Browsed by
Category: About MAB

Literary Tattoos

Literary Tattoos

a.k.a. “That Time I Got a Big-Ass Typewriter on My Arm” When I told my dad recently that I was getting a rather large tattoo of an antique typewriter on my arm, he asked, “Now, why do you do that?” It wasn’t judgmental or harsh in tone. It was simple inquiry. So simple, in fact, I didn’t know how to answer him. Mind you, both of my siblings have tattoos, so this was nothing new for my folks. My brother…

Read More Read More

Remembering Ellen’s Coming Out

Remembering Ellen’s Coming Out

I watched “The Puppy Episode” 20 years later. Here’s what happened. I recently discovered that Ellen, Ellen Degeneres’s sitcom which ran on ABC from 1993 to 1998, is on Hulu! It’s funny as I’ve revisited the show how clearly I remember watching the episodes when they first aired – especially the infamous “Puppy Episode” from April 1997, in which Ellen’s character, Ellen Morgan, came out as a lesbian – just as Ellen Degeneres did herself in real life on the…

Read More Read More

Mountain Woman: Reflections on Life in the Appalachian Coalfields

Mountain Woman: Reflections on Life in the Appalachian Coalfields

On a typical Sunday morning drive through Omar, W.Va., about 10 miles south of the Logan County seat, there’s little activity along the two-lane road that winds its way through the community. Once a bustling coal town nestled between the mountains, empty storefronts and pothole-lined streets suggest a place whose best days may be behind it. Yet election signs dot front yards, people gather at the lone filling station to discuss the day’s news, and the parking lots of the…

Read More Read More

Prolific and Diverse

Prolific and Diverse

  "Learning to be prolific would be high on my list of the most valuable writing skills a professional writer can have." – Brent Hartinger The quote above, which Brent Hartinger recently made on his Facebook page, landed in my newsfeed at the most convenient time – a time when I was yet again questioning my future as a writer. As I’ve documented plenty of times on the blog, my journey has been stalled by rejection after rejection, even after…

Read More Read More

The Three-Name Effect

The Three-Name Effect

It works for Neil Patrick Harris. For Mary Chapin Carpenter. Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Edgar Allan Poe. George Washington Carver. Martin Luther King and Mary Tyler Moore. Hell, even Kathie Lee Gifford. Not to mention all three of the kids from Home Improvement (who, by the way, are all like 30-something now. Just let that sink in.) Yes, folks, there is a countless number of three-name famous people across the entire celebrity spectrum. And when I first set out on this journey…

Read More Read More

Oh Yeah…I’m a Writer

Oh Yeah…I’m a Writer

Earlier this year, I posed a question to my fellow scribes, asking them what is their day job – because [spoiler alert!] a lot of us aren’t full-time authors. The comment feed on that post became populated with some interesting insights from those of us walking that tightrope of writing and day jobs and families and lives. And it’s that tightrope walk that’s kept me from posting to this blog in over a month. (Nobody tell Agent Steve, please.) It…

Read More Read More

I Write Because Buzzfeed Says So

I Write Because Buzzfeed Says So

“That is perhaps the greatest parody of journalism that I have ever seen.” – Julia Sugarbaker When did I know I was going to be a writer? Was it that summer day in 1994 I wrote a poem for no real reason at all? No. The winter day in 2008 I wrote the first page of Straightville? Nada. The day in 2012 when all this happened? Nope! The first time I ever actually knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I…

Read More Read More

The Best of 2013 in 2014

The Best of 2013 in 2014

[I wrote this piece in mid-December of last year, saved it as a draft, and completely forgot to publish it. Dummy. So despite being well into 2014 at this point, here are my favorite books of 2013.]   I rather enjoy a good year-end “best of” list (even if NPR Books is tired of them). So when I started compiling my practically obligatory Best Books of 2013 list, it dawned on me that very few of the books I read this…

Read More Read More

New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions

I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions. By mid-January (if we even make it that far), they’re forgotten about – swept under the rug like dust bunnies and little balls of cat hair. The “new” has worn off, the media buzz is gone, and we’ve settled back into our boring, old routines. Writers aren’t immune to this trend. There are blog posts galore, like this one, from authors resolving to do all sorts of very specific things, such as…

Read More Read More

My Abandoned Book List

My Abandoned Book List

"[I] read books because I love them, not because I think I should read them." – Simon Van Booy While on a recent bargain table binge at a local bookstore, a certain cover jumped out at me: shades of blue, the Eiffel Tower, the name Christopher Moore. I’m a fan of Moore’s Lamb, so I grabbed one of the multiple copies of his Sacre Bleu that lined the table. The fact that Vincent Van Gogh factored into the plot of…

Read More Read More