Here’s how I write a 2,500-word article: I write it to 4,000 words, then cut it back.
Know how I write a 1,500-word article? The same way.
I keep ending up at 4,000, so the shorter the assignment, the more kittens I have to drown. So I was thrilled to see Roy Peter Clark—whose “Fifty Writing Tools” greased my transition from academic researcher to journalistic storyteller 10 years ago—has published a book called How to Write Short. (more…)
If you attended my April 23 talk about “The Lines Between Us” at American University, or if you just want to learn more about the series, here are some resources… (more…)
There’s a piece about crime in Baltimore over on Medium that’s gone viral.
It’s understandable why this article has emerged right now. In Federal Hill, robbers recently held up and pistol-whipped employees at a popular tavern. A Baltimore Sun editor was held up on a Canton street by a brick-wielding mugger who fractured the man’s skull and knocked out his teeth. In a home facing Patterson Park, burglars beat and stabbed a woman to death in her home. (She had chased one of the burglars out of her house in the early morning just last summer.)
The author of the Medium piece, Tracey Halvorsen, lives half a block from Patterson Park. She is scared. (more…)
It’s Thanksgiving, and the Internet is aflame with virtue. I’m not talking about the obligatory litanies of gratitude, written by people who are going to cut me off on the highway later today as I’m driving to my parents’ house.
I’m talking about the people showing off their astounding capacity to not “consume” for one day and the even more sanctimonious people telling me to keep it (“it” being my wallet) in my pants tomorrow. (more…)
I want to tell you about Lou Reed by telling you what it’s like to step into one of his songs. (more…)