Published by on October 20, 2016
Categories: Uncategorized

Beware the Siren Call of the Quickie

Quickies have their place, and they can be a-okay, too. Of course by their very nature, quickies usually leave somebody hanging. In the bedroom, well that’s between you and your mate. But in business, oh…that’s not good even once. Since 1992 I’ve been writing for businesses. With the advent of MailChimp and Constant Contact and […]

Published by on October 1, 2016
Categories: Opinion

NETFLIX: I am so sorry I ignored your star rating

Dear Netflix, From henceforward I promise never to watch any movie with a two-or-less star rating on Netflix.     The movie description said “A married man hears about the disappearance of his college lover.” Mystery! Yay. I love mysteries. Which will it be? She’s kidnapped and the police are asking for any information from the […]

Published by on September 23, 2016
Categories: Uncategorized

Watched Pots Never Boil

They say a watched pot never boils. They are right. In a hurry to cook spaghetti noodles, I’ve watched plenty of them and they never boil until you turn away. For me, as a writer, that pot is whatever book I’m working on. If I sit in front of the screen and I try to […]

On creating a world

All storytellers bump up against the same challenges: What world will their characters inhabit? Will the world be large or will the story focus on a narrow segment of it? If a narrow world, will there be a broad sampling of characters? What are the rules of engagement in this world? What outside forces will […]

Character Study: The Man Child

He was born to parents that would never, could never, understand him. For all intents and purposes, he was an alien. His parents were normal enough and that was the problem, for something about the boy invited abnormal adults to feel comfortable in his presence. To explain: Normal enough means regularly smart, while abnormal adult […]

Character Study: The Painter

Trashed out. In need of repair. Dingy paint, chipped. Floors, scratches showing clean wood through years of grime or squares of linoleum tiles searching for their place among empty patches of dried glue. Ceilings, smoke stained; bathtubs, ringed with mineral deposits clinging to God only knew whose old skin. Chicken coop out back, empty except […]

Plots and Characters

I’ve been asked how it is I plot my novels. The short answer is: I don’t, not really, kinda sorta somewhat not. The correct answer is: I have a general idea of story, but when my characters surprise me, my stories always benefit. In other words, I write like John le Carré. For instance, my […]

Published by on September 9, 2016
Categories: Books Opinion

Rainbow in a Lemon Fizz Can

I first met Charles Olaf Johnson, or Chuck as friends call him, at my writing critique group run by Jedwin Smith. Chuck was in his mid-seventies, but that didn’t stop him from flirting. I remember thinking, “Dang, Chuck, if you were younger…holy cow, I would be in trouble.” And he knew I was thinking that. Chuck was awesomely […]

Published by on September 7, 2016
Categories: Books

To Plot or Not to Plot

To plot, or not to plot — that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the book to allow The characters to surprise the writer Or to make detailed plot assignments And, by controlling, end the surprise. To plan the plot — who knows — and by plan to say we end The heartache, and […]