How to Unhook from the “How-to” Habit

Reese hitch

Anyone feel they haven’t read enough “how-to” books on writing? Claudia in Mendoza, Argentina, says she hasn’t finished reading John Gardner’s The Art of Fiction. Go for it, Claudia—Gardner is one of my favourites. But before you go, take two minutes to consider my argument for becoming a writer from the inside out. First, a confession: […]

Seriously, I’m Working on my Novel


You won’t believe me but… As this shot was taken I was mining deep thoughts: The price of freedom is death. ~ Malcolm X I read it in a book called Death, the Last God. All this death business relates to my work-in-progress, The Writer in Love. In this personal essay I suggest that “paying […]

I Didn’t See it Coming

I didn't see it coming

I didn’t hear it coming. For an opening line I think it works. What do you think? See what coming? Exactly! The reader is going keep reading to find out, and isn’t that the overarching purpose of the first sentence—to compel the reader to read the second sentence. Etc. I was going to write a […]

I’ll Go Anywhere as Long as It Is Forward

Congo River circa 1880

I’m mucking around south-central Africa in the year 1873. I’m navigating my way through the heart of a story that started out as a faux-memoir about a journey into the “heart of darkness.” Just when I felt sure I had morphed into pure fiction, I meet Dr. David Livingstone. On his deathbed. David Livingstone, explorer […]

Writer in Love

The writer in question writing The Writer in Love

Would you read a book called The Writer in Love?  If no, don’t tell me; I’m too busy working on it, shaping it, trying to fall in love with it.   Unlike my previous effort, Story Structure to Die for, this one isn’t instructional, not so straightforward.  It’s more like a vortex.  I hope. Writer […]

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