Spanbauer, Palahniuk, Hempel, and My Dog

Tom Spanbauer calls cliched words and imagery received text. I know this because of a great essay Chuck Palahniuk wrote about Amy Hempel and minimalism. I try to by hyperaware of received text in my work and when I’m reading manuscripts in workshop.

Case in point:  On a recent walk, when my dog moved to use a fire hydrant in typical cartoon fashion, I actually said to myself, “Come on, boy, you’re better than that.”

(Yeah, I’m in an MFA program).