I Want the Delusional Confidence I Had at 15


There are a few things you should know about me as a 15-year-old. First, I had super-thick glasses that would only become hip in the early aughts. My braces, acne-prone skin and combination hair didn’t help. Are you shocked that I didn’t have a gang of strapping young men at my door? Yeah, I thought so. I had enough friends to know I wasn’t universally rejected, but when it came to the social ladder of high school life, I was definitely in the bottom half. My interests were strange, I was too nerdy for my own good, and I had the sensation that I was for sure missing out on something cooler. Needless to say, I felt on constant shaky ground, second-guessing almost everything except for one thing: I was a really good writer.

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A Month in Obsession: April 2016

This spring is killing me in ways our mild winter never did. Where art thou, sunshine? I can’t keep wearing the same old pair of pants for another 30 days and the rest of my jeans all have some wear and tear in them. Anywho, clearly my sartorial choices have not been part of my monthly obsession. What has?

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Reading in Bars Is the MFA I Never Knew I Needed


Picture courtesy of my friend Jonny Arcilla. When asked what he thought of Live Lit he answered, “It’s a lot better than I though it would be.” That’s a glowing review right there.

After my first attempt at grad school ended up being a letdown, I hemmed and hawed about getting an MFA in creative writing. I’m still hemming and hawing, to be honest. The reasons why I haven’t pulled the trigger are many: academic fatigue, my desire for more work experience, the tedious application process, my low tolerance for dealing with lit snobs and the cost…oh my, the cost! The reasons for why I haven’t completely discarded it are just as varied. In the meantime, while my hesitant mind kept going back and forth on the subject, my vulnerable heart fell deeply into Chicago’s Live Lit scene. And recently it’s become apparent that reading stories in bars in front of strangers is giving me some of the benefits I was looking for in an MFA program.

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A Month in Obsession: March 2016

T.S. Eliot was wrong, April isn’t the cruelest month–it’s March. By that point I can barely tolerate another second of winter, my New Year’s motivation is long gone and the time switch messes with my energy levels. I can barely function. Still, there were a few gems to be found in this terrible, torturous 31-day stretch.

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