Latest Thoughts

Virginia Woolf's Desk

The Art of the Mini Writing Retreat

For years I’ve dreamed of going on one of those perfect, luxurious writing retreats where one can wake early in the morning, take a reflective walk through the woods, write in the meditative peace of a well-furnished cabin, and then dine in the evening with inspiring artists. Day after day, facing down the challenges of […]

Writing Projects Large and Small


National Novel Writing Month


100 Word Story

Recent Writings

Writer's Digest - Creativity Issue - Grant FaulknerNaked (On the Page) and Afraid
Writer's Digest, July/August 2015
Good writing requires courage—first to give voice to the truth at the heart of every story, and then to share it with a world of readers. The only way to achieve that is through an openness of spirit that can feel dangerous—or even be dangerous. Here's why embracing vulnerability could unlock important doors for you, your writing, and your career.

More Ideas Faster: Writing With Abandon
Poets & Writers, January 2015
A few years ago I grappled with a simple question I had never before bothered to ask myself: Did I decide on my writing process, or did it decide on me? Despite an adult lifetime of reading innumerable author interviews, biographies of artists, and essays on creativity, I realized I’d basically approached writing the same way for years. And I didn’t remember ever consciously choosing my process, let alone experimenting with it in any meaningful way.

Going Long. Going Short.
New York Times Draft Blog
I’ve always wanted to go long, as in writing that big behemoth of a saga called the “Great American Novel,” no matter the absurdity of questing after such a holy grail. I thought the best way to understand the endless ribbons of America’s highways, the oozing boundaries of our suburbia and the rhythms of life they induce in us, resided in an ever expansive aesthetic of maximalist comprehensiveness, full of crisscrossing tentacles of story lines and sentences bursting with syntactic curlicues. …

Paragraph MagazineSix Stories About Gerard and Celeste
(Part of a longer series)
Paragraph Magazine's 100th Issue
After he had children, Gerard saw each person as another’s son or daughter. The pinch of worry in a mother’s eyes just after midnight. The dreadful, slow wait until the front door creaked open once again. Safety. Or was it? He wanted to tell Celeste he touched her with such care, even as they lay in the strewn sheets of another cheap hotel room. ...

green mountain reviewMorphine Drip
Green Mountains Review, Spring 2014 Issue
“It’s what we remember,” Dad said, as if clinging to a frayed thread tossed to a man overboard in a storm. He said something about a boy named Jim, his pants down to his ankles, his tuxedo shirt unbuttoned. Long baby hairs on smooth cheeks. Frogs croaking in the woods, gin rickeys under an August moon, the violet night. Outside a few parked cars, inside the ruckus of others. “Never underestimate the comfort sin can provide,” he said. “A lifetime of bedtime stories all to your lonesome.” Skin crinkled around his eyes. His dry lips pressed feebly around a straw.