Brett Easton Ellis on Trump

Men call him The Sensemaker:

“You can dislike the fact that Trump was elected, yes, definitely, and yet still understand and accept ultimately that he was elected this time around. Or you can have a complete mental and emotional collapse and let the Trump presidency define you, which I think is absurd. … If you are still losing your s— about Trump, I think you should probably go to a shrink and not let the bad man that was elected define your self-victimization and your life. You are letting him win.”

– Bret Easton Ellis

Is your Brain Ready to Get RIPPED!?!?!?!?!?

I’ve become a little bit of a maniac about discipline and willpower lately. Again, not because I have SO much of it but because I have a little of it and I want more. I’m still a lot like the rest of the modern world: unfocused, lazy, addicted to my smartphone. But I think I’ve got the not-so-secret secret to building discipline more or less figured out. It isn’t easy, but it works. Ready? Let’s go.

Continue reading

Read My Shoddy Work: ‘The Night Shift’ Pt. 3

Been looking after the lovely Mrs. Miller a bit more than usual this week. She’s developed a wicked case of tendinitis (or something). Just one of the hazards of being a hard working human in the digital age. But that doesn’t mean I won’t give my legions of fans the bread and/or circuses they’ve come to expect from this blog.

If you haven’t been following along, you can catch up by reading Part 1 and Part 2 here.

Continue reading

Getting a Super Encouraging Rejection Letter

I mentioned a while back that I submitted my first short story The Shelter (aka ‘Is it not Midnight?’) to a publisher (you can read an earlier draft of it here). Well, I finally got a response back from one of the editors there. The reply was not what I wanted exactly, but probably what I needed.

The editor essentially told me the story (and characters) were too big to be a short story but too short and undeveloped to be a fully fledged novel. But, and here’s the good part, they if I would consider expanding it into a novel, they might like to be in the Alan Miller business.

Honestly, I would have been happy with anything more personal than a copy-and-paste rejection e-mail. But to get encouraging, specific feedback from an editor who had obviously read the manuscript? Well. That is a cut above.

I know what you’re thinking.

“This hayseed thinks he’s hit the big time because a real life editor didn’t completely ignore his submission.”

Believe me, I’m trying to keep things in perspective. Nobody’s agreed to pay money for this drivel, and I still need to expand a long-ass short story into a big boy book. But, I can’t help walking a little straighter knowing someone kind of liked what I had to say.

Three Lesser-known Chuck Berry Gems

I’m planning on doing a longer, more thorough post on this transformational man, but I want to mark the occasion of his demise with something to celebrate his contributions. Everyone knows “Johnny B. Good,” “Maybelline,” and (thanks to Quentin Tarantino) “You Never Can Tell” ad nauseum. As such, I respectfully share the following hidden gems from the great man’s catalogue.

  1. You Can’t Catch Me

2. No Money Down

3. Too Much Monkey Business

BONUS TRACK: Let it Rock

St. Patrick’s Day Mayhem: Rory Gallagher

I’m celebrating St. Paddy’s day by featuring examples of excellence in Irish music. Keep checking back in for new additions. Throughout the day.

Once called the greatest living guitarist by Jimi Hendrix, allow me to introduce Rory Gallagher:

I’m also partial to his version of a Muddy Waters classic:

A lively player, Gallagher also put out some interesting Prog Rock-ish recordings:

St. Patrick’s Day Comes Early

As a proud Anglo-Euro Mutt, I have a good bit of Scots-Irish heritage on all sides of my family. I always enjoy a little corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day (although in Chicago when eldest son was very young we ate at a Polish buffet to avoid the seasonal madness that descends upon the Windy City, I have no regrets).

That’s why when my day job office decided to have a St. Paddy’s themed potluck today (a full day before the official wearing of the green) I leapt at the chance to make the traditional dish of the Irish in America. It turned out pretty well if I say so myself.


It’s a little mussed up because my esteemed colleagues have been eating it, but you get the idea. Good hearty peasant food.

This combination of corned beef brisket and cabbage is a purely American Irish phenomenon. When the Irish fled the Potato Famine in the 19th century, the one of cheapest meats available was the corned beef sold at kosher delis along the eastern seaboard.

This story is, in essence, the American Melting Pot in a nutshell. Two very different cultures adapting to a new country and coming together in a free market to create something spontaneous and new.

I’m gonna celebrate tomorrow on the blog by sharing a bunch of Irish music.

Also, I have a guest blog probably coming up in the next couple of days on Sarah Hoyt’s excellent site. I’ll reblog it here whenever it goes up.

Oh, if you’re curious about which recipe I used, it’s this one essentially.