Gene Hackman kills time in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation (1974)

Art can’t escape time.

The power of any narrative form lies in its manipulation of time. Some artists use it as a tool, some comment on it, others attempt to escape it, but every work of art interacts with the concept of time, whether consciously or not.

Photography takes a moment, a fraction of a fraction of time, and turns it into an object. Music takes the most immediate signal of time’s passage — the heartbeat — and replicates it, thereby controlling it, speeding or slowing our bodies’ markers of time. …


In the wake of the Houston Astros’ sign stealing scandal, every Major League team is under increased scrutiny. As many fans have suspected, a new commissioner’s report confirms that the use of technology to steal pitch calls and transmit them to the hitter at the plate extends far beyond the Astros and Red Sox.

While the Houston used cameras to transmit footage of the catcher to the dugout in order to improve batters’ chances of a successful at-bat, the Detroit Tigers have proven to be the most innovative cheaters, combining sign-stealing with another strategy popularized by the modern Astros —…


Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash

When I started carrying a pocket-size notebook early this year, I was planning to use it for story ideas, meeting notes, and shopping lists. It was supposed to replace the notes app and keep me off my phone, not become a place to ponder myself and the universe.

It’s been a stressful year. I felt bad at my job. I felt like I was incapable of parenting a five-year-old. I felt, most cripplingly, like I’d never write anything meaningful.

But I got to start the year on the beach, reading and reflecting. I didn’t write for a week, and at…


Photo by Andrew Wulf on Unsplash

I’ve wrestled with this topic for years.

It’s an easy, jokey observation: “Stormtroopers are so bad at shooting.” I’ve heard it, I’ve said it, I’ve noticed it’s technically canon now, thanks to a throwaway line in the otherwise excellent Han & Lando novel Last Shot.

But it always bothered me. They’re supposed to be the shock troops of an all-powerful empire, the “Keenest weapon in the Emperor’s arsenal.” As bumblers who fill the air with useless blaster fire, they serve neither the story nor our sense of credulity.

But the fact remains: a large number of the stormtroopers we encounter…


Photo by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash

1. Don’t write rules for writers lists

2. Get a feisty-smelling candle for writing action scenes. It’s like a soundtrack for your nose

3. Have a dedicated writing spot. You’re never going to use it, but it’s better to write on the kitchen floor by choice than necessity

4. If an old lady asks you to carry her across the river, do it

5. If you’re at a restaurant that has anything named after the restaurant (or a frequent customer) on the menu, order that

6. Care about sports — it’s a heartbreak you can share with thousands; rejections are…


It was a rough year.

Bowie, Prince, Ali, Wilder, Cohen, and on and on and on. And then Carrie Fisher. Each death hit somebody deep. Some of my friends mourned Bowie like he was a friend, a role model. Maybe a god.

I was at a pub when the news broke about Prince. The bartender was crying as he wrote “Special: Purple Rain” on the blackboard. I ordered one and listened to him talk about how much Prince and his music had meant.

Of course I appreciated the talent of Bowie and Prince, but it hadn’t gone much deeper than…

Daniel Southwell

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