Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar

Take heart, dear writer. You’ve worked for a year, perhaps more, writing that novel, and by the saints, you landed a publisher! Here’s the book lying beautifully in your hand. But what to do now? This dilemma confronts many writers like you, and that includes yours truly. Asheville is a hard place to summon some…

Creating the Map to Literature’s Future

Things change. And one thing that’s changed for me in the past couple of years is that I’m not reading as voraciously. The thirty-plus books I used to read has dwindled to a short dozen. That could be because of several factors, but all of them come back to my love for literary fiction and…

Taming Literacy in This Age

Is the novel dead? Why do the remaining book readers today prefer nonfiction to fiction? When I had been working as an engineer for some 6-7 years, the Chief Structural Engineer called me in and said, “Bob, I need you to write a letter for me.” What he meant was a scolding letter to a…

A Modern Desultory Philippic

There are things that trouble me these days. Just to name a few: Too many things are going on in the world. Far too many. Can’t people live within their means? Can’t they help those less fortunate before things get too salty out there? Can’t we accept someone else’s opinions without hysterics? I have too…

2014 in review

Thanks to those who tune in to Gridley Fires blog. I like to say that my followers are few, but they’re rabid and somewhat deranged. And that’s a GOOD¬†thing. So maybe you’d like to see yourself mirrored in the below report. Thanks, have a safe but happy new year’s, and I hope you’ll urge¬†all your…

Good Fortune in Dystopia

    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…

Learning Old Lessons Anew

The Writer’s Chronicle, March April, 2014 Sometimes the lessons writers learn keep coming back, ever new. In Sarah Ann Johnson’s interview with Richard Bausch, he tends to pan manuscript workshopping as a sort-of assembly line way of producing writing. Of course, there are ways out of that, one being to respect the writer’s work enough…