Dance of Art and Story

Art inspires me. It’s part of the  reason I manage to write at all some weeks. Take last week. After many false starts, I came to Saturday and didn’t know what I was gong to write in this blog or in my story. I found a piece of art I wanted to use. (Sometimes I…

Swirling Chaos & the Writing World

I follow Kris Rusch pretty closely to learn  as much as I can about the writing business. I also support her on Patreon where she posts most of her blog entries prior to posting them publicly. A few are only available on Patreon. I read her latest post on the effect of large events on…

Return to Argosy

I’ve had several false starts with my short story of the week and now I’m facing tomorrow without even a story start that I want to write in. At times like this, I run back to my familiar worlds, Argosy and Thule. This is what having a well-developed world does for me. It provides ready-made…

Short Story Intensive

In April I will be going to Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s Short Story Intensive in Las Vegas, which is my reward for working hard on short story craft throughout 2019. It is a five-day intensive workshop taught by Rusch and limited to just 15 writers. You have to be approved to get in. I can’t wait!…

Sweet and Hot

Short, sweet, and hot today, which is my way of telling you that I completed my first sex scene last night. By first, I mean first ever, despite years of trying. I am ridiculously pleased with myself. Even in my sex-obsessed twenties I couldn’t write a sex scene. To be fair, my problem then was…

Find Your Tribe

There are probably writers whose lives do not improve by spending time with other writers, but I don’t know any. It’s a facile idea that writing is a solitary profession. I don’t think it is for most writers. Check a writer’s biography and you find other writers. Even the famously reclusive Emily Dickinson maintained friendships…

Morning Tornados

At 5am this morning a tornado ripped through Memphis waking us up and sparking tornado alarms. As I crouched in the hallway with heavy winds buffeting the house (my room is the one most likely to have a tree fall on it) all I could think was, “Oh no! What if the house is smashed…

Streaks

Today Seth Godin writes about the value of streaks, which he says are about learning and building habits. Real progress comes not from measuring ourselves against everyone else’s pace, but in building habits. And habits come from streaks. –Seth Godin Dean Wesley Smith also talks frequently about the value of streaks as a secret to productivity….

Getting Cozy With Writing

Joyce Carol Oates, Dean Wesley Smith, and a host of other writers recommend typing the first scene (or a scene you want to learn from) of one of your favorite books. They claim that it helps your subconscious learn how to write. It’s similar to artists copying from master paintings in the Louvre. They aren’t…

Wrestling with Monsters

I’m attracted to monsters when I do art, to people struggling against larger forces. But when I write I avoid the monstrous. I slash my eyes away from anything that is horrific and scary. I love reading Jim Butcher’s Dresden series, which is all about hard choices and monsters. In fact, if you looked through…