Nonfiction

⭐ = a personal favorite

Since college, most of my nonfiction writing has been on my blog. Below is a selection of notable blog posts.

About writing

The 7 Habits of Highly Ineffective Television (May 2016)

Bad writing makes bad TV. Alternate title: “Brian is a Grumpy Old Man.”

No, but Seriously (February 2016) ⭐

When TV script writers take themselves too seriously.

Crazy is Lazy (December 2015)

Is one of your characters crazy? Here’s what not to do.

Polish and Bones (August 2015)

Beauty on a story’s surface, beauty underneath.

Hating Yourself: A Guide (October 2011) ⭐

We all have room to improve.

Sixteen Simple Rules for Writers (July 2011)

Follow these, and your novel will practically write itself.

Pulling Your Punches (May 2011)

Life is too short for wimpy stories.

The Impossible Situation (May 2011)

How do authors create tension?

To Facilitate Comprehension, Employ the Vernacular (April 2011) ⭐

Like the title says.

Language & editing

When Bad Writing Really Hurts (October 2016)

Sometimes I yell at books.

I’m Sorry: A Guided Tour (April 2016)

You keep using that phrase. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Babies and the English Language (April 2016)

I know why babies are bad at English. Adults, on the other hand …

The World Between Yes and No (June 2015) ⭐

“Yes-or-no questions” are rarely yes-or-no.

Copyediting: Descent into Madness (March 2015)

I’m pretty sure I could delete my resume and just show this to prospective clients.

Codswallop (November 2014)

Do you want to learn about codswallop? Then this is the post for you.

Please Note (December 2013)

When you’re an editor, it’s the little things that drive you crazy.

How Precision Kills Communication (April 2013) ⭐

We should always try to be more precise, right? Well …

The Octopi Mumpsimus (June 2011)

Self-explanatory, am I right?

Math & science

A Math PSA (July 2015)

We need to talk about averages.

Cantaloupe vs. Honeydew Melon: What is the Deal? (December 2014)

Is the honeydew a type of cantaloupe, or what? The answer turns out to be … really complicated.

Let’s Talk About Group Isomorphism (May 2013) ⭐

Group theory offers profound mathematical truth.

Open Your Umbrella, Summon the Rain (March 2013)

Correlation does not imply causation.

Fractal series: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4 (April 2012) ⭐

A gentle introduction to a wickedly complex subject.

Dante the Astronomer (February 2012)

The Divine Comedy meets the Pale Blue Dot.

Humor

If Babies Were Cars (October 2016) ⭐

A handy guide.

Brian Answers Ad Questions With Literal Accuracy (June 2016)

What would you do for a Klondike bar?

A Totally Serious Guide to Computer Abbreviations (September 2015) ⭐

HTML – High-Tech Masculine Libido.

How to Write Clearly (June 2013) ⭐

I can’t make it any simpler than this.

Animals Don’t Help (April 2013)

Damn rabbits.

Worst Book Ideas Ever (April 2013)

Feel free to use one.

An Open Letter to People Who Walk Slowly in the Middle of the Hallway (December 2011) ⭐

You know who you are.

Transcendence

For an introduction to what the Transcendence series is all about, read this.

Transcendence: The Princess (December 2015)

About a scene in George MacDonald’s novel The Princess and the Goblin.

Transcendence: A Bad Dream (October 2015)

About a comic strip from the webcomic A Softer World.

Transcendence: Never Gonna Change (August 2015)

About a line from Collin Raye’s 1995 song “I Think About You.”

Transcendence: Another World (August 2015)

About a quote from Paul Éluard.

Transcendence: Beethoven’s Seventh (July 2015)

About a passage in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7.

Transcendence: The Tornado (June 2015)

About a commercial for the U.S. Air Force.

Miscellaneous

Brian Dispenses Unsolicited Wisdom on the Occasion of His 31st Birthday (August 2016) ⭐

Unsolicited wisdom is the best wisdom.

Not Racist at All (July 2016)

Like the song says: Everyone’s a little bit racist!

The Problem With “Whatever You Want” (July 2016)

This one is directed at my 20-year-old former self.

Cynicism as a Logical Fallacy (July 2016) ⭐

“Cynicism is simply the flip side of naïveté. You’re no more mature, just more burned.”

The Ten Commandments of the Internet (July 2016)

#5: “Stay away from 4chan. If you don’t know what 4chan is, keep it that way.”

460 Volts of Conformity (October 2013)

If you’ve never heard of the Milgram Experiment, this may be an eye-opening read.

The Turnaround (July 2013)

Every now and then, the cool, professional facade breaks down.

Happiness is not the Goal (February 2013)

… So what is?

Twisting (May 2012)

Weird and hard to explain.

Let’s See How Measured You Are (April 2012) ⭐

A little girl said this phrase years ago, and it’s stuck in my brain ever since.

What is a Table? (March 2012)

It’s a trickier question than you might think.

You Do Not Even Have to Believe in Yourself (October 2011) ⭐

The real answer to every artist’s question: “What if I’m not good enough?”

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