Eric Shay Howard

Bad blogger. Complicated. Gay.

Read the blog, below. Eric blogs about creative writing, business, education, lgbtq+ AND DIVERSITY, and other things. he’s a little bit complicated. he blogs in first-person.

the blog ⬇️

  • I’m Reading Everywhere You Don’t Belong by Gabriel Bump

    I’m Reading Everywhere You Don’t Belong by Gabriel Bump

    This week, I used an Audible credit and got the audiobook of Everywhere You Don’t Belong by Gabriel Bump. So, once again, I’m being read to this week as I go throughout my day. I’m almost half finished with it. This might be one that I also buy the print copy of, because there are some sections that I’d like to hone in on the language of. There is some repetition going on, and I’d also like to check out the dialogue a little more closely. I like it so far. As you know, I don’t really do book reviews, because that’s pretty much what they would honestly say. “I like it so far.” I might need to look into getting better at book reviews some day. I’ll have plenty of chances here soon, I suppose.

    After getting accepted into the MFA program, I got myself set up and registered for my summer classes. While I’m super excited to start the MFA in the summer, I’m also super excited to have a reason to go back to Richmond, Kentucky and have Apollo’s Pizza here soon. I haven’t had it in probably seven or eight years. I’ve also been looking into transportation options, Greyhound bus tickets, the average costs of Uber near campus, and things like that. I think it’s going to be alright. It’s not too expensive. It is a little annoying that there’s not some sort of bus that travels from Lexington, Kentucky to Richmond, Kentucky. I think there’s a night of the residency where I’ll have to either ask a classmate for a ride up to a literary reading Lexington, or pay $50-$80 bucks to get up there in an Uber from Richmond and back. I did so much thinking and planning about this over the last few days that I didn’t even write any short fiction for the blog this week.

    My Weekly Short Fiction Experiment On My Blog

    I have been posting short stories on Fridays on my blog for the a month and a half or so. This week, in addition to planning for my summer, I also wrote some on a project that I started recently – the project I started in my little red Leuchtturm 1917 notebook. I like where it’s going so far, but we’ll see if I can keep up momentum. But, that means I didn’t get to working on any short stories for the blog.

    I think that the main reason I wanted to post short stories on Fridays was to give myself practice with letting things go a little bit. I tend to over-edit my short stories. I’ll rewrite things 10 or more times sometimes. I don’t know for sure, but I think that’s more than most other writers I know. It’s partly because I like the process, which is a good reason. It’s also partly because of imposter syndrome or something like that, probably. So, I had to figure out a way to not get too stuck on the same stories for half a decade, especially when it keeps me from working on new things.

    I think I accomplished my goal. I like some of the stories I posted, quite a lot, actually. And, some of them are just okay, and that’s okay. I’ve proved to myself that I can let the draft be. I probably won’t post short stories every Friday now. I’m sure I’ll have stuff every now and then, though.

    Anyway, I’ll need some more stuff to read after this audiobook is finished, so let me know what you’re reading.

  • I Got Accepted Into the Bluegrass Writers Studio MFA Program at EKU

    I Got Accepted Into the Bluegrass Writers Studio MFA Program at EKU

    I made a decision this week. I mentioned recently that I applied to some MFA programs for creative writing. I got accepted into one of those MFA in Writing programs a few weeks ago, and it was a pretty good option. However, I got another acceptance last week – the Eastern Kentucky University Bluegrass Writers Studio MFA in Creating Writing. This was the program I was really hoping to get into, so I accepted it. I start in the summer.

    Now I’m going over all of the finer details that I can at this time – the costs, the housing arrangements for the residency, the lit mag editing opprtunties, the graduate assistantship and internship opportunities, and other things. I’m excited and probably oversharing, but I don’t have any friends who find this sort of thing interesting, so you’re all just going to have to let me overshare on my blog I suppose. I think I’m mostly excited because I know now that my fiction is going to get SO MUCH BETTER over the next two years.

    It’s a low-residency program, which means I go to a residency for a few weeks and then come back and do everything else remotely. I can keep a full-time job if I want, as long as they’ll work around the residency. This is good because I won’t have to relive my financial struggles of my undergrad years, unless I want to.

    I’m not sure how much I’ll want to blog about it once the residencies and classes actually start, but I think parts of it will be exciting. It doesn’t start until July, and there’s a lot I don’t know, but I’ll at least try to take the occasional selfie if nothing else. I have a feeling that I won’t have time to blog much during the residency.

    Until the summer, I guess I’ll just keep doing what I’ve been doing – blogging some, writing on occasion, and figuring out how podcasts work.

    Speaking of podcasts, I posted a new “episode” of my podcast where I recap my blog, even though I didn’t blog much last week. I’m still not even sure if I’m going to keep the podcast going or not – it’s less of a podcast and more of a guy messing around with a microhpone. It is good practice, I suppose, and I guess it would be kind of cool to have a weird little podcast dating back over the years one day.

  • Beards – Short Story

    Beards – Short Story

    It’s the end of the day, but technically it’s still Friday, so here’s Friday’s short story, “Beards”. It’s not that good. I tried, though. Typo hunters, welcome.


    Some men have beards. Some people say every man should have a beard. This is obviously not true because some people don’t have beards. However, maybe most men should have a beard. Jeremy Clover thinks so. He’s trying not to shave his beard in the bathroom right now. He’s looking at it in the mirror with an electric trimmer in his left hand, puckering his lips side-to-side, trying to psyche himself out of running it without the guard over his entire chin, neck, lips, and cheeks. He hates beards, but his friend Matt tells him he needs it. He likes Matt. He trusts him. He has no real good reason to believe that Matt would sabotage his face just to win the heart of Natalie Paymer, their newer mutual friend they both met at the bar on third street a few months ago. Still, he wonders if Matt would ever do something like that.  

    One time, Matt called in to work so that he and Jeremy could go to Chicago for the weekend. They bar hopped, checked out the Art Institute, bought sweaters for their girlfriends, got drunk in Boys Town, road the rail lines next to a guy with his underwear hanging out, got a deep dish from one of the places they didn’t think they’d ever been, and fell asleep in the hotel with it on the nightstand between their beds.

    Jeremy wonders if Matt would ever lie to him. He’s sure he has. Jeremey has lied Matt to get out of going kayaking or to the strip club a few times. Friends lie to friends sometimes. But, do friends lie to friends about their facial hair? Maybe, if sex is involved. So, assuming the worst and that Matt is love with Natalie and thinks Jeremy is, too, and also assuming Natalie is somehow infatuated with both of them as well and is specifically looking to the quality of their facial hair when choosing between them, Jeremy supposes it makes sense that Matt would tell Jeremy that he should keep his facial hair exactly the way it is, even if his face would look amplitudes better without it, or without part of it. So, Jeremy takes his beard in from the jawline a little. Jeremy wonders if Matt will notice. Jeremy gets dressed and goes to work. 

  • Equipment Test Podcast Episode 10 – Reading “The Plan” and MFA Acceptance

    Equipment Test Podcast Episode 10 – Reading “The Plan” and MFA Acceptance

    Hope you’ve all had a good Monday! Over the weekend, I posted the newest episode of my podcast, called Equipment Test!, the podcast I started when I bought a microphone for some reason. I recap my blog on the weekends and talk about writing stuff.

    This week on the blog, I read my short story that I posted last week, “The Plan.” I talk about writing in notebooks, getting accepted into MFA programs, and going back to the dentist.

    I also talk about why I’m going to cut back on posting every single weekday on my blog. Since I’m starting an MFA Program soon, I’ll need to write a lot for that, so I’ll probably need to put some of my writing time back into more fiction. It’ll make it easier on me, plus it’ll make it easier on you so you don’t have as much to keep up with. I’m thinking I’ll still blog a few times a week. I’m also going to keep doing the Friday fiction posts, because that makes sense.

    Anyway, that’s the plan. I also accidentally talk about something I talked about in last week’s podcast, which was reading The Best American Short Stories. Whoops.

    Let me know in the comments how your day or weekend was, and let me know what you think of the podcast I guess. Or don’t, actually? I don’t know.

  • The Plan – Short Story

    The Plan – Short Story

    I hope you like today’s short story, “The Plan”. Sorry it’s a little late today.

    The Plan

    You hated the blonde that your dad was bringing home. For our plan to work, we had to be back home before the streetlights on Cedar turned off and the ones on Man Lick turn on. It was cold, so I stood close to your cigarette. We went over the plan once more. You offered me a puff. You said I did it wrong and laughed at me when I coughed. We planned our getaway in chokeholds. You’d get slepping bags. I’d get food. We laughed. We lay there on the bottom step in the park. You said you didn’t think that was a cigarette. I asked you where you got it. You said you found it on the step. I didn’t want to get up, so we didn’t. I said I was sorry about the kiss. You said my breath smelled like the cheese curds we had earlier that evening. We missed the streetlights. I guess we should’ve had a backup plan. We were stuck in Salvisa until I went to college and you enlisted. You’re doing okay now, as far as I know, married to your own brunette and bringing home your own red head when your brunette’s away teaching political science at Lindsay Wilson.

  • Back To The Dentist – I’m Only Slightly Less Afraid

    Back To The Dentist – I’m Only Slightly Less Afraid

    Last month, I blogged about how I went to the dentist after I hadn’t been to the dentist in a really long time. Today I’mg going back to the dentist. I’m only slightly less afraid than I was. He did a deep-deep cleaning on one side and pulled my wisdom teeth and another back one last time. I was supposed to go back a few weeks later, but there were scheduling issues, so I had to move up my appointment. Today, he’s doing the other side. It will involve a lot of novocaine. (I think that’s what it is?)

    After today, I think the goal is to talk about fixing little things, and possible a few implants. He thinks he can fix up the majority of my real teeth, which is great. I’ll know more today I guess.

    The closer it gets to 11am, the more terrified I’ll probably be. Was this an overshare? Probably. Hi, I’m Eric and my mouth is gross. Soon I guess it’ll be okay. I guess I’d like to be in the position to be able to give you blogger-like tips on how to overcome your fear of going to the dentist if you’re like me, but to be honest, I don’t really have any. I just finally had to suck it up one day after I got a really bad tooth ache. Just pretend your dad is Red Forman from That 70s Show and have him yell at you for a long time about it and maybe that’ll help, especially if you’re in your 30s.

  • Equipment Test! Episode 9 – Reading List, and Books That Helped Me With My Writing

    Equipment Test! Episode 9 – Reading List, and Books That Helped Me With My Writing

    In case you missed it, the newest episode of my podcast, Equipment Test! came out over the weekend. So, yes, I AM still recording this podcast in which I just recap my blog posts every weekend. Yes, I still shut myself in my bedroom so my roommate doesn’t hear while I record it, and yes, it is available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, and there places where you can probably find podcasts. Just so we’re all on the same page.

    So, if you read my blog last week, you’re in good shape I guess and can probably just go on about your day. If you didn’t, then just listen to this week’s episode of Equipment Test! and I’ll give you the highlights. Last week, I blogged about books that helped me with my writing, plus I read Less by Andrew Sean Greer and also The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich. I also talked about how I am trying to get caught up on The Best American Short Stories series because I got behind on them and feel bad about it.

    I’m still playing with which day of the week to post the usual blog post about the podcast episode. Last week I told you all about it on Monday, but this week it’s getting posted on Tuesday. There’s a reason, but every time I try to write out the reason for you, it doesn’t make sense, so whatever. It doesn’t matter anyway. We’re all spinning on muddy rock in space.

    Edit: Just a note about something I said in this episode. The Best American Short Stories 2021 was released in October of 2021, and it’s for stories that were printed in 2020, NOT IN 2021. Gosh, podcasts are hard.

Bluegrass Writers Studio MFA Summer Residency, 2022. Photo by Ben Keeling.

I’m Eric Shay Howard and I’m a bad blogger. I’m also an author. I live in Louisville, Kentucky and work at a law firm.

I’m currently a graduate student in a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program. Lately, I’ve been blogging about that. I also have a Master of Business Administration and have completed a few certificate programs in Human Resource related studies. Occasionally I blog about business and other MBA-related things. Blogging about my day, bad dates, or package delivery issues are also not out of the question.

I wrote a fiction collection called Crushes and self-published it because sometimes I just like to push buttons and see what happens. I think this book is pretty alright, I suppose. Buying a copy helps me out. Feel free to leave a review on Amazon as well.

crushes by eric shay howard fiction collection book cover

I’m an Amazon Affiliate and occasionally post affiliate links to products in my blog posts and throughout my website. I always disclose these links, just so there’s no confusion. There’s more information about this on my page about my privacy policies and disclosures.

If there’s ever any confusion about this feel free to drop me a comment below the post in question, or you can email me or reach out to me through my social media. Other contact methods are here.

Eric’s bookshelf: currently-reading

The Silkworm
tagged: currently-reading
Words of Radiance
tagged: currently-reading
The Cloven Viscount
tagged: currently-reading
Dark Rise
tagged: currently-reading
The Gunslinger
tagged: currently-reading
tagged: currently-reading
Mistborn: The Final Empire
tagged: currently-reading

Blogs and People I Like

Here are some other blogs and people that I like to read or keep up with. The order is arbitrary because I started out going for alphabetical order but then got busy with classes or something so now sometimes I just rearrange them for no reason.

Equipment Test! Podcast Artwork

I made a really bad podcast over the summer called Equipment Test! because I bought a microphone. But if you like really bad podcasts, you can listen to it here, or find it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other places.