To hear others expound on the merits of small town living, you’d be convinced of the perils of living in either bucolic isolation or city anonymity. If you and your family are off-the-grid, homesteading in Idaho you could be eaten by a pack of rabid wolves months before anyone might happen upon your compound. Choose […]Read more "The Curse of Small Town Living"
A year ago at this time I was between books. I’d finished My Plus One on the 15th of November and started writing Double Dirty on December 14th. While I did some editing of Fleet Files and Ginned Up in those interim four weeks, it appears as though I did nothing related to writing from the 18th […]Read more "The Holiday Slowdown"
If you thought I was going to list specifically which three skills, I apologize for the ambiguity in the title. How would I know which three basic skills you should have? I only assert everyone should have three. I’m going to share with you mine. (Bear in mind that were you to ask someone which three […]Read more "Everyone Should have Three Basic Skills"
I like words. I especially like song lyrics and insightful quotes. My children are routinely handed liner notes to read along while listening to music; they are frequently spellbound by the powerful words of long-since-dead people. A while ago, I collected a couple dozen quotes, typed them out in Copperplate Gothic Light, and printed them […]Read more "Employing One’s Ears and Mouth in their Proper Proportions"
When my son Asher was four and a half years old (ten years ago in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, we were discussing the upcoming holiday. We invited Nana and Papa for the festive meal. It was just going to be the seven of us. (Abram wasn’t born yet.) Our family is vegetarian; Nana […]Read more "Perception is Everything"
There comes a time in everyone’s life when contemplation about what really matters becomes an overarching obsession. Perhaps it’s the time of year: that cultural push to reflect on what one should be grateful for — being the week of Thanksgiving. Perhaps it’s the onset of cold weather: that seasonal effect causing a thoughtfulness around […]Read more "Time to Reassess"
Today I hit 30 thousand words. It has taken until now — 30K words into my 7th novel — for me to have a true appreciation for the 30K-words mark. It marks the place in the story where every important character has been introduced and the framework of the story has been put down. By […]Read more "It’s a Word Marathon"
It’s a little past nine o’clock. I’ll be asleep in less that an hour. Right before turning off the light, I will have read another twenty or so depressing, yet beautiful pages of As I Lay Dying. It will give me nightmares. (Faulkner’s worth it though.) I’ll be up well before five. With the moon. Tomorrow […]Read more "Moonrise II"
I usually write first thing in the morning. Everyone’s asleep. The house is quiet but for those sounds of the water clunking through the pipes bringing heat to chilly bedrooms and the intermittent bird perching at the window-mounted feeder. These sounds don’t begin until 5:30 and dawn, respectively. With recent daylight saving, one preceded the […]Read more "Looking for the Right Soundtrack"
I spent the evening talking with a dear friend, who in addition to being an all-around wonderful person also happened to read one of my stories with an insightful and critical eye. Her feedback was pointed and thoughtful and provocative, leaving me to realize that my characters don’t always behave in keeping with who they […]Read more "Challenge to the Story"