“Kill Your Darlings”: Is Purple Prose Putridly Perfidious or Permissibly Playful?

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?

Blue Blood, Bad Books, Boogeymen, and Bummers

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

Reviews Blues: How to Deal with Negative Feedback

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

“Kick That Block!”

“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!”

“What Old December’s Bareness Everywhere!” or “Don’t Call It a Comeback!”

“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!”

Bird’s the Word: It’s New Short Story Day!

“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!

“Body Set to Music”: Musings on Labor 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

We Hate Harvey

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