Can I Use the N-Word?

I don’t use the N-word. But in Mad City (set in Miami), I have black characters and I want to use words black people use, which include the N-word. However, I feel weird being a white guy and using the N-word in my fiction. It feels a little bit like I shouldn’t be able to say it. I spoke with a black history professor and he told me its fine as long as I use it in a realistic context. I’m curious to hear what you all think. Is anything fair game as long as it’s realistic or is there a …

Don’t Hate Trump Supporters

Here’s an unpopular opinion: we shouldn’t hate Trump supporters. Yes, he and many of his supporters are guilty of racism, sexism, homophobia, you name it. But we have to listen to them. There’s a reason why Trump is so popular. His supporters have legitimate economic complaints and Trump has tapped into that rage. The lower and middle class of the United States feel betrayed by the political and economic elites, and they are right. The rich have too much of the pie and are using Washington to grow the monstrous slice they already have. Free trade agreements that Hillary Clinton …

Grief and Growth

There’s a line in Tuesdays with Morrie (which I have not read) that says, “Death ends a life, not a relationship.” It’s very true. I lost my father in May to cancer and it’s hard to deal with sometimes. You’ll probably experience it in your lifetime if you haven’t already, but it’s not something to be afraid of. It can be a huge opportunity for growth and self-discovery. It mirrors lots of other experiences in life. Whenever you’re deeply hurt, you feel the need to withdraw and close up. Grief has taught me that the best response in those situations …

How I Write

I improvise. I try to plan as little as possible. I plan for A to happen, then B to happen, then C to show up and kill D. When I did that, it seemed forced. I love not knowing what’s gonna happen to a character. It’s in the back of my mind all day. I write every day. I do this to keep the story fresh and to keep myself accountable. If I said to myself, “I’m gonna write when I have free time,” I’d never do it. It’s like working out. You have to make time. I sit down …

Make Today Great Again

I didn’t run today. I said I would but when the alarm came around at 5:50am, Fernanda and I did not stir. I just grabbed the phone and moved that sucker up to 7am. And yesterday I ate a bunch of Halloween candy, and the Turkey Trot 5K (on Thanksgiving Day) is coming up in a few weeks. Fernanda and I wanted to run every day of November to be ready. But we didn’t run today. When I did wake up, all the other things I promised I’d do today seemed in doubt too. Novel? Maybe. Homework? Probably not. Eating …