Category Archives: On Writing

The Egregious Practice of Charging Reading Fees

(This article first appeared on the website of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America on March 26, 2018.) I am a hybrid author, which means that I self-publish books and also publish short stories in traditional venues. Last … Continue reading

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What a Long Strange Year It’s Been: A Personal Look at 2017

Like many of you, I have been aghast at America’s convoluted, complex, and dysfunctional political situation this past year, but I’m not going to comment on that. Early on in this blog’s history, I decided to stay far away from … Continue reading

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Book Review: Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan

In my search for new nonfiction books to read, I perused recent awards lists and came across this title. It surprised me that a book on surfing should have won a Pulitzer Prize, but as I read brief descriptions of … Continue reading

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I’m Not Home Here Either

Where is home really? Listening to a Bob Dylan song recently somehow made me think of another Bob Dylan song, “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.” In it, the singer leaves a woman and heads back out on the road … Continue reading

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On the Self-Help Book I Couldn’t Bring Myself to Read

My son and I have been making frequent trips to the local library during these final weeks of summer. I browse through the new book shelves and he looks for DVDs and graphic novels. On my last visit I came … Continue reading

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Book Review: Literary Life: A Second Memoir by Larry McMurtry

I found this book during a random search of the biography/autobiography section of my local library. In the interests of full disclosure, I have to admit that as much as I can remember I have never read anything before by … Continue reading

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Three Out of Five

It took me a while to bring myself to write this one because it’s so personal. It exposes me; it leaves me vulnerable. It concerns motivations that keep me going, but they aren’t really my primary motivations at all. My … Continue reading

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Life Is Entertaining

This essay came about because of a terrible commercial I’ve been seeing lately on various TV and internet sites.  In it, a certain A-list Hollywood actor walks around a city, and as he does, scenes such as those that appear … Continue reading

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Book Review: Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living – Edited by Manjula Martin

Let’s get one thing clear from the outset: this book is not about what the title says it’s about, what the back blurb says it’s about, or what I thought it was going to be about.  Finally, I thought: A … Continue reading

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Meditations on Late-Blooming Literary Success

While on the bus on the way to a gathering of local writers, I was somewhat ruefully contemplating the fact that many of my colleagues, although decades younger than me, have reached a level of popular and commercial success that … Continue reading

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