Author Archives: Alan Ackmann

Courses Now Available on Lynda.com and LinkedIn Learning

I’m very pleased to announce (albeit belatedly) that I now have a pair of new courses available for viewing—though on different subject matter and in a different location than my previous work. Specifically, I now have a pair of courses … Continue reading

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Microsoft Ignite: First Impressions of a Newbie

Because it was in my Chicago backyard, and because the folks from Pluralsight invited me to do an author meet-and-greet at their booth (that’s me, second from the right) I played hooky from my DePaul job last Wednesday and made … Continue reading

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Office Hours with Pluralsight at Microsoft Ignite

Even though I grew up in St. Louis, I’m a Chicago guy now; I’ve been living here, shockingly, for almost a decade. By happy coincidence, Microsoft’s largest technology conference–Microsoft Ignite–is happening at McCormick Place this week, and Pluralsight has a … Continue reading

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Course on Written Proposals Now Available at Pluralsight

For quite some time now–about seven years, in fact–I’ve been teaching technical and professional writing at DePaul University. It’s a bit of a departure from my background in creative writing, but I discovered I really enjoyed both the students and … Continue reading

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Bloodroot

I’m a bit late to the party in profiling Bloodroot (it came out about a year ago to great acclaim, was featured in Entertainment Weekly and many other venues, and has been routinely applauded on best-debut and best-of-the-year lists) but I wanted to add my voice to the chorus anyway—because I enjoyed Bloodroot very, very much. Continue reading

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The Deportees

I picked up Roddy Doyle’s The Deportees at San Francisco’s recent MLA convention because one of the stories had been published in the same edition of McSweeney’s as a story of mine, and I’d been curious about Doyle ever since … Continue reading

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Updates from AWP

I just got back from AWP (okay, back is a strong word considering it was located here in Chicago) and it was just as energizing, intimidating, desperate, and comforting as usual.  I’ll post specific responses to panels and whatnot over … Continue reading

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This Side of Brightness

This Side of Brightness is one of the most lyrically gorgeous novels I’ve read in quite some time, with quietly lovely and delicate sentences and descriptions that reveal their subjects’ inherent dignity and grace, whether those subjects are 1920s “sandhogs” … Continue reading

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The Braindead Megaphone

In a frenzy of eleventh hour book-buying at December’s MLA convention (“All paperbacks three dollars!  Everything must go!”) I picked up The Braindead Megaphone by George Saunders, which became my book of choice for the long flight back to Chicago.  … Continue reading

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On the Passing of Michael Crichton

Like many of you, I imagine, I was very saddened by today’s announcement of Michael Crichton’s passing away of cancer at age 66.  I first encountered Crichton’s books when I was in junior high, and my English teacher told me … Continue reading

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