This Writer’s Life

Everyone’s favorite MFA student, our “Writer’s Life” columnist Kevin Alexander gives his witty take on starting a writing career. Join in his often amusing, occasionally heartfelt experiences trying to get a leg up in this challenging field. Kevin will be posting to his blog weekly so sign up for an e-mail alert for his latest musings.


Sweet (Writing) Dreams Are Made of These

I hope your Labor Day weekend respite was relaxing and full of SPF 30  lotion focused on your shoulders or higher. Before I move on to real  time blogging  I just want to congratulate everyone on the fantastic  outpouring for the Commenting Story Adventure. It is always a great  sign when the number of...

Choose Your Own Commenting Adventure

When I was a wee lad of middle school angst years, I enjoyed those  Choose Your Own Adventure books, mostly because I felt like I had  control of the pending situation, even if I could never figure out to  keep from shaking the branch to retrieve Carlos’s backpack whilst the  Abominable Snowman lurked around....

On Dream Jobs, Doing TV, and Pickpocketing Hippies

Last week I did some TV stuff for the Boston news show Chronicle, in  which I brought them around to some “insidery gems” in the city and  talked about what made the places cool and what I saw as trends in  Boston style for men. This is hilarious on several levels, the first  being...

A Book You Should Read Right Now

Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are by Rob WalkerNormally my book recommendations fall heavily into the writing,  words, fiction-esque category (Richard Price) or the magazine writer  anthology category (David Samuels), which makes sense, because those  are the things I do, friends. And you are what you read/eat....

The Things That I've Learned

I’ve now spent a LOT of time away from the city of Brotherly Hub,  which has made me reflective, which is the proper mindframe to either  a) create a sappy (but totes cute!) collage of Saved By the Bell and  Party of Five heartthrobs for your best high school girlfriend or b)  think about...

Blog: The Changing of the Venue

Lake Tahoe, friends. That’s the spot that hep people call the bee’s knees. The place looks like Lake George on steroids–all muscular mountain peaks, blue-green lakes, and people seemingly unaffected by my acquisition of a (white!) iPhone. There is something about beautiful spaces, about nature really stepping up its game, that makes me want...

West Coast Swing

In keeping with my tradition of leaving the muggy heat of a Boston  summer, I am going on a West Coast trip later this week, which will  surprisingly not feature me begging my father for money, sleeping  quarters, and “walking around money” in the SoCal. No sir. This trip  is to the Northern parts...

Motivation, Work, And Other Things that Make You Go Hmmm

I hope your weekend was restful and untainted by several waits in line for iPhones that you didn’t end up getting because you’ve just been paying your mom for all cell phone charges for the last five years rather than taking forty five seconds to go to the Verizon store and sign over the...

And Then I Got A Job

Hello friends. I hope everyone celebrated the birth of our nation in  a timely, safe, and socio-economically green manner. I sat in 40 min  of post-fireworks traffic driving back from Wood’s Hole (Cape Cod!)  to Falmouth (Cape Cod!) on Friday night, which would’ve almost  completely sucked if not for the intrepid lyrical hegemony of...

A Taste of Pre-Nation Celebration Customer Service

While perusing the Interweb, I realized that a lot of successful  webhomes use surveys to conduct user feedback to finely tune their  content and figure out how many old “Threes Company” clips to post.  And since we–like the Web– are an ever-changing, ever-adapting  server of you, our reader, we want to get in on...

On Mad Men: The Greatest Show for Writers Since, Well, You Know

Generally speaking, this blog is about the writing world, and the writing world is a large entity not just made up of books, magazines, and creepily specific dream journals. Within the confines of said blog, I try and talk about anything in that whole new world associated, connected to or living with good writing...

On Amazon and the Economics of Clicking My Mouse

I just read an article in the NYTimes titled “Small Publishers Feel  Power of Amazon’s ‘Buy’ Button,” in which they talk about how Amazon– in an effort to try and get an increasingly more favorable cut of the  profits from publishers– will take away the “Buy now with 1 click”  button on many of...

Best Short Story Request Hot Line

Friends, I’m back having (barely) survived the reunion. The campus  was beautiful (espresso bar in the library!), the people looked more  or less the same except the ones with 7 months worth of baby in their  bellies or new haircuts, and everyone got, well, very, very drunk.  And although I know that people on...

On the Competitive Nature of Reunions

First of all, I mine-as-well get this out of the way: I saw the Sex  and the City movie and it wasn’t not good. I know, I know– I want  very badly to say that I was forced into it, that I had no choice but  to see it bc (Insert Pseudo Interesting Art...

In Case You Have Nothing To Do and The View is a Re-Run…

I will be interviewed on Helen Coronato’s Novel Idea radio show from 10-11 AM Thurs morning. Possible topics include books, supremely clever puns my illustrious career and the awe-inspiring fragility of my ego. You can tune in and find out whether or not I accidentally curse via The InterWeb here: http://www.homegrownradionj.com/DJs/shows/novel_idea.htm And you can...

A Letter To Myself

Dear Kevin, Sup, friend!? That was a pretty nice Memorial Day weekend, wasn’t it? Yes, I know you were technically “working” but, really, how much work is it to cover a sailing event on Nantucket? No, you’re right; it is kind of a pain to write things down longhand, especially when it’s windy. I...

The (Almost) Summer Reading List

I know, friends that it’s not yet summer. Trust me, I know. Boston  has apparently decided that Mother Nature’s iPod is going to play the  Make it Rain (remix) over and over, and it is forcing me to stay  inside, which is making me cranky and nearly translucent. And while  I’ve been sitting here...

On Journalizing, Radio Shows and Organic Breakfast Foodstuffs

As I’ve mentioned at least seven times before, I dabble in  journalizing as a contributing editor at Boston Magazine. Unlike the  stuff you see here, Boston Magazine is all about chronicling the  lives of other people in Boston, which means I don’t get to speak in  the first person, which is hard for someone...

Post Thesis Insanity: In Defense of Thesis

Defending a thesis is a lot like trying out for your high school’s  theater company’s production of Rent. You spend a lot of time  worrying and practicing beforehand, but in the end, you realize your  uncredited role as the second waitress at the Cat Scratch Club mostly  involves just being there. My thesis defense...

The Quick(ish) Descent to Thesis Insanity: Aftermath

Friends. I cannot describe to you the relief that I feel right now. I imagine it’s somewhere between finishing a (Boston!) marathon and beating Tetris on Level 9 with the music set to Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Here are the details: In the last two weeks, I have written 80 new pages,...

The Quick(ish) Descent to Thesis Insanity: Manic Tuesday

I am embarrassed, friends, to report that I committed a rather large  error a few weeks ago that I now feel (not entirely)comfortable  sharing with the group: Noticing a recent sale on Publisher’s Lunch,  my editor asked me if I would be interested in doing a Cover Q & A  with a high profile...

The Quickest Thesis Insanity: Big Apple Weekend Edition

Friends, I am going to have to keep this short due to a ridiculous and fairly robust sprinkling of work on my plate today. The story I’ve been working on for Boston Mag recently doubled in size, which–while good for my sneaker addiction, clip file and ego–isn’t awesome for my thesis. I have to...