Zombie Party

The secret is chocolate sauce. If you want your blood to look nice and dark you need to add chocolate sauce to your mixture of corn syrup and red food dye. Plus it adds a little depth of flavor, which never hurts. So there I was, taking handfuls of blood and smearing handprints down the…

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Reflection and Appreciation

Three years ago I was picked up at a Korean airport in the middle of a rainstorm. My friends Kate and Chaz had already been there for a year and they took us on a combination bus and taxi ride to their apartment. The lights in Busan shone red and orange and yellow and reflected…

Getting Trustworthy Input

During my university years, a writing instructor made certain to drive home the point that it’s extremely important to find someone you trust to read your work. Luckily for me, I married that person. Kimmy is not one to shy away from a harsh critique. After finishing a novel shortly after college, I printed it…

The Little Tea Shop That Could

On a whim, my wife and I took our scooter up into the mountains behind our home to visit our most favorite traditional tea and pottery house. The tea service is free, and all of the kettles and pottery are handmade with amazing attention to detail. We’ve got only five weeks left in Korea, so…

Amends

This ending to an imaginary novel is the first post of flash fiction week V. I had come this far, so I certainly wasn’t about to turn away. But there was a part of me that wanted to, that knew it was easier to keep things unspoken, hoping that, perhaps, when she saw me we’d…

Surpassing Self Satisfaction

My students call me a fashion terrorist, but I’d like to disagree. Open up my wardrobe and you’ll see primarily earth tones. I’m huge fan of navy blue, brown, and gray. I know what I like, and I stick to it. Am I fashionable to others? Probably not. But I’d much rather feel comfortable in…

The Old Man and the Sea of Self-Doubt

I’ve not often considered myself a fan of Hemingway, but a few years ago I decided to give The Old Man and the Sea a try. It wasn’t especially exciting, but it did evoke nostalgic memories from my childhood of fishing on lazy summer afternoons with my father. Shortly after finishing, I sat down at…

English Major Confessions: Reading

I sat crouched over Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park, so enveloped by the story that I could hear the sounds of the jungle. The story became real and visceral to me, so much so that to this day I’m still haunted by the images I read. I was in sixth grade and back then it took only…

Catching Up with Poetry

Grass stood in patches and small tufts, like the patchy beard of the Earth. As a fourth grader, I sat and fidgeted, but soon the small movements of insects caught my attention, and I imagined them a story. We’d been instructed to sit outside and observe nature, taking mental notes to serve as inspiration for…

Swearing in the Classroom

Ji-eon approached me while I stood at the lectern. She sheepishly grabbed a  black dry erase marker and wrote “sheet” followed by the word “shit.” Her cheeks flushed in embarrassment. “How to say?” she asked. I showed her the vowel sounds and had her mimic them back to me. The i in kid or lift…