I’m working on a story now that I have burned to the ground at least 4 times and started over again. Sometimes you have to cut out things you like in order to make the story work, and sometimes you have to cut out EVERYTHING. It’s not fun going back to square one, but the […]
I did a school visit at Shaker Lane Elementary in Littleton, MA today. (Shakey is the Shaker Lane mascot. See what I did there?) I talked to the kindergartners and transitional classes, and they were a super enthusiastic and receptive bunch. I tried to focus a bit on how much revision goes into writing, since […]
Come on down to Mill No.5, 250 Jackson Street, Lowell MA and buy some stuff! This is an amazing space, and I’m super impressed with all the stuff people have for sale here.
I like to tell my students that the more you critique other people’s stories, the better you’ll get at seeing areas of improvement in your own writing. I am a good example of this. Since I started teaching, I have picked up on things I see a lot of my students do, and then in […]
One of my former Gotham Writers’ Workshop students got in touch with me recently about a problem she was having. She’d just started an MFA program, and was having problems right off the bat. When she was my student I had given her input on my experiences with MFA programs (I was in one bad one, […]
Back in 2011, I wrote a haiku every day and put them on my Tumblr. I have been meaning to collect these and publish them for a while, but things got busy. I had been meaning to get this out during April, since that’s poetry month, but I got sick and ran into technical difficulties. […]
On the one hand, you keep all the negativity in one place. On the other, seeing a whole list of “DENIED!” is kind of a bummer. Maybe I need to work on my phrasing. (See, you can put a positive spin on it! In any case, it seems poetry is a tough sell in general, […]
Cats In The Alley (written by my friend Nicolle, and drawn by me) debuted last night during the Superbowl. If you were too busy looking at the power outage, you can still read it, because the internet is forever. You can also like us on Facebook, or follow us on Tumblr. Here is a panel from […]
My friend Nicolle and I are launching a webcomic on February 3rd. Bookmark Cats In The Alley. Do it.
I recently got an email from a student who needed to know 16 facts about me for a school project. He said the facts could be anything, so here is what I gave him, in case you find yourself faced with a similar project. Erik P. Kraft . . . 1. Has 6 pet chickens […]
One of my former students recently published a book about raising chickens, and it’s really cool. I helped her with it in class, and I’m very impressed with the end result. Her story was even what pushed me from “should I get chickens?” into “I should get chickens!” Here’s what she has to say about […]
Here’s a post over on Brain Pickings about my favorite kid’s book of all time, Ounce Dice Trice. I absolutely love everything about this book. It’s essentially nothing but word play inside with illustrations by Ben Shahn. If you just like the sounds of certain words, or thinking about silly names for things, this is […]