Writing

WiRL: “A Towering Figure of High Culture”

The latest episode of Writing in Real Life is up!

Episode 81: The One where Morgan’s Still Pregnant

A shout-out for Barry??? Moms being attached to newborns and the dads who have nothing to do. The meaning of #FUSS! Barry fundraises for the ACLU. Keeping a diary…or not. Does losing hurt more than winning feels good?

One Way I Choose to Fight

So, last year a thing happened. A thing I was — and am — not happy about. If you’re reading this, I imagine you feel the same because the people who read my books generally seem to be cool like that.

What can I do about this? has been a pretty common refrain since the election. And the good news is that there’s a lot we can do, both collectively and individually. I’ve been donating money to worthy organizations and keeping on top of my elected officials, for example.

But I’ve wanted to do more. I’m not a politician or much of an organizer, but I’m a writer. So I figured out a way to make writing be my way of “doing more.”

For every month in 2017, I will publish a different short story. Some of these stories will be short. Some will be long. Some will be old. Some will be new.

They will all cost $1.99.

And every cent I make will go to the American Civil Liberties Union.

The stories will only be available for one month each. If you miss the January story, well, it’s gone. I’m hoping this imposition of a form of scarcity will motivate people to buy.

Let me be clear about this: I’m not keeping your money. I’m not taking a single penny for myself. You’re handing money to me so that I can give it to the ACLU. (If you want to just give money straight to them or donate directly to them as well, don’t let me stop you!)

Do I expect this to make a difference? Beats the hell out of me. Look, if this crazy thing of mine spreads and gets lots of attention, it could end up being a significant chunk of change. If not, well, I guess every penny helps, right?

Please tell everyone. Please tweet it and Tumblr it and Facebook it and Snapchat it and Instagram it and do whatever else. Heck, you can even tell people about it face-to-face. (I know — crazy, right?)

The first story is already up. It is titled “The Ghosts at 95,” and you can see the cover and description below. It will come down late on January 31/early on February 1, depending on where you live. The clock’s ticking. Go buy it.

Ghosts at 95 cover

ALL PROCEEDS FROM THIS STORY BENEFIT THE AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION!

The year is 2006, and Jeremy Castle has it pretty good. His girlfriend has left him, true, but he has a job at a top downtown financial firm that has made him pretty rich. From his new apartment, he can see the Statue of Liberty and the construction at Ground Zero. If only he could figure out the meaning of the lights that only he can see. And those voices… Why does he keep hearing those voices…?

In “The Ghosts at 95,” Barry Lyga tackles the themes that made his reputation: Isolation, being an outcast, and the fear that your best self and your worst self may be one and the same.

Recommended Reading 2016

Every year, I take a moment to post some books I read over the past twelve months that I think you should consider. This was a crazy-busy year for me, so I didn’t get a lot of reading done, but here is this year’s crop of recommended titles:

  • The Wild Robot by Peter Brown
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik
  • When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin
  • Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

How it Happened: I Hunt Killers

I Hunt Killers mass market paperback

This one’s easy. I’ve already written about it!

Check out this piece I wrote for Mulholland Drive a few years back. It’s basically got the story down pat, though in looking at it now, a couple of details (mostly about timing) are off. No big deal, though.

WiRL: “A blur in his crotch”

A very cool episode

Barry has a book challenged; guess which one! After reading Bruce Springsteen’s memoir, Barry has an epiphany. Leia requests her favorite musician. Morgan plans and executes a toddler’s birthday party without any help.