When I was six, my Aunt Olga spent the night at our house to babysit. She chased me and my brothers to bed and lay down to sleep on one of the beds in our bunkhouse-like room. But Lightning, our dog, had snuck in and climbed on Olga’s bed and beat her to the pillow. Olga put her head down on the dog and sat up, startled.

Olga yelled at the dog, but Lightning knew a soft-touch and once again beat her to the pillow. Once again Olga yelled at the dog. …


Cassandra at the Wedding

Cassandra at the Wedding by Dorothy Baker is one of the finest books I’ve ever read. It’s an unflinching portrait of a middle class family, and raises questions about how we should live our lives. All the while, it’s funny, a dazzling read, and an intriguing story. Published in 1962, it is relevant, powerful and evocative.

I hate to gush, but I was bowled over by it and couldn’t believe I hadn’t even heard of it until last year. It went on my to-read list back then, I bought a copy from BookShop, and it lingered on my shelf until…


A valuable lesson of telling stories live at The Moth is that the five minute limit forces you to choose the essence of your story. Depending on your cadence, it's 300-500 words. No fluff, no sidebar. Some people don't do that, and you know they're off track, and losing the audience.


One dog smiling (Photo by Mickey Hadick)

I came downstairs after a meeting the other day and smelled a familiar smell. It was unpleasant, earthy, verdant. It was dog poop.

I’ve been fortunate the past year to work from home because, for one thing, I get to hang out with our dog, ‘lil Mikey Bloomberg. He’s a toy poodle who likes to cuddle on our laps. That’s what lap dogs do. They are good at it.

I Like Dogs

I like dogs and they are always welcome in our home. Mikey, a rescue, adjusted within a couple of weeks and hasn’t had any accidents in the house since then.

Our…


A member of my family drove into a brick wall and damaged it. They didn’t mention it because they didn’t believe it was a big deal. You’d think hitting a brick wall with a car would be a big deal, but apparently it was more like hitting a raccoon on the highway: it makes a lot of noise, but it’s a lot worse for the raccoon than it is for your car.

Make no mistake, they knew the wall had been hit. The car lurched but kept going. The working theory was that the brick wall would be fine, and…


You Don’t Throw Away the Whole Bushel Just Because of a Few Bad Apples, Do You?

On behalf of the Apple Growers Association of America[1], let me remind the American people that apples are at the core of our rich and varied culture. It’s baseball, hot dogs and apple pie. Not peach cobbler.

Without apples, Newton wouldn’t have codified his laws on gravity, and then we don’t put a man on the moon. You think any of that happens if Newton is sitting underneath a banana tree? Of course not. He probably invents Bananas Foster instead of Newtonian Physics.

In a country with skyrocketing medical costs, apples are the only thing between you and bankruptcy. Are…


From the New Church of Well-Armed Believers

1. The time will come when the goodly people shall gather together, and they shall be called the Suburbanites, and among those, whosever hath guns, and believe with all thine heart in the 2nd Amendment, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance; but whosoever hath not guns, from him shall be taken away all that he hath by the people known as the Urbanites.

2. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear, a Suburbanite went shopping and found a Colt Python Revolver with Pearl inlays on the grip…


Illustration by Mickey Hadick, photo via Stencil

Or “How I Finally Did Something Right,” by Eric Trump

We were at the Hamptons and I was watching a movie with my iPad outside on the deck when my big brother, Don Jr., made me come inside. He was mad because there was some problem with Dad, and he thought I was wasting time, watching My Little Pony. But I wasn’t. I was watching Weekend at Bernie’s.

Don Jr. said the Russians are coming to talk with Dad about the election, but that Dad had a big, big problem.

I ran into Dad’s room, and he was propped up on his bed, staring without blinking at Fox News. When…


If you’ve been around Story Design for Fiction for a while, you know I don’t badger you with too much information. In fact, I almost quit a year and a half ago after I read Story Grid because I thought it was the final word on story design. But I was wrong.

I realized that I had to keep working at the principles of Story Grid to implement them in my actual stories. Had I not looked into the articles on the StoryGrid.com …


Win a Copy of My New Favorite Book on Telling Stories

This will probably seem ridiculous, but I have a new, all-time favorite book on story design. It’s called Into the Woods by Yorke, and it pretty much replaces Story Grid, which was my previous all-time favorite.

When I read Story Grid (by Shawn Coyne) it was life-changing. The way he described the fractal nature of scenes, acts and stories resonated with me. The emphasis on making sure that every scene had a setup, conflict escalation and payoff improved my scene writing. How much did my scenes improve? …

Mickey Hadick

Writes thrillers and satire. Loves telling stories. Drinks coffee a lot. Plays ukulele often. Pretty good at WordPress, Python & SEO. All opinions are my own.

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