Dealing with Ugly Stepchildren and Other Realities of Writing Life

I am currently writing what I consider the worst book I have ever written. But on the other hand, I am writing it. After all, according to Anne Lamott, writers have to give themselves permission to write a “shitty first draft” (her words, not mine). Because if you don’t give yourself that permission, in many … More Dealing with Ugly Stepchildren and Other Realities of Writing Life

Something To Say

I had a journalism student–who shall remain nameless–quite a few years ago, who was a marginal student. He did just enough to get by. I found myself constantly having to push him to put enough effort into classes just to pass the class, and I worried about what his career would be like when he … More Something To Say

A Rose By Any Other Name

I’m back in the office. My summer is over with, voluntarily. I’m thinking that I could use the extra time to get ready for the class I’ll be teaching this fall, but I’m also hoping that the time in the office will force me to get back into writing Tesla’s Ghost. The other motivator came … More A Rose By Any Other Name

Brick By Brick

I’ve been asked what the hardest part of writing a novel is, and my answer tends to be directly related to how well my novel-building is going at the time. My dad used to have a saying: “Some days you eat the bear, and some days the bear eats you.” Some books come together quickly … More Brick By Brick

Draft Day

It’s the day I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. Actually, it’s a special day for two reasons. One, because the National Football League is having its annual Draft Day where teams go round-robin and choose college players who will be joining their teams as new players. My favorite NFL team is the … More Draft Day

Writing as Therapy

One of the toughest times in my life was when my father was dying of cancer. It also marked a breakthrough in my writing. My father was never the kind of person to express himself, and I always felt at a loss when it came to communication with him. In those last few months, I … More Writing as Therapy