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Category Archives: writing

Ann Rule Died

For a long time I was quite the aficionado of true crime books. I had a fascination with serial murder for a good part of my young life. I published a zine about it, in fact. I probably read most of the books Rule published before the early 1990s. She, John Waters (who also collected […]

“X-Offender” by Blondie: A Researched Rumination by Dan Kelly

Recently, Liz Mason of Quimby’s asked me to do a reading at a performance by the Blue Ribbon Glee Club, an adorable punk rock singing ensemble she belongs to,  whom you must see the next time they perform. Pure joy. The band sang three songs, and two other writers and I delivered essays inspired by […]


I experience passion in short spurts of time. I’m in awe of anyone who can sustain passion about a subject for months or years and especially to their death. Even when nothing, absolutely nothing captivates me about a subject, I can listen to a true fan—provided he or she is reasonably lucid—for hours. I envy […]

Damned If I Don’t

I had a dream that I was in some sort of writing master’s class headed by a grouchy Philip Roth figure—except he was played by some character actor I couldn’t place; possibly David Straitharn in make-up. The class was held downtown in the writer’s gigantic, gloriously sterile loft, and was attended by me, an unidentified […]

Aaaaaaaba Dabba Dabba Doooooooo… Ladies and Gentlemen, The Coctails!

Originally appeared in 1993 in a zine called Pure. No, not that one. If you haven’t heard of the other one, don’t worry about it. Photos by my dear friend Kathy Moseley. Some of the best times I had in the 90s were spent at Coctails shows. Click to enlarge.           […]

Dan Kelly Is a Cowardice

                    The first step is admitting you have a problem. About five years ago I started up a pile of writing projects. Good ones. Interesting ones. I conducted interviews, amassed clippings, drew up outlines and rough drafts…and then just stopped. On occasion I’ve written extended blog […]


            To me, a parody/satire isn’t the same thing as plagiarism or “ripping off” someone’s work. Done well, it’s an entirely new work. Surely, it plays off your ideas, but that’s not the same thing as stealing them. If someone copies your work, you’re owed restitution. If they simply poke […]

Flying Velvet Unicorn Meat

Note: I know this is well overdue, but I’ve been ruminating about this article and the writer’s plight for some time since reading it. Basically, here’s why it’s okay for writers (and other artists) to think the world owes them a living when we provide services. Expecting otherwise is downright un-American. When you’re younger and […]

Forgotten Things

Thing 1 and Thing 2: Lackeys of the cat; sexless creatures, blue of hair, simian of visage; bringers of chaos, attention whores Thing 3: Mercifully deceased. Buried in desert by man who still refuses to say what he saw that night. Thing 4: Twice as large as the others, but lacking in confidence Thing 5: […]

Another Resurrected Christmas Post

Writer’s Note: Posted this in LiveJournal a long time ago. Wow, I forgot how gross it gets. Also: this is not really about my family. It’s about my secret family across the country. Joyous Winterbludgeon We did not celebrate Christmas when I was a boy. My parents hated it with every fiber of their being. […]