Write with the pros

Writers, need some practice? Wanna get your writing groove on with the pros?

Head to ficlets.

Here’s how science fiction author John Scalzi, one of the idea men behind the new site, explains Ficlets:

You, as a writer, post a very short (not more than 1,024 characters) piece of fiction or a fiction fragment on the Ficlets site. People come to Ficlets to read what you’ve written, and to comment on your piece. If they want to, they can also write a “sequel” to your story or story fragment, carrying the story forward from where you left it. Or, alternately, they can write a “prequel,” explaining how you got to where you are in the story. All sorts of people can write all sorts of sequels and prequels –…

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Where the hell is Lesotho?

I was browsing the racks today at Old Navy and many of their t-shirts were made in Lesotho. Leading me to ask the question:


I didn’t actually ask anyone. Although, it would be interesting to see if any of the sales staff had a clue where Lesotho was and if they even cared to know. But, to be honest, I’m afraid to ask. To me those Old Navy sales people seem to be intimidating bundles of youth and joy. As if at a moments notice they will burst into a song and dance about a sweater vest on sale in the young adult section.

I don’t sing. I don’t dance. But I do google. Here’s what I…

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A line of tourists stretches out from the ticket counter. They wheel their luggage – double-stitched, stain-proof, Kevlar seamed – a foot closer to the counter. And then they wait patiently.

Seen any crocs?

A family of four smiles and laughs. Newlyweds lean on each other. When they booked the flight, the vacation in the Caribbean sun and sand seemed eons away. They thought the day would never come, but now that it has and they can look out of the terminal and see rain forest, they stand in line content.

The newlywed bride points to me and laughs, “Great T-shirt. Fantasy Island, right?”

“Yep, Tattoo.” I spare them the tragic story of Herve.

“Da plane, da plane,” says the groom. His…

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Pigs in the Toilet & Odes to the Crotch Flap

It’s me again – “that guy inspired by his boxers.” At least that’s what writer Jeff Vize calls me.

Some are inspired by sunsets, others, lovely pieces of art. Not me. Give me some faded stretched out undies with some cartoons on them and I’ll travel across the globe and write you an ode to the crotch flap.

I’m a simple man.

This trip won’t be the first time I’ve been inspired by underwear. Why just this Christmas I bit the bullet and bought Annie some tastefully comfortable drawers at Victoria Secret. I almost died in the process. Call me a prude, but I don’t like to talk about boobs and butt cheeks with strange ladies in underwear stores. I wrote a little piece…

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Job Opening: Cambodian Garment Industry

If I were one of those hardcore investigative journalists, I might consider taking this job in the garment industry.


I’m not.

The job, working for a garment factory that supplies Levis and the GAP among others, is based out of Phnom Penh. It has a rather vague title, Financial Controller, and a daunting list of responsibilities: Financial management, Imports and stores, Shipping, Personnel and Compliance, Administration and Security. To me it sounds like you would be an overworked middle manager with way too much to do.

The position requires “no experience.” Great, I’m qualified. It also says that applicants must speak good English and good Spanish. Well, now that sure makes sense. You don’t need to know the local language,…

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The WHY of Travel?

The good gang at Rolf Potts’ Vagabonding highlighted WAIW? just the other day. My little quest got them thinking about the “why” of travel.

There are just about as many reasons to travel as there are travelers. It could be as simple as checking off sites on your “must-see” list, or it could be an emotional journey tracing family history in the mother country. The “why” of travel can be a complicated question, and for some it’s never fully answered.

The “why” for me has changed through the years.

First there was, “Why not? What the hell else would I do with my degree in Anthropology?”

Next there was, “I’ve got the last half of my uber-cheap ATW plane ticket left. Why not use it?” Followed by several other…

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Rogue Travelers Unite!

What do wine, nuts, and underwear have in common?

They all have inspired members of BootsnAll’s Rogue Traveler Class of 2007.

There are 3 of us. This girl, the Great Wall Nut, has walked the entire length of the Great Wall and now she’s up to something else rogue traveler-ish. She’s been hinting at it for months now. What is it? Tell us. I think you are going to tell us and then you don’t. I’m getting blue…oh never mind.

This couple seems to be wine drinkers with a traveling problem….

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My T-shirt: A Quest is Born

(Note: This is a continuation of the My Shirt narrative. The events below took place in 2005. To read the narrative in its entirety to date GO HERE.)

From our tiny apartment, I continued to weave the tales of my travels and try to sell them. I was published on a website which paid me $20 and then the Raleigh News & Observer published a story I wrote about spending the night in Castle Dracula in Romania. I was giddy. I got paid $150.

I have made less than $300 writing.

I want a career as a writer. Annie wants a commitment. We’re doomed.

We’ve lived in this apartment for a year and a half. Annie has decided she doesn’t want to be…

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The Super Spectacular WAIW? Contest of Destiny

Nudity is overrated. You know it. I know it. Everybody but those hairy nudist colony people know it.

That’s why we wear clothes.


To win more clothes, specifically THIS T-SHIRT, tell me about your favorite item of clothing that you just can’t travel or live without.

What’s so special about your _______(insert one: shirt, pants, socks, underwear, tie, penny loafers, ear muffs, wetsuit, trunks, brassiere, cardigan, dickey. You get the idea)? Did they save your life, like THESE PANTS? Do they have some kind of sentimental value? Be sure to include where it was MADE?


To enter, post your ode to clothes on this comment thread. I will select a lucky winner based on creativity, expressed passion for the selected item,…

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