The Gulf Coast Blog

Craft • Culture • News

Craft • Culture • News

Have Yourself a Fictive Little Christmas

Steve Sanders

Given the ways in which Christmas has colonized nearly every other aspect of life in the western world during the last six weeks of the year, one would think the world of literature would be no exception. The lifeblood of fiction is conflict, something…

Taking a Scenic Route

Brennan K Peel

Do you know the landscape of your writing? If you painted your writing style, put acrylic to canvas, what would the image show? Nearly half a century ago, an English professor at Rice University published a book of essays ruminating on culture and writing…

Suffering, Wordlessness, and Action

JSA Lowe

Dear Editor's Blog Readers, Most of us here at Gulf Coast and the University of Houston are gripped in the throes of a collapsing semester, its deadlines and crunch-time. We're writing papers, editing copy, grading portfolios, and trying frantically to…

Red Bull Gives You...a Sense of Your Own Staggering Insignificance?

Sam Mansfield

"Sometimes, you have to get up really high to understand how small you are. I'm going home now." With these words, on October 14, 2012, Felix Baumgartner stepped off the dock of his helium balloon capsule and plummeted twenty-four miles to Earth. He fell…

Bedtime Story: Gloom, Despair, and Agony on Me

Nancy K Pearson

When I was a kid, I used to watch the country-themed TV show, Hee Haw, with my father on Saturday nights. Hee Haw aired (in local syndication) for over 25 years. If you've never heard of Hee Haw (shame on you), picture Saturday Night Live in a cornfield;…

On Not Getting It Done

Michelle Oakes

The whale is a mammiferous animal without hind feet. --Baron Cuvier Whenever I find myself staring down my laptop, unkempt on the couch so the cats try to groom me; whenever it's late November and I'm reading a novel for fun; whenever I find myself trying…

Everything I Learned about Writing a Novel I Learned from Television

Aja Gabel

Sometimes I'm sitting here, trying to write more and more pages of a novel, and I feel despair and loneliness, and I think about seeing if anyone's tweeted anything funny lately (@mat_johnson usually has), and then I think of Homeland. I'm talking about…

Art Should Be Loud

Eric Howerton

A few years back, after nine months of living in Houston, I started listening to heavy metal music. When I was a teenager in the '90s I was familiar with popular heavy metal bands like White Zombie (psychedelic, campy blues metal), Korn (hip-hop laced,…