Blog

Posts from Pumpjack Press authors and contributors about culture, books, economic and social justice topics, history and more, with the occasional poem and short story.

Fighting about writing?

We’ve been writing together for 17 years, about the same amount of time we’ve been a couple. The two are definitely related. We wrote our first book—The Cowboy and the Vampire: A Very Unusual Romance—in 1999 to see if we could refocus, or at least constructively channel, some of the dysfunctional energy that had already broken us apart once. It worked, and we’ve got the emotional scars, and books, to prove it. Here’s a Top 10 list of our most memorable writing fights and actual, applicable lessons extracted from each.

Read More

Discovering the present in the past

Can we learn from the saga of Bonnie and Clyde and find ways to rebuild the working class or will we continue driving full speed into our own ambush? As Mary Wollstonecraft — a writer, philosopher and staunch advocate of women’s rights (and mother of Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein) — once famously said, “people are rendered ferocious by their misery." 

Read More

A story of five dollars

I was grateful to be so vividly reminded that even the smallest gesture—in this case, a single five dollar bill—can become something consequential. Even if most of the time, we don't see the immediate impact of our actions, it reminds me that every little bit of kindness is important.

Read More

Bonnie and Clyde: Poverty, second chances and true love

Today is the formal release date of the new book Kathleen and I wrote together, Bonnie and Clyde: Dam Nation (Pumpjack Press). It’s the second book in the series (book one, Bonnie and Clyde: Resurrection Road came out May 2017) that imagines what might have happened if the two outlaws were spared from their gruesome end and given (or, more accurately, forced) to work for the government to protect the greater good. So why pick two notorious criminals and murderers (even though many believe Bonnie never pulled a trigger herself) to anchor the series? For three reasons...

Read More

Andy Warhol saved my vision

On a recent trip to Washington, D.C., with Kathleen (her home town) for a family event, we took in a Warhol exhibit at the Hirshhorn Museum. Called Shadows, it featured 102 silk screen prints of exactly the same scene — a shadowy view from inside Warhol’s studio — in different colors. Each print was about three feet by four feet and displayed in a long, continuous line around the distinctive curved walls of the Hirshhorn. As it turned out, the exhibit was a perfect vision test.

Read More