I'm starting in on a series of essays based around the theme of extinction. Natural extinction, social extinction, the end or deaths of various people or eras or periods in our lives. I've found that the idea of "extinction boundaries" in natural history, or the events that mark the transition from one epoch to the … Continue reading The Sixth Great Extinction
When I drag my injured leg into the clinic's waiting room, I hold the door for a woman limping out who looks to be in much the same condition as me. No crutch, no visible cast or brace. Just a hurt leg and a desperate staggering stride. But she has just seen the doctor and … Continue reading Adventures in Health Care, Latin Style
So I've done it. Finished. Completed my first novel. At least so far as it can be completed. And you know what? It sucks. I don't mean to say that the writing sucks. I consider myself a decent writer, whatever others may think. But the structure sucks. I started out with this idea of a … Continue reading Writing Novels is Hard
"Listen," Dustin says, leaning across the wooden picnic table and speaking in a low voice. "The best part about it is, if you get some chick pregnant, you don't have to worry about it. You can just disappear." I know he's joking. But after a few weeks in Nicaragua, I will think back on this … Continue reading ¡Oye, chele!
Ever heard that old chestnut, When God closes a door, he opens a window? Meaning that when something goes wrong or we don't get what we're expecting or we're forced to take a bumpy old side road when we would have preferred the shiny new blacktop of the main highway, then beyond the initial disappointment … Continue reading The Gringo Trail
The way I understand it, the purpose of starting a blog is to update it with regular little posts. Perhaps even to become popular. Monetize. Obviously none of that has been on my mind for almost the last year or so. Funny how our best intentions always seem to get away from us. But writing … Continue reading Keeping Up
One hundred and seventeen foreign volunteer English teachers in my program have just finished our ten-day orientation in Bogotá and been scattered to the Colombian winds. Some have flown off to major cities like Medellin, Barranquilla, or Cali. Many have been sent to smaller cities like Tunja or Valledupar. Some have been put on … Continue reading Athens of the South