Reading 2019

As we start the year, we all (probably) establish a budget for household expenses so we can save for those special things, like trips to the British Isles, a new car, unexpected medical bills. But do you plan ahead for what you want to read for the year? Of course, you can’t make infallible plans….

A New World of Writing

There was a time when fiction writing seemed pretty singular and glamourous. From my pre-pube years through college I was taken with the great American fiction writers of that era: Steinbeck, Hemingway, O’Hara, Flannery O’Connor, Paley, Roth, Dos Passos, and others. They made their bones, a lot of them, as journalists, paid their bills writing…

So You Want To Be A Writer

So you ‘re thinking that writing would be a great gig; you would be your own boss, forget “The Man,” and make a bunch of money. All you’d have to do is make up stories, which would be sorta like lying, the talent you used to have with your Mom when she figured you were…

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…