Posts

Featured Post

The Corporatorium: I Am Prometheus (Episode One)

Image
I am Prometheus . Prometheus. Say it slowly, roll the letters around in your mouth. Prometheus . It is not my real name but it is name most fitting for me. Prometheus, the creator of mankind and its greatest benefactor, chained to a rock, his liver eaten daily by an eagle, in eternal damnation for stealing fire and gifting it to mankind. Yes, there are definite similarities between us. I am Prometheus, and this is my story. Except it’s not my story. I wish it was, but I am not unique or special. This is the story of untold millions of hapless chaps and chicklets caught up in the grinding gears of the corporate machine. This is a faux memoir told episodically. You will be inclined, at times, to laugh at us, and cry for us. Do not hold back either impulse. That is the point of sharing this story—to remind us that life is nothing but a series of small comedies and tragedies. What is important is what we take away from each occurrence, what we learn from each calamity and jo

Team Rayceen: Krylios interviews wordsmith & author Larry Benjamin

Image
Check out my interview with effervescent storyteller, playwright, performer, emcee/host, producer, writer & creator Krylios. We talk about my new book, the creative process, love and death. Hell, we talked about everything. Oh yeah, and Gatsby made an appearance.  WATCH .

How Do You Define Man?

Image
The other day my older brother, who if you follow us on Twitter, you will know as @SquarePegDem, messaged me. You’ll also be familiar with our sometimes-epic squabbles on the platform. His message read: “I’m curious, how do you define a man? You’re not a Supreme Court nominee, so you can answer me.” I set aside the snark (uncharacteristically for me) and thought for a few minutes. In my second novel, “ Unbroken ,” main character Lincoln, struggling to reconcile his own undeniable boyness with his gayness recalls: “I was wrong. Always wrong . ‘No’ was the word I heard most often. No, boys don’t do that. No, boys don’t do this. I was left believing boys only belched, farted, and fought.” Growing up, it seemed to me that being a boy required membership in some sort of exclusive club, which permitted only certain sanctioned behaviors, the esoteric equivalent, I imagined, of knowing to sip one’s tea with one’s pinky extended, or how to dribble a basketball. I found myself on the outsid

Let's Talk about Inclusion and ...Tiny Pretty Things

Image
So can we talk—about Tiny Pretty Things , now on Netflix, which I understand is based on the YA novel of the same name by Dhoniele Clayton and Sona Charaipotra about a group of ballet students at the fictional prestigious Archer School of Ballet? We’ve been watching Tiny Pretty Things and each episode reminds me more of the danger of the WOKE creating “inclusive” stories. I suppose the ambition is worthy, even if the execution is appalling. It seems as if the writers decided to achieve inclusion in this instance (and many others but I’m only focusing on TPT here) by creating a check list of diverse types. There, however, apparently can only be one of each type; this is, after all, is a show set in the rarified world of privilege: white upper middle class, skinny but toned students all of whom own evening clothes suitable for the opera and the girls all wear coordinated Victoria’s Secret under things. But I digress. The first challenge of allowing only one of each demographic is th

On Writing Part Two: (You’ve Got to be) Ruthless

Image
I remember when I first started writing seriously, I would come across all these articles where writers talked about “honing their craft.” That would immediately trigger an eyeroll and a metaphorical flipping of the page (after all most of these articles appeared online). Now seven years later as I begin work on my fifth novel, I’m rethinking that. I still dislike the term, sounding as it does as if one was practicing sorcery. Though, now I’ve come to realize that when we write, we create something out of nothing, which is kind of a neat conjurer’s trick; you (hopefully) pull gold from straw like a literary alchemist. And sometimes, too, being a writer can feel like you’re playing God playing house. You breathe life into your characters after all and give them companions and adventures. The story itself is the Universe you created for them. The characters are the bones of the story; the plot and the conflicts are the capillaries and veins and arteries. And the words are the skin. T

On Writing (Part One): Self-Discovery

Image
I’ve always thought of my writing as organic, as happening beside and outside of me. I read somewhere where a sculptor (I forget who) praised for his statue insisted that he hadn’t created it, that it had existed inside the stone; he’d merely used his chisel to free it. That’s the way I thought of my writing—I likened it to capturing fireflies in a jar. My characters are a visitation (blessing, or curse, I’m sometimes not sure, especially when they jabber incessantly, distracting me from the task at hand, waking me from my sleep). If they are a visitation, I am but a helpless medium, charged with channeling their spirit energy, their words, while I remain unable to control or direct them, unable to summon them at will—that is at times that suit me when I am ready and able to write. The characters, the words, they are there in the air, I just have to capture and share them. At least, that is what I used to think. Now, I’m not so sure. Of course, it was another who raised this doub

Seventy-Six Million Voices

Image
  Anyone who reads this blog knows I worked election day as Judge of elections in my district. I’d decided months ago I was going to serve. If I was going to get Covid, it would be after I cast my vote to oust Trump and his GOP enablers. Like everyone else working the polls that day, I spent 15 straight hours wearing a mask and plastic face shield. I didn’t think much about the value of what we were doing. But all day long people thanked us for our services as they came and quickly went having exercised their rights. People brought us pizza and water and one little girl and her mother brought us homemade butter cookies. It felt good to be seen, to be appreciated. I didn’t think much more about it until Saturday night when both the President-elect and the Vice President-elect made a point of thanking every poll worker for their service. They thanked us even as Donald Trump worked to demonize poll workers, voters themselves and delegitimize the election results. The contrast was stark—ev

Vote

Image
  I’m Judge of Elections in my ward/district so of course the election is very much on my mind. Actually, I may be obsessed. If you follow me on Twitter you know that I am consumed with outrage over this administration; trolling Trump has become a favorite pastime. I truly believe exercising our right to vote is critical; it is a calling, a sacred obligation, an opportunity not to be dismissed. In a recent conversation, I suggested employers should close on Election Day—especially this year when unprecedented voter engagement is expected to result in long waits to vote, causing a disruption in work schedules and obligations. A phenomenon compounded by the social distancing required to prevent the spread of Covid 19—after all we don’t want voting to turn into a super spreader event like the #RoseGardenMassacre. (See, I can’t stop trolling Trump). Anyway, my suggestion was met with resistance; the argument was made that employers shouldn’t be paternalistic, “parenting” employees by