Thanks to Charles Holdefer!

Sending out special thanks today to Charles Holdefer for interviewing me on his website. I’ve been a big fan of his since I saw him speak at a writers’ retreat some years ago, and his novel The Contractor demonstrates, in the words of one particularly astute reviewer, “why the novel will always be a viable art form and why the small press is so important to keeping that art form alive.”  In the interview, we talk about the impetus behind writing The Grievers, my prep school experience, and my apparent fascination with costumed characters.

Ask an English Teacher: The Right Word

I’m trying to find the right word to expresses how I feel about something. I’m not wholeheartedly behind the issue at hand, but I also wouldn’t say that I’m only halfheartedly behind it, either. I’m somewhere in between. Is there a word for my attitude?

Yes, but it’s German, and they’re not telling us what it is. Given their reticence to give up the goods (as it were), I propose we make up our own terminology: Maybe you’re five-eighths-heartedly behind the issue in question. Or possibly only nine-sixteenths-heartedly behind it. More generously, perhaps you’re fourteen-seventeenths-heartedly behind this issue or, if you’re really close to giving over your whole heart but not quite ready to hand over that last sliver, three-hundred-twelve-three-hundred-thirteenths behind it, whatever “it” may be. The important thing, especially in dealings of the human heart, is to reduce everything to a measurable quantity. As all English teachers know, nothing matters more than accuracy, particularly when it comes to writing!

I think the word I was looking for was “mostly.”

I thirty-five-thirty-sevenths-heartedly disagree.