I sat down with Richard Kramer, the Emmy and multiple Peabody award-winning writer, in his North Hollywood home to talk about writing his intimate debut novel, These Things Happen.
Oh yes I remember her. They called her Clara for her pale skin and silvery eyes. All of them agreed that it was the most beautiful name in the English language. It reminded the men of clarity or clear or the many other words reserved for her and her only.
Jacob M. Appel is the author of the novels, The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up, and The Biology of Luck (2013).
Punk rock was an endless checkpoint of boots, fists, and teeth. A strong kick by an aptly placed Doc Marten rang more than bells: it rang true. Because we came from a new line of dumb ideas, just like our parents promised.
Earlier, when we were having sex, your mind wandered to that time you were a lifeguard at a waterpark back in Temecula, just out of high school, the many hours spent watching the blue clean symphony of aquatic afternoon play perched on the plastic seat of a lifeguard stand, thighs glued there sticky with sweat…
“This is not good,” Sam Gregory thought waking from uneasy dreams. He let out a cluck that caught himself by surprise. Below his bedroom, in the kitchen, his family heard the cluck and ran up to see a giant chicken in Sam’s bed. The Gregory family was so poor, they mostly ate bread and potatoes.
Bravely dipping a pen in the ink of his own soul, Pickett’s novels chart a winding path from divorced, struggling writer in the throes of an existential crises, to celebrated author.
WHETHER BEAUTIFUL OR TERRIBLE, THE PAST IS ALWAYS A RUIN.
When I look back on my childhood, my earliest memories seemlike artifacts from a lost civilization: half-understood fragments behind museum glass. I remember the spherical alcohol lamp that glowed like a tiny ghost, ringed with dancing blue flames, which hung over the dining room table of the house where I grew up. I remember the sweet, oily smell of coal smoke, and the creaking of horse-drawn carriages on the dirt road outside. Most of all I remember
the summer twilight over the mountains and how, on certain evenings, just before the sun sank below the horizon, it cast rays so luminous and golden that they felt like a solid, enveloping close into which a small boy could simply disappear. An intensity no light today seems to match.
During parties, especially ones in designer-conscious downtown Los Angeles lofts, the couch is coveted territory. People have just spent twenty minutes making polite non-committal remarks around the kitchen island, and all anyone wants to do, at this point, is rest on the cushions and maybe squeeze an end pillow. However, the same competitive drive that applies to every other aspect of life in the city is amplified here. The people on the couch are ruthless motherfuckers.
The prom was off to a bad start, thought Dennis. His sweaty palms were making a mess of his pristine uniform, and a hush had fallen over the gym as soon as he walked in, leaving only the sound of Dennis’s labored breathing and the angsty crooning of the Kings of Leon. He quickly realized that he must have misheard his friend Bacon, who had told him the theme of the prom was “Tarts and Hitlers.”