Let the Mothers and Fathers Speak

I’m afraid I’ve become jaded. Rarely do the newest of fiction and nonfiction books, and even poetry, speak to me as they once have. Lately I’ve had to force myself to read them, something you might glean from the rare reviews I’ve been posting. What’s wrong? Is it me? Have I simply read too many…

Eating The Postmodern Novel

The White Boy Shuffle, by Paul Beatty I had read Beatty’s latest, The Sellout, a few months ago and didn’t much care for it. When this happens, I usually ask, “What’s wrong with me? What did I miss?” I did miss something, but I’ll sort that out in a sec. I’m afraid, dear reader, that…

Inner Voice Makes All The Difference

I was recently asked, in so many words, if I thought my writing was a calling. Tough question, that. Just what constitutes a calling, anyway? Old Man Webster makes the definition broad: anything you do customarily in the form of a vocation to something divinely inspired you engage in. Here’s where I fit into that band…

Ever read a novel or a book of short stories or novellas and wonder if the writer is really writing about herself? That no matter the subject matter or story direction, the author is simply projecting himself as a character into the book? This is one of the peripheral tenets of post-modernism, particularly, the process…

Language: Rich With Humanity and Ambiguity

  What is there about writing that attracts us writers so? Most of us are compelled to write, but that doesn’t really answer the question, does it? Part of it is the love of language – the music and rhythm of it. I used to ride the city bus in Atlanta, listening to the Hispanic…

Tell Me A Story, Turn The Pages

If you GOOGLE “Why do we need stories?” you’ll gain some 805 million results, a good many of the top ones pretty darned interesting. Clearly, stories are a device we humans need to express…something. But what is that something? And why the universal need to express it? In order to answer this, shut the book you…

A Broader Take on Story

Today’s world is ever-changing, adapting, mutating. If you see that glass half full, fine. If you see it half empty, then let’s suppose that a given new thing under your microscope hasn’t been fully fleshed out…yet. But to stay on point, what’s changed in the structure of stories, and why? I won’t cover well-trod theoretical ground,…