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EIC of FanFare. Writes about culture, film, TV. Popular Prose column at Writing Cooperative. Top Writer


FanFare Newsletter for June 11

Don’t worry — the newsletter has nothing to do with this horrible movie. Image: New Line Cinema
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Running a pub is a strange thing. One day you’re just kinda floundering, unsure if you’re making any discernible progress, and suddenly things sorta start clicking.

Case in point: this newsletter.

For the longest time, I didn’t know what to put in it, or if I should even bother. So mostly, I didn’t. But now that I’m using it regularly, I’m finding all sorts of things to share with you fine people. Kudos to Aimée Gramblin at Age of Empathy — her newsletters are bomb and showed me what a really good…

Leverage the power of inertia

Photo by Kane Reinholdtsen on Unsplash

Back in school, I never raised my hand. I avoided reading out loud. 2Pac may have wanted all eyes on him, but I hated it. Worse was the fact that my discomfort was glaringly obvious. Blushing may seem endearing but trust me, it doesn’t feel all that cute when your cheeks turn as red as tomatoes.

Underneath the discomfort was the fear of being scrutinized. Of being judged and found wanting. Better to keep to the edges and avoid notice.

You can skate through school like that. Life, not so much. Even things like group projects and presentations feel different…

Popular Prose

The ultimate testament to working quickly

Photo by Yaopey Yong on Unsplash

One of the biggest causes of writer’s block is perfectionism. The feeling that the work isn’t good enough yet – or that you aren’t – can leave you mired in self-doubt long enough to question why you even started in the first place. Once that sort of thinking creeps in, that particular story may not be long for this world.

The only real solution to writer’s block is to write. At some point, you have to put words on the page. Otherwise you’re not really a writer — you an aspirant, a pretender, a dreamer.

But that’s sorta like telling…

Why does Medium keep unfollowing my favorite writers?

Sad face. Image: Warner Bros

I only follow people here whose writing I enjoy. So I was especially distressed a few weeks ago when I discovered that Medium unilaterally decided I no longer wanted to follow Danielle Loewen and Heather Jauquet. Despite the fact that I read, clap, and comment on most everything they publish.

Fine — easy fix. Annoying, but I work in IT. I know how bugs sometimes sneak into software.

Then I noticed today that I’d also lost Sarah Cords and Amanda Kay Oaks.

WTF Medium!?

I can only wonder who else I might be missing. …


Better living through social conventions

Photo by Uta Scholl on Unsplash

Congratulations! You have lived through a global pandemic. Your complementary certificate is on its way!

We at PAC — People Against COVID— recognize that our trial is not yet over. You may have survived COVID but now you face the greatest test mankind has ever devised — other people. In order to minimize your discomfort as you re-acclimate into society, we have put together this handy list of do’s and don’ts.

Do read this and don’t hesitate to contact us for clarification! Namaste.

Grooming and hygiene

  1. Sweat pants are not formal wear. We are voting on the legitimacy of yoga pants next week.

This is the Medium ‘circle of life’

Photo by Rupert Britton on Unsplash

The only constant of writing here is that nothing is.

I first noticed something had changed early in April. My stats were up across the board. Not just views and reads — each read was worth substantially more. I’ve been on the platform since 2019 and am used to seeing pieces languish in the sub $5 territory before dying ignominiously. But suddenly my writing was making decent money. Was this a return to the halcyon days of yore?

And then Medium threw a bonus at me.

May was more of the same. I bought a MacBook with my windfall. At…

FanFare Newsletter

Image: Universal Pictures

It’s a blistering 90-ish degrees here in Michigan. Naturally, I will be standing over a grill in a few hours because nothing is quite as comfortable as an open flame on a really hot day. I hear beer helps.

Here at Casa Pierce we are anxiously awaiting Loki, which drops Wednesday. I much prefer the Friday time slot personally.

On the pub front, we continue to grow rapidly! Closing in on 900 followers. At our rate of growth, we’ll cross the magical 1000 mark sometime in June. …

And has seen at least five

La La Land is not on this list. I just think Gosling is dreamy. Image: Summit Entertainment

It’s not like I have a thing against singing. One of my favorite things is serenading my teenage daughter whenever she’s trapped in the car with me; she loves my rendition of Sweet Child O’ Mine.

I just have little patience for stories where the characters suddenly break-out in song. I guess I’d just rather get my dialogue and exposition the old-fashioned way.

Despite my predilections, I’ve discovered a few musicals that I genuinely like. Love, even. …


She now suspects an alien is wearing his skin

Filter applied by author, original photo by DANNY G on Unsplash

Rose Parker had been married twenty-six years when the unthinkable happened.

“I asked George to empty out the dishwasher before I went to bed. The ballgame was on — there’s always a ballgame, somehow — so I figured he didn’t hear me and I’d have to do it myself in the morning.

“I had the shock of my life when I got up.”

The dishwasher was completely empty.

“Thought we’d been robbed by a cutlery thief. Or maybe the dishes had come to life like in that movie Beauty and the Beast and had danced out the door.”

But everything…

Retro Rewind

‘Back to the Future’ is a perfect movie with an imperfect message

Image: Artwork by FanFare, original by Universal Pictures
Retro Rewind is a weekly series that reconsiders pre-2000 pop culture. More here.

My parents divorced shortly before Back to the Future released. Dragged under by a swirling riptide of confusion and fear, I found comfort in the story of the McFlys and hope in the reparation of their family. Everyone in 1955 mistakes Marty’s vest for a life preserver but it was the movie that kept my head above water.

Looking back, its clear why this story had such a grip on me – time travel is the ultimate sort of wish-fulfilment, and I was ready to cash in…

Eric Pierce

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