Truth and Embroidery

As a beginning blogger, I wanted to be serious. I intended to write about the writing process, to quote famous authors, and to record my progress toward publication (or toward the satisfaction of having written). I wanted to write about Literature and Life. Halfway through my first post, I discarded that notion. Once upon a … Continue reading Truth and Embroidery

Scrimshanking

At my office/coffee shop/bookstore, sitting at the computer bar at the side of the room, laptop plugged into an outlet beneath,  iced Atzec mocha against the wall where I hope it won't spill, two industrious critique partners on my right. I am scrimshanking. The spell checker says scrimshanking isn't a word. That's what it knows. … Continue reading Scrimshanking

Tampering with perfection & #ROW80 Report

I am so tired I ever could. Because last night I waltzed up to the watermelon buffet and chose Complete the edit the AMW story for its (I hope) final major critique If I'd been taking naps, #1 would be only a memory. But there's more to do. Weeks ago, I edited out a couple of … Continue reading Tampering with perfection & #ROW80 Report

What I Learned from Ernest Hemingway, Plus a Photo of Gregory Peck, Plus Snakes

What if soy milk is just milk introducing itself in Spanish?* *** To Write, etc., has been dormant for a while because I've been (a) playing spider solitaire, and (b) working on two pieces of literature: (1) a story entitled "When Cheese Is Love," which needs to be 5,000 words but is currently 6,200 words, necessitating … Continue reading What I Learned from Ernest Hemingway, Plus a Photo of Gregory Peck, Plus Snakes

ROW80 01.08.12 and Excuses

Here's my progress report for the first week of January: On Tuesday, I attended Austin Mystery Writers. I had not submitted anything for critique, but I took a bit of the newsletter I was editing for CP to proof. My printer had cut off an inch or two on the right side of the document, … Continue reading ROW80 01.08.12 and Excuses

#ROW80 & Symboling

"Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?" ~ Robert Browning, Andrea del Sarto My reach last week exceeded my grasp. I followed Tuesday's stellar 1000 Molly words (or 921, depending on who's counting) with 0 Molly words for the rest of the week. But I was so pleased … Continue reading #ROW80 & Symboling

Pantsing

I am a pantser. I wish I could say that isn't as bad as it sounds, but I can't. Pantser is one of the words I've learned since starting work on my novel. It means someone who writes by the seat of his pants, without an outline or other planning tools. It's the opposite of … Continue reading Pantsing

Sores on the tops of the horses

Writing about his college years, James Thurber tells the story of Haskins, an agriculture student who takes up journalism, "possibly on the ground that when farming went to hell he could fall back on newspaper work." Haskins is assigned the animal husbandry beat, which comprises cows, sheep, and over two hundred horses. Unfortunately, he is … Continue reading Sores on the tops of the horses

Day 17: Perpetual writing

I never quite know when I'm not writing. Sometimes my wife comes up to me at a party and says, "Damnit, Thurber, stop writing." She usually catches me in the middle of a paragraph. Or my daughter will look up from the dinner table and ask, "Is he sick?" "No," my wife says, "he's writing … Continue reading Day 17: Perpetual writing

Day 9: Emoting

  Austin Mystery Writers met tonight. I was prepared. I bought frozen stuffed peppers Sunday evening and at 4:40 this afternoon turned the oven on to 350. David took it from there. Frozen stuffed peppers is our Tuesday night default. David is the default preparer of frozen dinners and cleaner-upper of kitchen. For all this … Continue reading Day 9: Emoting

Move over, Cyd Charisse

I received a phone call last week from Lucia Zimmitti, an editor who spoke at the Texas Trail Writers Roundup this spring. In mid-July, I'd sent her the first five pages of my manuscript. She reported that she'd read them and that they're ready for query. She said she believes agents who read them will … Continue reading Move over, Cyd Charisse

Back in the slammer again

Today's horoscope said, "A person who means well will throw a wrench into the works." That was the man who came to paint the front door. The go-between told me he would be here at 9:00 a.m. I was supposed to secure my cats before he arrived. Securing cats meant I had to (1) get … Continue reading Back in the slammer again

An Ever-widening Wilderness

Okay. Enough of this sweetness-and-light, writing-is-my-life, revising-is-a-glorious-process, retreats-are-so-inspiring, the-daily-miracle-will-come baloney. Writing stinks. Last night, no matter how hard I tried to make the technician at the other end of the line understand that the problem was caused by a short in the ground wire on the keyboard, and was surely related to the March 30 … Continue reading An Ever-widening Wilderness

Letting the miracle happen

I ended an earlier post with the sentence, "There's a hole I have to write myself out of." Parse that and you'll find it equal parts wish, bravado, pretense, and humbug. I had no idea how to write myself out of that hole. I thought I'd have to scrap "A Day in the Life of … Continue reading Letting the miracle happen