When Dependence is a Good Thing

On July 4th,1776, thirteen colonies declared independence from Great Britain and later formed the United States of America. Independence Day is now a federal holiday in the United States. Independence is a tricky state of being for it can be a good thing or a bad thing. Writing is an independent profession, but for many of us, […]

MFA and the Myths of Being an Artist

They say cardio is the first to go, which I suppose explains last evening’s huffing and puffing through my first run since the day before residency began. Normally I’m a runner—around 25 miles a week—but last night it was hard to tell. Each step on the asphalt was foreign. My lungs were weak. Despite what […]

The Stories We Share

Survivor (as in “Eye of the Tiger”) is to play a free show in Los Angeles later this summer. I stumbled upon this exciting news the other day while browsing Thrillist LA’s list of (they say) every free outdoor concert in LA. It was mid-afternoon, June gloom burned off, the sky clear blue, the asphalt […]


My favorite Boston bookstore—my singular favorite in a city purportedly abounding with more bookstores per square mile than any other—is like a reversed Narnia wardrobe. When I think of it, there’s a wide glowing window display and thirty minutes disappearing faster than a J.P. Licks frappe. Those thirty minutes would be, of course, window-browsing moments. […]

To Kill a Mockingbird Broadway Tickets

To Kill A Mocking Bird Live on Broadway – Get Your Tickets Online Now History is being made at the Shubert Theater. Book Today For Exclusive Savings!   Considered one of the great classics of modern American literature. All To Kill A Mockingbird Shows & Dates Available. Buy Now! All event tickets are backed with […]

Photography by Clayton Douglas

Forgotten Places

Lately I have been feeling a little sad, concerned about the future of San Francisco. I consider myself very lucky to live in a place that has always been considered a hot spot for the liberal, the arts, museums, and endless good coffee, teas, poetry, and music. After all Lawrence Ferlinghetti considers it his city. […]

The Sad Eyes of Virginia Woolf, by Debbie Styer 2013

B-B-B-Bennie, the Muppets, and Virginia Woolf

A few months ago, I caught myself on a Saturday evening at the dining room table while the kidlets watched Season 2 of The Muppet Show in the adjoining living room. I had spent the entire day alternating between working on a new song that had emerged from some noodling on my guitar, and trying […]

I Have Writer’s Block, FML

You know those days, where you sit down to a blank page and everything is going right?   Every sentence feels plucked down perfectly from the ether—those writers that you thought were bullshitting when they said: “Oh, the story came to me from somewhere else, as though it were a gift—I was just the medium,” […]

Why We Said No, or “No This Time” Doesn’t Mean “No Forever.”

  Creating superheroes, one decline at a time! Silver linings, right? Recently, this article by Liz Kay has been making the rounds of the internet—and for good reason, it’s a very thoughtful article that really helps a working writer frame the declines they’ll inevitably receive and put them in perspective. We believe in transparency at […]

Both Sides of Submittable

Most writers start out on one side of the screen, but the more committed we become to our craft, the more we realize the importance of participating in the literary community we’d like to be a part of—and for many writers, this translates to a donation of time and effort by working on a literary […]

Mind the Gap

Hello, fellow scribblers! We need to talk about what you are going to do next. I, myself, am nearing the end of my MFA experience and have to make certain life decisions. Like what to do with a time in my life called Post MFA. I believe this is something like menopause; a state that […]

Let’s Do Math Together!!

Hello! How are you, my fellow laureates? It’s getting to be the end of the submission cycle for winter/spring journals. We are tired people. So many submissions! It’s also that time of year when we all pull out our calculators, or ask someone, anyone better at math to crunch the numbers, or we just give […]

Get Your Book Banned

Hello! Welcome back, you crazy Bannagahammers! While licking my wounds from my latest rejection, I’ve been taking a LOT of Buzzfeed quizzes. Evidently, I am not very 90s (which was weird since that was the decade of my youth), however, when I took the “What Era of Rock Are You?” quiz, I got 90s indie […]

Glitter Pen 2014

Hello, fellow pen dancers! Let’s talk about the hardest part of writing. And no, it’s not giving a reading, like I said last week. Submitting your work is terrifying. Putting your work out there to be judged and scrutinized seems to be the most nerve wracking part of the business of writing. I’ve been thinking […]

How a Person Should be at a Reading, or Otherwise and in General

Hello, word workers! We need to talk. We need to have the talk…   Nobody wants to talk about this with other writers, but the best form of communication is honesty. Writers, when you read your work to other people, make sure to make it good. I know, I know, this is the hardest part […]

The Anatomy of the Madeleine, an Owl, and General Hospital

Hello, fellow truth seekers! Today, we are going to talk about something all of us (hopefully) have: Memory. As writers of words, I think we come  back to our memory whether we want to or not.  What we do with our memory seems to arbitrarily separate us into genres these days: fiction, creative nonfiction, and […]

Spines of Unwritten Novels, A Love Affair

We meet again, fellow logophile! Many of us have just gotten back from the Shiny Happy People Convention, AKA AWP, the all writers and writing programs convention. So many smiling faces. So many familiar faces both wandering the vast isles and behind the booths. I have gotten more than one request to do a recap […]

But I’m an Astronaut! (AKA write what you know)

Hello, fellow scribes! We meet again. Today, I want to talk about something that has been bothering me for a while because I just now (after years and years) got it. All you have to do to be a good writer is write what you know.   Wait! I know what you’re going to say: […]

What Would Dolly Parton Do?

Hello fellow Word Processor Mavericks! When I first was asked to write about voice I thought I had drawn the short end of the stick…

AWP: A Field Guide To and For the Dangerously Reclusive

It’s that time of year again, fellow scribes! For anyone who loves books. For anyone who loves writers. It is time to heed the call…

The Best Idea For A Novel Ever!

Hello fellow pen slingers! To kick off the inaugural blog post here on Free Lunch I want to talk about the one question that bothers writers the most…