Read a Banned Book Today

  Books speak quietly. They’re full of ideas-and stories representing concepts that can’t seem to be transmitted any other way, except perhaps in pictures. But throughout history, books have been banned. Why? Societies put limits on the behavior of their people, for one thing. This is often necessary for a society to function. The rub…

Fiction as Reality That Makes Sense

We writers know we have to compete in a changing market, and with the prominence of MFA program graduates, plus the added complication of self-pub writers, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. And with the digital revolution – e-books, etc. – the publishing industry is twisting in the wind. In the past year,…

Real Life and Writing

This morning I posted a whine on Facebook – – all the things I need to do around the house, what with my wife suffering cancer, my aching, cartilage-less left knee – – and oh yeah, the impact of all this on my writing. As I re-considered that post while eating breakfast, I had to…

The Perilous Lack of Reality in Virtual Life

I, like most of us, have begun to think seriously of late about various socio-political things facing us everyday (trust me – this will have to do with my usual subject matter of media, technology, creativity, etc.), particularly the gun-realted tragedies of the past few years, but also related subjects such as an obsession with…

The Reality of Things

It’s magazine week again, so let’s dispense with the political smoke today and move on. Harper’s Monthly – November 2012   We here in the U.S. have been ensnared of late with presidential election kerfuffles, both candidates and their surrogates disputing the claims of the other, and a cottage industry of fact-checkers is blooming. Harper’s…

Parsing the Horror Genre in Torn Realities

And this is what stories of the horror genre, such as those of Torn Realities, give us – visitations from beyond sensory norms. These stories inject outside-of-reality bleed-throughs into historical settings, into fantasy imaginings, into scientific what-ifs. Setting such stories almost invariably brings a solitary person into a secluded place, or a place in which buried things shouldn’t be disturbed, even into a sense of science beyond our human ability to handle. Mood is set through writerly devices that shine a light on the creepier aspects of such settings, virtually guaranteeing the reader will go to sleep with the lights on.

Drowning In Too Many Realities

Harper's Magazine – June 2012 Yep. I knew it was just an anomaly. Harper's may have a boring, harum-scarum issue once in a while, but it never lasts. The June 2012 issue is one of those you wait for, its pieces set forth with an almost poetic sensibility. No? Then let me tell you how…