Paul West: February 23, 1930 – October 18, 2015

Thirty years ago, in the spring of 1985, I had the great fortune to find myself in Paul West’s English 412 class: Advanced Fiction Writing. I think it was likely one of the last times he taught undergraduate fiction at Penn State. Sadly, Paul experienced health problems that knocked him out of commission for the…

Jacques Rigaut, November 4-5, 1929: Excerpt from Housebreaking the Muse

The following is a draft excerpt from my novel in progress, Housebreaking the Muse. The novel is haunted by the character of Jacques Rigaut, the French dadaist, gigolo, drug addict, dandy, and suicide. This fragment is from one of a number of first-person passages that present Rigaut on the night of his suicide. Rigaut Failure…

Craft Note: Embracing the Morning

For most of my adult life, and a lot of my youth, I've been a night owl. As a kid, I loved staying up on Friday and Saturday nights to catch Chiller Theater or The Ghoul. Then came "Don Kirshner's Rock Concert" and "Midnight Special" and "Saturday Night Live." Later, my punk rock inclination and…