It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that … More “Kill Your Darlings”: Is Purple Prose Putridly Perfidious or Permissibly Playful?
Alexander Pope once quipped that the ninth Beatitude was “Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” Thomas Hardy outlined his formula for a happy life in a poem titled “He Never Expected Much.” It had such an impact that it’s inscribed on his tombstone. To my credit, I’ve internalized these … More Blue Blood, Bad Books, Boogeymen, and Bummers
On command, authors should be able to rattle off their strengths and weaknesses in the discipline. Me? I excel at characterization, and my dialogue’s not too shabby. On the other side, plot and pacing are consistent struggles. Knowing this is invaluable. When I create a story, I build it around the characters. I feature more dialogue … More Reviews Blues: How to Deal with Negative Feedback
“I sought a theme and sought for it in vain, I sought it daily for six weeks or so. Maybe at last being but a broken man I must be satisfied with my heart.” –William Butler Yeats “The Circus Animals’ Desertion” I don’t believe in writer’s block, and neither should you. I preach this … More “Kick That Block!”
“We cannot but obey the powers above us. Could I rage and roar as doth the sea She lies in, yet the end must be as ’tis.” –Shakespeare, Pericles I haven’t posted in a month and a half. Truth be told, that update was simply a scene I cut from my short story “Amorous Birds … More “What Old December’s Bareness Everywhere!” or “Don’t Call It a Comeback!”
“Now therefore, while the youthful hue Sits on thy skin like morning dew, And while thy willing soul transpires At every pore with instant fires, Now let us sport us while we may, And now, like amorous birds of prey, Rather at once our time devour Than languish in his slow-chapped power.” –Andrew Marvell, “To … More Bird’s the Word: It’s New Short Story Day!
“Labour is blossoming or dancing where The body is not bruised to pleasure soul, Nor beauty born out of its own despair, Nor blear-eyed wisdom out of midnight oil.” –William Butler Yeats “Among School Children” We Yanks are celebrating Labor Day. I would laud it over my international friends, but most of them have a … More “Body Set to Music”: Musings on Labor Day
My new short story went live yesterday, and, per usual, I’m doing the mandatory promotional essay. This one, however, will be different. No attempt at a pithy title or clever introduction, no jokes, no ironic, self-aware peppering a post with links for purchase as I did last time. Hard to attempt funny when our nation’s fourth-largest … More We Hate Harvey
“Watched the men who rode you switch from sails to steam, And in your belly you hold the treasures few have ever seen. Most of them dream, most of them dreams.” –Jimmy Buffett, “A Pirate Looks at Forty” “Water, water everywhere,” some famous poet once wrote. When I look at my paltry creative output, no … More A Writer Looks at Forty