Scott McClanahan is the writer of Hill William and Crapalachia. He hasn’t won any awards or fellowships.


We’re with the kids this weekend at my parents’ house in Rainelle.  Everybody was asleep and so Juliet and I watched the latest RuPaul’s Drag Race.  I’m rooting for Pearl because she keeps getting picked on and she feels the least theatrical and stereotypical (along with Violet).  I recently judged a non-fiction contest for Hollins University by using the criteria of Rupaul’s drag race. 

This was the email I sent with the list of winners:

Dear Hollins MFA:

Here are my selections for the Rice Nonfiction contest.  Thank you so much for allowing me to judge it.  My hats off to this program. This was REALLY difficult picking a winner.  I used the criteria of courage, uniqueness, nerve, and talent.  This is a method I learned from Rupaul’s Drag Race.  

The head of the department just wrote back: Thanks.  I think this may be the last time I’m asked to judge a contest since I’m using the criteria from a reality TV show.


Juliet and I read through Goodreads reviews because they’re so funny.  Our favorite is this woman named Dottie B.  She’s like a serious artist.  My fav review of hers is of Paula Dean cookbooks.  She is truly the Walter Pater/John Ruskin/Bunny Wilson of the 21st century.  The most influential and honest and ridiculous critic I know.  Dottie ALWAYS judges a book by its cover rather than pretending not to.

This is an example of one of her reviews:

photo (2)

You can find more of her reviews here.


Juliet has been staying up super late reading this book called Stiff which is about corpses and how we treat them and how people die, etc.  For instance, your brain becomes liquid and will always leave your body through various cavities within weeks of death.  18th century families in China fed pieces of their flesh to their dying relatives because they believed it had healing capacities.  She also read about head transplants.  They are super fucked up and it’s been scaring the shit out of me.  A few Russian scientists did it with dogs back in the 50s.  Here is a picture.

dog head

The dog only lived for a few days though before it died.


Since Juliet has been staying up late reading, she has been using this reading light so I can sleep.  She used it for the first time and it threw a weird light over the room.  So I started moving in these weird ways and Juliet took footage of me.  She asked me what I was doing and I told her I was having a seizure.  This is video of me saying I’m having a seizure.

idk idk lol

A video posted by julietescoria (@julietescoria) on Apr 10, 2015 at 10:32pm PDT

We talked about having sex, but didn’t.


We watched murder shows from the ID channel and had a disagreement over whether Joe Kenda is really a detective or just an actor playing a detective.  She searched his wiki page and he’s a retired cop.  My favorite line from the show tonight was one I heard right before sleep, “I knew it was suspicious when we found 17 condoms.  I knew if I could find where those 17 condoms came from– I could probably break the case.”  Juliet loves Joe Kenda and the fact that he doesn’t use a script.  I went to sleep.  Murder shows and Rupaul’s Drag Race are the art forms of the 21st century.  Wagner and D.W. Griffith would have understood them for sure.


The kids are already up with Mom and Dad and Sam and my Dad are riding around the yard on the riding lawnmower.  They’re not mowing grass but they’re riding around really fast.  This is what you do in Rainelle for fun.  You attend funerals and ride lawnmowers .

sam on lawnmower

My boy Sam got a Paw Patrol watch for his birthday even though he can’t tell time, but he keeps showing everybody his watch.  He shows the riding lawnmower his watch and says: “Hey lawnmower.  This is my watch.”

I went inside and finished up the new Amelia Gray collection Gutshot.  She’s easily one of the best.  I finished re-reading Expury’s The Little Prince for probably about the 15th time the night before.  I’ve been wanting to read these books recently: Saul Bellow’s More Die of Heartbreak, Mina Loy’s novel Insel, any Clarice Lipsector, Quesadillas by Juan Pablo Villalobos .  If anyone reads this—they should buy one and send it to my apartment: 309 Stanaford Road, Beckley WV 25801.  Thank you.

10:30, Bed room.  I complained to Juliet about having to document my Saturday for this website.  I asked her why I agree to do things I don’t want to do.  She told me to quit complaining and have fun.

11:00, Kitchen.  I made Juliet coffee and she got up.  The kids were outside playing with a bunch of worms they found.  My Mom put the worms in a jar for them.  Sam was really into the worms because they seem to totally be into his watch.  He says: Hey worms.  Like my watch?  The worms don’t say shit, but that’s just because they’re jealous Sam has such a kick ass, cool ass, watch and they’re worms and can’t tell time.

sam with watch

12:00, the Car. I took Juliet to Kroger because she’s cooking everybody dinner this evening.  I realized I forgot my wallet and had to run back home.  I listened to Nick Cave in the car and told Juliet that her friend Amy Haben saw him reading the night before.  I know this because of her facebook page.  Amy is probably the best facebook poster I know.  She also posted a great article about Fat White Family.

1:00 pm, City Park, Rainelle

Juliet and the kids and I all went to the Rainelle City Park.  We took a walk and searched for dinosaur bones.  Juliet said how she thinks Rainelle has a bad reputation and that it’s not that bad.  She said she felt like it was more “country” people rather than what she’s heard since moving here.  I told her things had changed since a couple of guys I knew blew up a bunch of state police cars.

Also, there were a ton of arrests in 2012 and it really cleaned up the area.  There were over 200 drug arrests in two months.  Juliet said, “What?”  Then she tried to figure out what percent that was with a population of only 1500.

2:00, Living Room.  We came back home and I put Sam down for a nap.  He took a nap with grandpa and then Juliet graded papers and I worked on the Sarah Book.  I’ve been working on the Sarah Book for a long ass time now.  It’s been nothing but a nightmare but it’s finally coming together.  Juliet told me, “I’ll be happy when you’re done soon so I can hear you complain about something new.”  It really is going to be the first masterpiece of the 20th century.

4:00, Kitchen. We eat.  I tried to get Iris to eat her quesadilla but all she wants to eat is pizza now.  We butt heads over her eating.  She says she’s not hungry.

5:00, Living Room. Juliet helped edit a friend’s grad school essay and I worked on the Sarah Book.  It’s the section about Sarah working at the hospital as a nurse.  It has a story about fistulas which is where the body essentially creates a new asshole for you and the acid burns through the skin—so that it can get rid of waste.  It also has a story about a guy who died on Sarah in the hospital and who had a tattoo above his pubic area that said Bedroom Bandit and then beside the letters were smoking tattooed pistols and beneath the smoking tattooed pistols were tattooed vaginas. And they were smoking too.

6:00, Outside.  I kept working and then I went outside and kicked the ball with Sam.  He’s only three years old but I swear to god he’s going to be the next Maradona or Pele.  He’s that good.  We came back inside and I gave my daughter a bath.  My Mom gave Sam a bath.

8:00, Living Room. Grandma paints Iris’ toenails and then Sam’s.  Sam “Stardust” McClanahan is a total glam rocker.

sam stardust

9:30, My Car. Juliet and I drove to Go-Mart and got some snacks.  On the way there Juliet asked if we should start watching a new TV show.  For some reason this made me mad and I started going on about how TV is like poetry and sort of crap.  You just watch it because people tell you that you should.  You dislike most of the poems/episodes—but you’ve already started the book/series so you feel like you should finish it.  It made little sense, but I didn’t care.  Juliet told me I was insane.

Then I started shouting that my Saturday entry for this website was going to be the greatest one ever.  I told Juliet that Luc Sante was going to feel like such an asshole when he saw how good mine was.  Juliet told me I was insane.

10:30-11:30.  Bedroom.  We started to watch a movie (The Crying Game) and Juliet was tearing off part of her fingernail and then she handed it to me.  I started feeling the urge to chew on a part of her fingernail and so I did.  She looked at me like “That’s gross.”  But I chewed the rest of it and swallowed it.  I actually wanted more.

12:00. Bedroom.  Lights out and sex.  Then sleep and dreams and the prettiest word of all:  Tomorrow.  Tomorrow.