Category Archives: On Writing

My intermittent rumbles on writing, aspiring to write and the writing life. I store pent-up anger in this closet.

Words and Music

I don’t mean to trod on the coattails of the magnificent 1948 Judy Garland/Lena Horne/Gene Kelly/June Allyson/Mickey Rooney flick but sometimes there’s no other way around it. Truth be told, I’ve never seen this movie and I’m just ripping off the title for a rumination on the relationship between writing and music. But seeing as how I’m providing more press for this movie than it’s received in fifty years, I feel I’m paying my royalties. Continue reading Words and Music

A Response to all the MFA Curmudgeony

The interwebs have been abuzz (in certain circles – not the normal world, of course, since everyone else is busy discussing important things like maybe Occupy Wall St.) with furor over MFA rankings published in the Sept/Oct issue of Poets & Writers. After all, bloggers are generally writers and because we’re writers we have things to say about everything. Of course the masses would take arms against their supposed oppressors. As an MFA graduate myself, I’d been non-stop furious for weeks now. Okay, actually I’ve been entirely disinterested in the rankings. Nothing more than noise. Poets & Writers had decided to fill a void of information. MFA programs flourish in my mind due to two factors: reputation and location. I wanted to go to school in Maine so I did. If P&W wanted to attempt to make something official so be it. Was my school even ranked? I don’t remember. I checked the list out of mild curiosity before placing that issue along with my other writing mags in the basket next to the toilet. I’ve not been ignorant of the rumblings but they haven’t interested me. Until I stumbled across a blog post by the managing editor of the Missouri Review. Continue reading A Response to all the MFA Curmudgeony

Fear the Page

I haven’t written anything in almost a month. Not one word of a story, novel or blog post. I’m not afraid of the blank page. We’re just not really speaking.

I had a memoir/creative non-fiction piece published in the excellent Specter Literary Magazine last week. (Find it here: A story that means quite a bit to me, that took me a long time to craft and mold into the story it is today. I’m very proud of that story. Still this relative success has not inspired me to tackle any of the projects in my head. Continue reading Fear the Page

Typewriter Experiment #2: The bugger is that I8m out of coffee.

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The bugger is that I’m out of coffee. Losing apostrophes and adding spaces. My first attempt at a sentence haunts me on the back side of this paper. This physical dead tree in my typewriter. The sentence draws nearer every time I slide the platter back to its starting point on the far left side. “Jay Patrick is trying to type on a typewriter.” Continue reading Typewriter Experiment #2: The bugger is that I8m out of coffee.

Typewriter Experiment #1: Getting to Know You

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As my first experiment in typing on a typewriter I just wanted to get used to the keyboard and do a little bit of key pounding. I must admit this feels much like heavy lifting compared to typing on a computer. My hand has already begun to cramp from using long lost muscles that I perhaps never had. Another thing is remembering to hit a capital letter at the beginning of each sentence. Thanks auto-type. I couldn’t even remember to capitalize the first letter in a sentence about capitalizing the first letter. Also did everyone type with three fingers or was every pinky and ring finger so beefy that fatigue and/or strength never factored in typing a single letter? I’m picturing legions of secretaries and housewives with Hulk Hogan forearms because as we know from Mad Men no male ever typed a damn thing in his life. Continue reading Typewriter Experiment #1: Getting to Know You