Make This Poem Better: “Ursa Major Wakes in January”

Make This Poem Better: "Ursa Major Wakes in January"

It’s back! Last June, I posted a draft of “The Lime-and-Tequila Love Song” as a revision exercise. The idea was to see what different poets would do with a single rough draft … and to give you an exercise in creativity and voice. I was really excited about the response, so we’re back for another round. Like … Read more…

How to Radically Empower Your Writing … By Surrendering It

5 Mostly-Practical Ways to Surrender Your Writing to God

About two years ago, while kneeling in a pew at St. Vincent Basilica, I was about ready to throw in the towel with this writing business. That was part of the reason I was on retreat there in the first place. I knew I wanted to be a great writer and somehow glorify God through it. I had … Read more…

How to Come Up With Short Story Ideas, Every Day

Short Story Idea Generator

Fiction writers, does this sound familiar? “I want to write a story, but I don’t have any ideas!” YAWN. Look, I know the feeling. But you can’t use that excuse anymore. Why? Because I’m about to give you a story-generating tool that’ll leave you with no excuses. Except maybe that you have no time. I respect … Read more…

The Artist’s Vocation: Finding Beauty in the Hard Places

Finding Beauty in Hard Places

Recently, my Russian tutor had me read this snippet from Russian Modernist poet Nikolay Zabolotsky: … что есть красота и почему её обожествляют люди? Сосуд она, в котором пустота, или огонь, мерцающий в сосуде? Or, loosely translated: … what is beauty and why do we worship it? Is it a vessel for emptiness, or a fire in a vessel, … Read more…