If you enjoy reading Electric Literature, join our mailing list! We’ll send you the best of EL each week, and you’ll be the first to know about upcoming submissions periods and virtual events.


Hello, and welcome to my week-by-week review of the world. Today I am reviewing a walk in the woods.

Normally I like walking in the woods. I enjoy spending time in nature, getting away from the city, and just finding time to be with myself. Unfortunately, this walk was mostly me running from things and getting lost. It was easily the worst walk I’ve ever been on. Worse than the one where I found a dead body, because that time it was the body of a missing person and I got a big reward.

After parking my car on the side of the highway, I entered the woods to pee without being seen. When I came out of the woods, my car was gone. Or so I thought. As I learned later, I had exited to a different stretch of the highway and my car was just around the bend. (It was actually stolen the next day but at this point it was still there.)

I tried hitchhiking, but when no one would stop to pick me up, I realized the reason might be because I had accidentally left my penis hanging out of my pants. For men it’s much easier to pee in public than for women. But it’s also much easier for us to unknowingly flash dozens of cars.

I was so embarrassed I ran back into the woods and hid for a while. When I saw a state trooper drive by, I started running. It only took about ten minutes before I was completely lost. I knew people used stars to navigate, so I started walking toward the sun. Unfortunately the sun wouldn’t stop moving so I ended up back where I began and regretting that I hadn’t brought sunglasses.

I’m a little bit of an expert on outdoor survival, because I’ve watched a lot of TV shows about it. The first trick is to dig for water, but I wasn’t thirsty, and I didn’t want to run the risk of finding oil and becoming so rich that it changed me as a person. The second trick is to eat bugs for protein, but the last time I ate a bug it was by accident and I still have bad associations with that. I was out of tricks.

That’s when the panic set in and I started to get all sweaty. I undressed to cool off and should not have rested my clothes on a nearby rock, because that rock turned out to be a turtle that walked off with my clothes. I could have caught him but he was attacked by an owl and I didn’t want to get in the middle of that.

Obviously I didn’t die out there because I’m writing this now, but I was lost for three days, naked, and hungry. All because Yahoo hasn’t sold any of those self-driving cars yet. If I had one of those it could have zoned in on my GPS signal and found me.

I give this walk one star because I got some exercise.

BEST FEATURE: The turtle dropped one of my socks which I used to keep my good foot warm.
WORST FEATURE: I got poison ivy, somehow only on my face.

Please join me next week when I’ll be reviewing The Oscars.

More Like This

That Guy in Your MFA’s 10 Rules for Novelists

I have placed a short story in a very prominent literary journal that may or may not exist, so I know what I’m talking about

Nov 23 - Dana Schwartz

Patrick deWitt Wants to Write Books for People Who Don’t Read Books

The author, of ‘French Exit’, talks about his writing process

Aug 31 - Adam Vitcavage

How to Name Your Small Indie Press

We’ve developed a foolproof formula for aspiring publishers everywhere

Mar 23 - Electric Literature
Thank You!