Walking through Storyland

The most irritating writing advice for me is write what you know. Once I’ve written that paragraph, I sink into a morass of self-pity and caffeine. I wrote about finding narrative on vacation. Sometimes a change of scenery is the jolt needed to wake a person up from the glazed coma of being in one place for too long. Upon return, things look a little different. Last night, I took a stroll around my neighborhood. With the latest addition of a grocery store, my neighborhood is like one of those preformed children’s… Read More

A Cast of Androids

For the first time in nearly a year and a half, I sat down and read, from start to finish, the draft of my first novel, written in November 2012 for NaNoWriMo. I was laid out by the flu that month, but determined to meet the goal of 50,000 words. I did it and then I put the damned thing away. I’ve returned many times, flipping disinterestedly through printed pages, redlining here and there, but found it incredibly difficult to commit to serious rewriting. The obvious joy of reading something written so… Read More

Turkey Wrangling and Other Curiosities

On the way to the grocery store last week, a police van stopped in front of me at a busy intersection and put on its lights. I reflexively wondered what I had done. The officer got out and walked back towards my car. I panicked – did I put my current registration in the glove box? He stopped and with a comical, defeated expression on his face, gestured for me to go around his vehicle. I passed by slowly, wondering what was going on. On the other side of the officer’s van,… Read More

When the Writer’s Away…

I made the mistake of ignoring my novel, Phoenix Rock, this last week. It’s highly unlikely I’ll meet the word count goal of 50,000 words for National Novel Writing Month. I’m going to give it a good go, though, and last night I reviewed my work thus far, so that I could get back to work on it today. Big mistake to leave my characters mid storyline. They’re pissed at me and not cooperating at all. I left my main character, Meg, to an awkward, but happy reunion with her brother, Jamie…. Read More

The Making of a Serial Killer: Fictional Characterization

I’d like to kill them all – anchorless Meg, that milquetoast Mark, passive aggressive Sonya, hapless Hal. I want them dead and it’s legal. I’m on day 4 of the National Novel Writing Month challenge and I LOATHE the characters in my book, Phoenix Rock. I’ve started fantasizing about bizarre and grotesque ways to maim, injure and kill them. I should state categorically that my novel is contemporary fiction about a dysfunctional family and how they come to terms with the past. It’s not a murder mystery or forensic whodunit. It’s just… Read More