Tall Ships, Best American Essays, Readings, Isis…

My essay “The Truck Stop Killer,” which originally appeared in GQ, (https://www.gq.com/story/truck-stop-killer-gq-november-2012?verso=true) has been included in Best American Essays (under its original title “Highway of Lost Girls”) and my deepest gratitude goes to editors Cheryl Strayed and Robert Atwan for thinking of me, as well as to my editors at GQ, Donovan Hohn and Michael Benoist.

Available from all your fine independent booksellers
Available from all your fine independent booksellers

When I look back in my dotage I expect being included in BAE will remain forever, a highlight.

I'm thinking about BAE
I’m thinking about Best American Essays

If you wish to hear me read (and live in any of these places), here are my October and November dates:

Monday Oct 14th Brooklyn, New York – Franklin Park Reading Series w/ Susan Steinberg,Laura van den Berg, Vanessa Veselka, Karolina Waclawiak, T Kira Madden. 618 St. Johns Place, between Franklin and Classon Avenues, Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York 11238 https://www.facebook.com/events/706547862708337/

Tuesday Oct 29th Portland, Oregon – w/ Cheryl Strayed, Kevin Sampsell, and Brian Doyle. 7pm @ Cedar Hills Powells   3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd.  Beaverton, OR 97005 http://www.powells.com/calendar/

Then I will go to Europe
Then I will go to Europe and read for the first time, the reading there not the going there.


Nov 15  Enschede, Nederlands / Crossing Border Festival http://crossingborder.nl/?lang=en

Nov 16 Den Haag, Nederlands / Crossing Border Festival http://crossingborder.nl/?lang=en

Nov 17 Antwerpen, Belgium/ Crossing Border Festival http://crossingborder.nl/?lang=en

Nov 21 Paris, France @ Charbyde http://www.charybde.fr/pages/events


And now for the super important stuff. Tall ships! In August, I was fortunate enough to spend time training on the Brig Niagara. She is a remarkable ship and it was my great honor to learn from her crew. Someday I hope to become a marginally useful deckhand. I am not one yet. In the meantime, pictures.


This is a shot of the fighting top and cross trees. So many lines, I ran around lost a lot. At the top you can see the “Don’t Give Up the Ship” flag. What I like about this photo is that all you can see is “Don’t,” which seems to me to be a more effective warding.

niagara fighting top

And just because it so beautiful, here’s another with the shrouds clearly to the fore and the cross trees also visible.

niagara mast

Here is an old picture of my pal Dan slaving away like a bro in his 20s. There is a lot of heaving and many ways to ease–better, handsomely, sharply.

niagrara pink sail

dan slaveryFinally, these are photos I took on an incredible night of sailing. This was just after a huge reenactment of the Battle of Lake Erie for its bicentennial. We had just let off everyone but crew and the Captain decided to sail through the night without stopping. I’m so glad he did because it was one of the most beautiful nights I’ve ever seen. These pictures are not doctored or filtered. They were taken with my old phone the second I was relieved on helm and, for once, seem to capture the actual beauty of the sky and moment. niagrara pink sail

Niagara bow

I leave you with this random thought: the Egyptians were historically lame sailors but they had other things going for them. Like Isis! Here she is having incarnated into a nervous actress with no experience who landed the part because she was best friend of the producer’s daughter and magically initiated 7-10 year old girls all over the country into the mysteries of flight.

O’ Zephyr Winds That Blow on High, Lift Me Now So I May Fly


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