A Sign

I put each chapter on an index card, A plot one color, B plot another. (Didn’t I already do this about 5 years ago??) I thought about how that B plot bumps up against the A plot. Moved the little cards around. Moved them around again. Then moved them one more time, so they were … More A Sign

mémoire (masculine), a special use of mémoire (feminine) ‘memory’

This is the way I write it: my sister says she doesn’t remember anything about the Cuban Missile Crisis interrupting our family vacation to Texas or whether we still had the turquoise Thunderbird convertible then or not. Why don’t you write about it? One night in a bar Chuck tells friends the story of when … More mémoire (masculine), a special use of mémoire (feminine) ‘memory’

Larry Love

Am I including the subplot of Larry Love, the phony modeling agent, in my novel because the scenes I’ve written about it are my darlings? Do those scenes belong in the novel? My eugenics mystery. Or maybe eugenics thriller.  I spent last week talking to my students about the narrative thesis. Get rid of everything … More Larry Love

Like a Little God

opening of Like a Little God, a novel Every fall you can see the fish gathered at the mouths of the rivers or in the tidewaters, waiting, and the fishermen waiting, too.  The rains come, the water rises and the fish begin to swim upstream. A steelhead is the same as a rainbow trout, except … More Like a Little God

the wrong reader

Dense, dreary and boring,  one Amazon reviewer calls WG Sebold’s book, Austerlitz, like it doesn’t occur to him that he might simply be the wrong reader. Like maybe he doesn’t get it. Man Ray says if you don’t like something, turn away, go find something else. Which is hard to do but good to keep … More the wrong reader

The Cover

My daughter helped with the cover for my self-published, erotic eBook. She put on red lipstick and curled a section of her hair. She stood against the kitchen wall and had me hold her camera. She picked up one of the baby’s toys, a plastic strawberry, and held it to her open mouth. So there … More The Cover

Man Ray

Man Ray once said if you don’t like something, then turn away from it. Just shut up and go to the next thing. I’m paraphrasing. Maybe it wasn’t even Man Ray. The last week of term. Impossible for me to critique one more thing. I read my workshop stories and don’t have one single useful … More Man Ray