Cube Farm

BOGIE, or Why I Wrote Patchworks My second novel addresses gun violence in America. It didn’t start out that way. Patchworks' protagonist, a millennial grad student interning for peanuts within a government bureaucracy, didn’t appear until several months into writing. And, angry as I felt to see America shredded over and over again by episodes of massive … Continue reading Cube Farm

Again

While we sit idly by No longer dumbfounded Just dumb Numb Gunman kills 7 in a rampage that started with a West Texas traffic stop

April Reboot

If white rabbits and colored eggs can symbolize Christianity’s holiest day, then why not boots? I’m in reboot mode after considerable turmoil to my writing framework. Turmoil here isn’t used in the negative. Jesus Christ Himself (Jesus H. Christ, to some) achieved his greatest miracle on waves of enormous turmoil. Turmoil forces us to react, … Continue reading April Reboot

Mail Call—Trump-Sized Satire

Oh happy day! New books arrived for review, including one unexpected. Thanks to a tip from writing coach, author, and blogger Marylee MacDonald and literary website Dactyl Review I find myself in possession of not one but TWO books courtesy of author U.R. Bowie. The first looks like a novel of the most ridiculous order for … Continue reading Mail Call—Trump-Sized Satire

Ten Questions

I am asked, "A book begins as an idea in the writer’s imagination. Eventually, this grain of sand turns into a pearl. What was the grain of sand that fired your imagination?" I respond: Orwellian signs in the DC Metro: “IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING.” See what, exactly? Commuters staring empty-eyed at phones while … Continue reading Ten Questions

Writers’ Resources

Featuring two new resources for writers: Dactyl Review and Marylee MacDonald’s coaching blog. I came upon the first after engaging with the second by following the primary law of social media: be social. A quick exchange on Marylee’s blog pointed me the way to Dactyl Review, opening up a whole new platform for publishing book … Continue reading Writers’ Resources

For All You Novelists

Creative writing is a walk along a fine line. That line divides the seen and the unseen, the knowable and the unknown, the past and the future, cause and effect. Sanity and madness. Creative writers tread by feel to bridge the one and the other. For some the means is poetry. For others, memoir, essay, … Continue reading For All You Novelists

Revising for Backstory

Emotion How does a writer revise an old manuscript? Skim the surface line-editing a well-worn draft? I suppose there’s a method for every problem. What if the problem is an absence of feeling and emotion? In this case the problem demanded the author talk himself to the solution. I sat down and wrote to myself: … Continue reading Revising for Backstory

In the Pathless Woods: Revising

Three years after writing a novel called The Fortress for my eight-year-old son, I’m taking on the fourth revision. It's got a new title, In the Pathless Woods, inspired by Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, the 18th century narrative poem by George Gordon, Lord Byron. Byron's verse replaces a simple placeholder I'd inserted at the time, filler … Continue reading In the Pathless Woods: Revising

Finding Your Market

This video is about examining your manuscript to find its best market opportunity. For me the process took ten years, failed representation, and an entire rewrite. But it was worth it. https://youtu.be/cQgAu7OX0UU In this segment from my interview with Matthew Whiteside, I share lessons learned from the process of bringing out my first novel. Hint: … Continue reading Finding Your Market