Categories
Memoir Nonfiction

A Slight Digression On My Own Experience Starting a Rock Band

Before the end of seventh grade, Kurt Cobain was dead from suicide. It was announced one morning as we sat in homeroom watching Channel One news where Anderson Cooper got his start in journalism.

Categories
Nonfiction Memoir

How Not To Fry An Egg

A cooking lesson from my dad, who is, perhaps, the worst cook in human history.

Categories
Memoir

Robbie, Junior

Robbie is my second cousin, a little more than a year and a half older than me. His grandmother, Elner, my Papa Hamlett’s sister and my great aunt. Though our blood was inextricably linked through kin, there is more to it than that.

Categories
Memoir Nonfiction

The Court

Blue jeans and flannel shirts and ratty white Reeboks adorned bodies that twisted in mid-air for a lay-up or a rebound ricocheted off the rim. Young women in short shorts and sundresses laid on the hillside and watched their boyfriends.

Categories
Memoir Nonfiction

Then and Now: A Brief History of Phenix, Virginia

“They’ll bite off your toes,” Robbie’s mom Joanne told us of the hogs. “Especially the babies.”

Categories
Memoir Nonfiction

Welcome to Phenix: A Nice Place to Live

There used to be a sign as you entered town that read in a big bold font, “Welcome to Phenix, Virginia: A Nice Place to Live.” When I was in high school, this sign hung above my headboard in my bedroom until one night, around 3 a.m., it came crashing down on me as I slept.

Categories
Memoir Nonfiction

The Ghosts of Childhood

The thin, lanky figure stepped to a chink in the gray-black pavement that opened like the veins of a broken waterway, spilling horizontally across the basketball court. He bent his knees. His eyes searched for a direct line to the back of the rusted hoop, and he released a jump shot. The flick of his wrist made a popping sound as his fingers pointed straight ahead. Textbook release.

Categories
Memoir Nonfiction The Adventures of Fatherman

A Peaceful Walk Down By the Water; Or, A Fish Hook to the Groin

“These aren’t meant to come out,” I told my son. “That’s the whole point. You have to cut fish hooks out. It’s so the fish don’t get away.”

Categories
Health and Wellness Memoir Nonfiction

Handwritten Notes While Eating Alone

Back in September, I was in a dark place, and had been for about six to eight months. Outside of my wife, I’m pretty sure everyone else was oblivious to this fact, which is a bit of a scary thought.…

Categories
Memoir Nonfiction Poetry Writing

I Started Writing Poetry Again; Or, A Brief, Soul Crushing History of Working In a Bagel Shop

I started writing poetry again back in March. I was walking through Northside library on Rio Rd. when I saw an announcement sitting atop a waist high shelf. It was a call for poems — a competition to be more…

Categories
Essays Health and Wellness Nonfiction

Perhaps You Should See a Counselor

Why talking to someone is a courageous act.

Categories
Memoir Nonfiction

Today Is Not About Me: It’s About the People Who Made Me, Me

Today is my birthday, and no, I am not just writing a blog post so you can tell me Happy Birthday. But hey, if you want, there’s always the comment section below. Why I’m writing is because (1) I like…

Categories
Memoir Nonfiction Writing

Author Insights: Writing Is a Lonely Endeavor, and Yet It’s Not

American novelist Ernest Hemingway offered up his take on the loneliness of the writing life when he said, “Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer,…

Categories
Memoir Nonfiction Writing

What’s In a Name: Why I chose the title I did for the memoir I am writing

I’ve decided to try something a smidgen different on my blog. That is, offer you the author’s point of view on writing a full length memoir such as When the Lights Go Out at 10:16. Writing can often be a lonely process, so this is me opening the door of my world to you. Today’s perspective relates to why I chose the title I did for When the Lights Go Out at 10:16. But first, a short summary of what the book is about.

Categories
Memoir Nonfiction

Red fire trucks and police cars

I remember her, too. Not well. Her face has been clouded by time. Her voice, I remember it was gentle and kind. She used to give me jellybeans when I went into the bank in Phenix with my mom. She worked there. Her hair was shoulder length if I recall, some blonde to it. Her cheeks a little rosy. She always made sure I didn’t get the black licorice jellybeans.

Categories
Memoir Nonfiction Writing

I feel like a failure every time I sit down to write

“There’s nothing that makes me feel more like a failure than sitting down to write this story.”

“Maybe you need to reframe your mindset as to what constitutes failure,” my wife said to me. She sat across from me on the couch, a book open before her.

Categories
Memoir Nonfiction

The flash mob that wasn’t

Dancing as they moved along, as if plucked from the scene of some musical set on a college campus. They promenaded merrily on the campus of the University of Virginia: from the steps leading down to Bryan Hall, past the…

Categories
Memoir Nonfiction

Flying death monster from above

Beautiful day. Sunny. The year is 1999, the season: spring. The sky is blue with a gentle breeze just outside my window. I’m driving 55 MPH, entering town. Phenix: A Nice Place to Live. I start to reduce the speed…

Categories
Memoir Nonfiction

My dog was bitten in the face by a squirrel

My dog was bitten in the face by a squirrel today. I was on a conference call at work when it happened. I didn’t know a showdown between the tamed and untamed world had gone down until I opened the…

Categories
Memoir Nonfiction Writing

Book Update: Two

Big magic is what author Elizabeth Gilbert calls it. I like that, and I do feel as if extracting memories from within and making sense of them on paper is magic. And so I continue my magic tricks day by day, whether there’s an audience out there in the dark or not.