My Thoughts, Other Writer's Words

Time Travel & Teleportation Aren’t Just for Science Fiction

The written word defies the laws of physics. Right now, as you read this, the author of these words could be parasailing in Grand Cayman, or tied to a chair in the belly of an abandoned oil tanker while being pistol-whipped by thugs (a case of mistaken identity, surely), or (gasp) even dead. Okay, that last one’s a bit morbid, but the only thing you can be relatively certain of is that on Sunday, when I wrote this, I was none of the above. But do you see what’s going on here? I’m talking to you from the past. Yup.…

Read More

About Me, Beyond Categorization, Meaningless Drivel, My Favorite Things, Other Writer's Words

7 Random Distractions to Keep You From Noticing There’s No Real Content In This Post

All indications are that it’s Friday. And apparently, it’s a holiday weekend, too, though I didn’t realize this until my fictional next door neighbor started setting off fireworks in his driveway. I think it’s some sort of holiday to celebrate man’s dominion over dogs. I didn’t verify this in the “current holiday we just made up” section at the Hallmark store, but previous experience and the ain’t-that-cute tweets of complete strangers on Twitter give me reason to believe July 4th is known as “Make Your Dog Cower Under Your Desk” Day. I could be wrong about that. I don’t have…

Read More

Contests, Other Writer's Words

More Good Words from Contest Entries

As promised, here are a few more entries and excerpts to illustrate just how talented all of you are. I had a great time hosting this contest and loved reading all of your entries. I am well aware you have a limited time to spend reading blogs and I’m grateful you have taken the time to read this one. Please let me know in comments or via email what I can to to improve the blog (I mean, apart from promising you first place in all subsequent writing contests). Okay, now the good stuff. * * * * * *…

Read More

Contests, Other Writer's Words

A Writing Contest Tease

It’s Friday, so I can do whatever I want here on the ol’ blog. So here’s what I’m going to do – plug the contest one more time. You’ve got until midnight tonight to throw 200 words together and toss them in my general direction. Click here for details about the contest, then check your watch, put pen to paper, and write like your life depends on it. Just for fun, I thought I’d show you a tiny glimpse of what’s been sent so far. If you don’t see a sentence from your story here, that doesn’t mean I didn’t…

Read More

General, Other Writer's Words, Self-editing Tips, The Publishing Process

Breaking the Rules

Just yesterday, an Internet friend asked me to read his short story and offer him a little editorial advice. Sometimes I get nervous when friends ask me to read their writing, but I’d shared enough of a conversation with him to expect he’d know his way around words. I was right. Even though it was a first draft, the observational story (non-fiction, but with the textures of a great fiction piece) had plenty of bite and surprising depth. One of the things that struck me about his story was the manner in which he introduced dialogue for the various characters.…

Read More

My Thoughts, Other Writer's Words, Self-editing Tips

The Mysterious Importance of Mystery

Not so many years ago, my younger son became a fascinated by videogames. Like his older brother before him, this fascination grew into a full-blown addiction for a time. But unlike his brother – who suffered through the challenges of finishing a level using the age-old technique known as “if at first you don’t succeed, stomp your feet, pout, growl, try out a new word to see if your parents notice, then try again” – my younger son was known to ask, “is there a cheat code for this?” Younger son has always been rather pragmatic; he likes order and…

Read More

About Me, General, My Thoughts, Other Writer's Words, The Writer's Life

Chasing the Flame

Note: I am a writer as well as an editor. Sometimes I wear my writer’s hat when blogging. This is one of those times. When the source of his fiction was autobiographical, Eddie could write with authority and authenticity. But when tried to imagine – to invent, to create – he simply could not succeed as well as when he remembered. This is a serious limitation for a fiction writer… But Eddie would make a living as a novelist, nonetheless. One can’t deny him his existence as a writer simply because he would never be, as Chesterton once wrote of…

Read More