“The Questions I Regret Not Asking”

A short thing I wrote called “The Questions I Regret Not Asking” is up as of yesterday at Monkeybicycle, which I think publishes a new thing every week (or thereabouts), and which is always hilarious, and has a hugely impressive list of previous contributors (I mean, just look at it, Charlie Anders, Patton Oswalt, David Ohle, Magdalen Powers, Davy Rothbart, Stephen Elliott, J. Robert Lennon, Kevin Sampsell, et al.? whoa!).

The piece is hallucinatory, and is intended as humor, but I actually wrote it with a very real and specific regret in mind—although it might not be an exact reflection of the questions I wish I’d asked, I wrote it thinking about the two fiction classes I taught last summer, and my regret that I didn’t try harder to push more of my students beyond the tiny hothouse (snow globe?) worlds too many of them were writing about. It would have helped, I suspect, if the classes hadn’t been for no credit, and hadn’t gone through August, past Labor Day, and into September, and hadn’t had the worst attrition rates I’ve ever seen; but I guess that’s one answer to the tired old question of whether or not writing can be taught—it can indeed!—but only to those who show up.