Work sample: "Trying to Find My Lil' All 'n All" is a personal essay published in The Georgia Review in 2017. It is part of a book-in-progress, a hybrid nonfiction that combines memoir, literary journalism, and song biography. Its starting point is the song, "Sitting on Top of the World," recorded by the Mississippi Sheiks in 1929 and since re-recorded hundreds of times by performers in blues, jazz, Texas swing, bluegrass, rock, and gospel. The song – tied to the inexplicable, mutable nature of human happiness and sorrow – compels me now to consider other essential questions at the song’s core. In this essay, I connect a road trip to visit my parents to the song's meaning.