Writer’s Tip #2

Despite the growing fame of alternative facts, and perhaps it’s part of the human urge in the early 21st century for meaning, readers crave authenticity nowadays. And the subject matter doesn’t really matter, as long as what’s written is real. Philip Roth, in one of his novels, felt compelled to write a mini-treatise on gloves,…

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…

Writer’s Tip # 1

I can’t count the times I’ve had someone ask where my story ideas come from. What I tell them – somewhat honestly – is “I don’t know.” Where they do come from can best be answered this way: some years back during writing classes I taught, someone would usually ask how I handled writer’s block….

The Strengths of a Few Good People

I rarely do this, humble creature that I am, but this book deserves not to be lost in the print-pile of so many writerly aspirations out there. WE ARE STRONG BUT WE ARE FRAGILE was written in the run-up to a presidential election, the story a cautionary tale of a society devolved because the wrong…

It’s Been A Long Time Coming

I grumble here quite a bit about the state of creative writing in the U.S., don’t I? And that sets me to considering what’s behind my grumpiness. One of my best finds in literature in the past fifteen years or so is that of South Africa. South Africa, you’d say? Yes. Check out this list,…

Oh, the Difference!

  According to a number of studies, men tend to prefer reading non-fiction and women fiction. Why is that? I’m treading on dangerous turf in genderizing reading habits, but here goes. Despite the advances women have made world-wide in social issues, politics, and the job market, it remains a men’s world – for the time…

Standing Around In Search of a Story

  I remember reading somewhere that a story isn’t really a story if its characters aren’t sharply defined, and so when I began my first novel, I chipped away the dross of my characters before writing the first word. Not so with the novel being examined here, I imagine. Haslett’s project seems to be to…