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…

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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…

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…

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…

English Major Confessions: Editing

I have fond memories from my college years sitting at the student union in a group with our books spread open over the table. We chatted as we took notes and sipped our coffees. Since I was an English major, I’d not use a textbook, but would instead be bent over a novel, using a…

Drudgery in Fiction

Fiction may be the glamor child of writing, but it too has elements that are, kindly, drudgery. Fortunately, help is at hand: Questions dealing with topics like research and summarizing plots and character information have been asked and answered over on Writers.stackexchange.com, and their answers can help make these chores a bit easier. Writers is…

What Makes a Successful Writer?

My wife, Kimmy, and I spend a lot of time at a small, independent coffee shop in the heart of Busan called Hipster Coffee. We’re the only foreigners who frequent the place, and we’ve come to know the owners on a first name basis. It’s a great little place to spend the afternoon writing, reading,…

On Procrastination and Zombies

The beginning of the school year in Korea starts in March, so last week, the daily grind officially began. I did very little. And by “little” I mean I gave every class a near impossible to solve word search. It kept them occupied while I played Plants vs. Zombies on my iPad. Oh yeah, ESL…