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Novelist. Essayist. Former entomologist. Now a full-time writer exploring travel, art, philosophy, psychology, and science.
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2020 was my first full year of writing on Medium

And although I told myself with almost every story I published that I was done with the platform, I kept coming back. Until the calendar flipped over and I realized I had a body of work on my hands.

An experiment in content-creating AI

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If there’s a dollar in it, someone’s going to disrupt it

The robots are coming for the cashiers and the cleaners and the taxi and truck drivers, replacing us one after another with some soulless automatic ghost. I’ve been making my living as a writer for a few years now, but as I’m fond of complaining, it’s not the real writing…

A tiny bit of advice for those who work from home

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Sing me one thing sweeter than sunset

When the last ashes of summer are still twirling in the sky. When delicate woolly aphids swarm, their abdomens so bright blue they look like tiny nazars floating on invisible wings through the cooling air. …

What are we supposed to do about that?

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Call it the law of unintended consequences

Like the feral rabbits destroying the landscape of Australia. Or the wild joy of clinical researchers noting that the medication designed to lower blood pressure was giving male subjects powerful and long-lasting boners.

Contemplation of mortality makes you happier

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Don’t forget, you’re going to die

A Bhutanese proverb says that you should meditate on that fact five times a day. In Bhutan, one of the poorest and one of the happiest countries in the world, the dead are everywhere. The ashes of the cremated are formed into items called tsa tsas and installed in public…

Making the case for imagination

Figurehead on kayak. Photo by author.

I was never any good at it

In my teens, I got heavily into Warhammer, the tabletop strategy game set in a fantasy world. I bought an army of plastic miniatures which you first had to assemble and paint by hand. Hundreds of hours spent painting before you can take your army into the field. …

You are a void

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A funny thing happens when you look up at trees

Relaxing in a hammock or some reclining chair, or simply lying on the ground. Staring up at the sky and watching it change from star-dusted Oxford to pale Wedgewood blue. It seems like you’re always in the center of a clearing. Like the trees are rising up around you, holding…

You’re probably no happier than they are

Seal resting on a dock. Photo by author.

We don’t live in the same world as animals

We barely live in the same world as each other. Brothers and sisters that we are, all of us descended from one terrifyingly narrow population bottleneck of just 10,000 people, we still struggle to see each other as anything other than enemies. …

Elizabethan magic has nothing on this

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Hummingbirds attack me in the yard

They don’t realize I’m the hooded god who fills the feeder they defend. Hummingbirds are territorial, and their tiny size makes their ferocity comical as they hover, chirping ecstatically, between wings blurred by speed. My cat has my back. Trapped indoors, she dreams of the hot explosion of their blood…

How Spiders Earn Their Hearts

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Butterflies are louder than you think

They don’t have the ecstatic, exhilarating roar and rumble of a jumbo jet. I’ll give you that. But when one lands on your head, right next to your…

Ryan Frawley

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