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My decade in love, friendship, and publishing

If you dislike my novel, you’re really not alone!

Six played-out teen contemporary tropes (most of which I’ve used!)

If your revised manuscript still has the same events in the same order, then what’s the point?

The most difficult part of writing is finding the heart of longing

Some advice from aspiring writers on finding the heart of longing

If you’re bored by it, don’t write it

Advice for genre-influenced writers who are applying to MFA programs (part one,two, three, and four)

How my MFA program ushered me into class consciousness

Writing a novel in eight days (parts one, two,three, four, five, six)

I guess it’s not really surprising that young adult fiction might have an ageism problem

Every writer needs a friend who’s more successful and who’s willing to validate their own bitterness

Oftentimes a work in progress will contain an empty space you need to fill

How to move away from writing boring work

The Bad-Lyrical style is a fungus that lies mouldering at the back of literature’s refrigerator

The third novel (parts one, two, three, andfour)

Seventeen hundred short story rejections (1600, 1500, 1400, 1300, 1200, 1100, 1000, 900, 800, 700, 600, 500, 400 and 300)

Today I wrote my one millionth word of crap

Status anxiety

The statistics of inspiration

What do you do when the writing isn’t easy?

I’ve just freed myself from the tyranny of duotrope

On becoming a worse writer

Where I get my stories from

Why I am going to stop giving out writing advice (2012)

Why I am loathe to give writing advice (2011)

Revising the novel

The worst-case scenario for my writing career


There should be a National Coming-Out Day for people whose favorite novel is _Atlas Shrugged_

My decade in love, friendship, and publishing

I don’t think reading books is likely to make a person smarter, happier, or more economically productive

Five classics that ought to capture you from page one

Let’s Talk About Love: A Journey To The End Of Taste, by Carl Wilson

The Feminine Mystique(part one and part two)

The Pursuit of Love, by Nancy Mitford

Getting tired of all the oppression-based critique of narrative art

Nothing in my life has been more rewarding than reading books from the canon

Writing Fiction, by Edith Wharton

The Whisperers, by Orlando Figes

The Second Shift, by Arlene Russell Hochschild

The Warden, by Anthony Trollope

Story of the Stone, by Cao Xueqin

In Search of Lost Time, by Marcel Proust

I am an Elizabeth Gaskell super-fan

The Palliser Novels by Anthony Trollope

World of Yesterday, by Stefan Zweig

Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, by William Shirer

Working, by Studs Terkel

Genji is a rapist

Battle Hymn of a Tiger Mother is a literary masterpiece

Euripides is the bomb

Rahul reads Shakespeare

The Hunt For Red October might be the most uncool book in the English language

Why Video Games Matter

The main thing I’ve learned from Banned Books Week is that book banning is a pretty minor problem

I Write About “My Stephen King Problem”

The Collected Poems of Phillip Larkin

I know I love novels, but I’m not sure why

What does it mean to be against the canon?

Confessions of a Pick-up Artist Chaser

The Power and the Glory, by Graham Greene

Does anyone actually enjoy cliffhangers? (A Dance With Dragons)

Authors who I’ve read in depth

The first and last novels that made me cry

Stranieri, by Tristan Gans

Chicklit novels

Life is too short to waste time on boring books

Against Interpretation, by Susan Sontag

God’s Harvard, by Hannah Rosin

The Pillow Book, by Sei Shonagon

If you die and leave me with your brilliant unfinished manuscripts, I will burn them

Comedic novels

Adrian Tomine’s Optic Nerve comics

Fun Home, by Allison Bechdel

The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck

The joy of short novels

Crime novels with interesting structures

Woman as financial vampire

Old School, by Tobias Wolff

And The Band Played On, by Randy Shilts

The Sportswriter, by Richard Ford

Some pretty awesome plotless novels

The poverty and evanescence of literary acclaim in SF

Why I am deeply suspicious of Malcolm Gladwell

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

The first science fiction novel

Do you folks enjoy reading poetry?

Anatomy of a literary pageturner

Bleak House, by Charles Dickens

A Journal of the Plague Year, by Daniel Defoe

Vanity Fair, by William Makeapeace Thackeray

“If the world could write by itself, it would write like Tolstoy.”

Wired Magazine

Farthing, by Jo Walton

Red Plenty, by Francis Spufford

Wide Sargasso Sea, by Jean Rhys

Burmese Days, by George Orwell

Horatio Hornblower, by C.S. Forester

Rahul’s Question: Where are all the bad books?

Making Friends

How to make friends even when you’re not attractive, charming, interesting, or charismatic

I’m not an expert in making friends; I’m an expert in fighting loneliness

The first step to gaining friends is to stop hanging out with people you don’t actually like

Don’t listen to all the terrible clickbait friend-making advice out there

It’s hard to _try_ to make friends; what’s more productive is to find situations where friendships will form naturally

How to get invited to parties

Making friends isn’t an easy or mechanical process

The easiest, and often best, way to make friends is to befriend an “includer”


On men’s contempt for women

Why I think critics overpraise ambitious, but mediocre, films

Notes from the first week of an MFA program

On being back in DC

I don’t believe in moderation

The Beardmancipation Proclamation

The second season of the Game of Thrones

The Game of Thrones television show is superior to the books.

Thoughts engendered by my return to computer gaming after an absence of two and a half years

We should all stop being so self-deprecating

The Television / Refrigerator Axiom

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