Listening to Stories

I am a student in the Low Residency program at The Institute for American Indian Arts in Santa Fe.

The Low Rez program is amazing. I have had several kind and amazing writing teachers. I’ll go more into that in a later post.

My mentor this semester is Tommy Orange. His debut novel, There There, will come out form Alfred A. Knopf on June 5, 2018. You should pre-order it from your local independent bookstore now.

In our brief time working together, I have learned so much from Tommy. Lessons that are making my writing better.

One of his suggestions was to listen to a Podcast made by The New Yorker. I’ve listened to some great fiction on this podcast. I love being read to. Some of the most fun bits are when writers choose a story by another author, talk about it, and then you get to hear the story. The craft of writing is on the dissection table. But it’s fun.

Tommy was featured on the podcast recently. I have heard Tommy read before and he never disappoints. Tommy Orange reads “The State” from his forthcoming novel, There There.


Go do stuff

Sadly, a certain amount of benign neglect makes for an interesting life. Feel stupid having bought my family this book when l went to school and left them alone for 9 days in a cabin in the woods. You know. On a mountain. With no phone. No electric.

It would have felt irresponsible to say, let them run wild and take a nap. But honestly, that’s why kids in the 70s had a great time, when they didn’t go missing…

So, all this is to say, go do stuff.

Writers Read

above/top: Cover of 4 Kids Walk into a Bank.

Directly above: quote adapted from Scorsese’s Mean Streets, ” You don’t make up for your sins in church. You do it in the streets. You do it in the home. The rest is bullshit and you know it.”

4 Kids Walk into a Bank was unputdownable. My only complaint is the publisher should have included a Cracker Jack box with a magnifying glass prize so you can read one character’s word bubbles because they are font size 3 or something.

This book is pretty much what the cover says it is, “a torrid tale of child crime.” Think Scorsese directing 11 year olds foiling, then planning a Bank heist.

I can’t take credit for finding this on my own. Stephen Graham Jones over at is a writer who consumes a lot of cool things. And then he writes a lot of cool things. I don’t think he sleeps.

Order it at your favorite comic book store or book store or wherever you like to buy stuff.