I’ve complained here before that writers shouldn’t use fiction to advance their personal causes or issues. Never say never, of course, and it took author T. C. Boyle to show how to have your agenda and tell a good story too. My writing mentor, Doris Betts, once told me that either you’re a novelist or […]Read More Are We Not Boyle?
There’s been a lot said and written in past years – particularly since the advent of tweets, blog posts, and e-mail – about the value of snippet reading. It’s a great way to amass information, they say. But let me work the other side of the fence for a moment. Yes, those snippets will allow […]Read More Reading Makes You Smarter?
If you’re a writer, has your writing seemed milk-toasty at times? Or if you’re a reader, has a book disappointed because it is, well, milk-toasty? Then if you have access to the January/February issue of Poets&Writers, Jan/Feb 2016, turn to Tom Spanbauer’s essay, Dangerous Writing. I’ll leave it to you to discover from his essay […]Read More Dangerous But Beautiful
Literature is rarely taught or even thought of as a socio-political device, but it often is, has been since Homer. The best writers are the best, most legitimate observers of society, and Cormac McCarthy has been the best of both in recent years of these United States. In his novel, Child of God (click for a […]Read More Poverty and Violence
With today’s media having been gobbled up by bottom-line-must-be-in-the black types, it’s hard for the book game to cultivate writers, and so we must do it ourselves. As I implied in this early post, writers have always found it hard to comment on their various societies, their foibles, their fledgling promise. We feel the […]Read More Find Truth, Tell It
There are some changes coming in GF posts, one temporary, and at least one permanent. I’ve been hesitant to enter this stage of self disclosure, but my family life with the missus has entered a new phase, one that has ironically drawn us closer together – – she’s been stricken with an extremely nasty and […]Read More A New Ballgame
I’m truly fortunate in being able to keep writing and in having my work published. This Saturday, March 15, 2014, a dystopian novella of mine will be launched as an e-book. The name? We Are Strong, But We Are Fragile. It’s something of a fable, a cautionary tale, set in the Blue Ridge […]Read More Good Fortune in Dystopia