news and hypocritical firings or whatever petty satisfaction the Internet is feeding on right now, put yourself in Comey’s shoes, circa June 2016. Read More
Kate Hoit always dreamed of joining the FBI. Then she was deployed to Iraq in 2004, and her life took a different turn. Read More
In June 2016, my wife and I headed to Ireland for a week-long vacation. It was my first time on Emerald soil, despite my unabashed affection for my cultural heritage. While I certainly wish I’d had the chance to visit earlier, there was also something poetic about making the trip during the centennial celebration of the Easter Rising, the first major conflict in the struggle for Irish Independence.
We certainly didn’t expect to hop on a plane to Ireland the day after the Brexit vote. Nor did I think anything at the time about the fact that I listened to "Hamilton" for the first times ever as we drove through Ireland that week, and in that specific political context. Read More
So naturally, this got me thinkin'...