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Second Line Parade’s First EP

Feel like helping to fund the first real recording of a great, soulful band? Sure you do. Second Line Parade features smoky, sassy singer and strummer Stefanie, and they've got a great sound. Worth a listen. Drop a few bucks their way! Independent artists need our...

Affirmations Are Nice

I received two pieces of mail last week that remind me of why I do what I do. The first was an email from an ESL instructor in Illinois: Dear Mr. Kowalski, As an ESL teacher it can be difficult to find books academically appropriate for my students' levels that is...

Third Season Disappointments

Three shows I’ve come to enjoy in the past few years–Vikings, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black–are all in their third season this year. And so far, all three of them have proven to be disappointments. Here’s why.

My short piece in Brick #95

BRICK magazine asked me and several other writers to write a piece about the books that affected them most during childhood. I chose the Hardy Boys. You can check the issue out here, which includes the option to order the digital edition for your e-reader. This issue...

Darren Greer wins Raddall

Last night, my friend Darren Greer won the Thomas H. Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award. Devoted readers of this blog will recall that I myself won this award last year, so I can personally attest to the incredible thrill that races through one's veins upon hearing one's...

Using jQuery with WordPress

A couple of years ago I started trying to figure out how to use this version of javascript called jQuery. I’d heard a lot about it, and had seen it in action in a few places, and I thought it was really cool. I had little trouble using it on regular HTML pages, but...

How Much Does Lyme Disease Suck, Exactly?

The short answer: a lot. You might call it Revenge of the Deer. Last November, while I was out hunting with my friend Tony, I was bitten by a tick. I didn't realize it for a few days. In fact, I never saw the tick at all. I was out running a couple days later and was...

Making WordPress Menus Accessible

I've been interested in the concept of universal access in web design for some time, since much of the work I've done in education has involved teaching adults with learning challenges. (Actually, the more I teach, the more it seems that people with so-called...

WordPress and Me

I don't know what people imagine the life of a modern novelist to be like, but the fact is, I've got my fingers in a lot of different pies besides writing. Once, I thought that being a professional writer meant never having to do anything other than write. I realized...