Category Archives: Writing

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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Textual Reality and the Phenomenological World

Although my friend’s daughter asked me one time if the story I had just told her was a “true story,” most people acknowledge—however reluctantly in the case of Harry Potter fans—that the characters in the stories they read are fictional. … Continue reading

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Working on the Birth and Death of Planeville

I have spent the last few months—when I can spare a moment from teaching and marking—working on my novel about the now extinct village of Planeville. In some ways this project has been more difficult than others, perhaps because although … Continue reading

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Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson My rating: 4 of 5 stars View all my reviews

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The Origin of Planeville

The settlers of Planeville pulled a living from the south facing slope by planting apples trees on the bank, floated spruce and fir down the river to Jewet’s mill so the lumber could be sold in town, and scraped gardens … Continue reading

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Fifty Shades and a Silo of the Publishing Industry

The so-called vanity press has changed little in the public imagination until very recently. Traditionally, paying to have your book published was seen as synonymous with junk novels and sentimental and self-indulgent poetry. The only route to acceptance by the … Continue reading

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How We Write the Future

Whenever I think of writing about the future, I always remember those early writers of science fiction beginning in the forties and extending into the seventies, Heinlein and Asimov among them, who thought we’d be smoking in spacesuits, and that … Continue reading

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Writing is a Poor Person’s Art

Writing is the poor person’s art, just like soccer is the poor person’s sport. All you need to play soccer is a will, for a ball can be made out of torn nylon stockings, my friends from Chile tell me, … Continue reading

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An Authorial Dream of Wealth and Success

Perhaps because my latest book, Not Quite Dark: A Post-Apocalyptic Adoption Story is doing well in terms of sales, I had a strange dream about being a popular writer the other night. I dreamed that Obama had unwittingly endorsed my … Continue reading

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