Category Archives: Writing

The Ego in Creative Projects

One of the central problems when dealing with a creative writer is that of their emotional investment in their work. They do not see what they have written as merely product, such as a snail and their shell, but rather … Continue reading

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Goin’ Down Slow: A Commentary on Time from my book on Tom Waits’ Songs

Some nights lasted forever, the bands of time stretching out like the taffy from cold molasses, rich and dark and thin without ever seeming to break on the shoals of morning until they were invisible to the eye. Such nights … Continue reading

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Las Vegas Wedding

Las Vegas was more than merely rhinestone glitter and a parade of reflected glory, more than a money-pocket for a sign and a snatching hand and booze-filled weekend pliers to the teeth. It was a place which encouraged invention. If … Continue reading

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There, Their and They’re – What Word Choice Says about the Chooser

Many grammatical or diction errors are easily forgiven, especially in English as it is spoken in North America. Because the countries of North America, such as Canada and United States—and less so Mexico—are largely immigrant cultures, there is a lot … Continue reading

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Preface to my Novel about Colonizing Mars

I first thought about the lone colonist of Mars by the chance association between two very different and, some would say, antithetical ideas. I designed a university course on the changing perception of Mars in literature over the past two … Continue reading

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The Best line from a Student Paper

Although I have read many great student sentences over the years, probably the most memorable one is from my student’s essay when I was teaching in the United States. One of my students was writing about Frederick Douglass, the famous … Continue reading

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Misplacing People by Modifiers

Normally when I am reading articles, especially those on a topic outside my field of study, I often gloss over errors or problems with the prose. Sometimes I am halted in midsentence by an utterance that is troubling in terms … Continue reading

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How Using Academic Research is like being in an Argentinian Argument

Although many academics tacitly accept that research makes a paper stronger, they don’t exactly examine that premise. In fact, if the paper is well argued, and has evidence it has garnered from the primary text(s), other sources are superfluous. They … Continue reading

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Self-reliance and the Helping Hand

Someone asked me recently if my books were linked by a common trait and for a moment I found the question daunting. Then I leapt at the one attribute that they all possess, from my long poem to academic work … Continue reading

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Something to Show for Each Year

I am frequently asked why I bother writing my various books. I don’t have a huge audience to satisfy like Stephen King or J. K. Rowling. In my case, my books sell sporadically and I don’t know there is a … Continue reading

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