Thoughts from a white writer on our responsibilities as writers

I write historical fiction, and my approach is largely realistic. I also grew up in the South and set most of my fiction there, and for the time being, most of what I write about is set during some of the most difficult and painful eras in our nation’s short history: the Civil War and … More Thoughts from a white writer on our responsibilities as writers

Bodhisattvas amid the ruin, and the treasure you can give

At my old Buddhist community in Portland, tonight would have been Bodhisattva Night, a social gathering (mostly for the kids, but definitely for the young at heart as well) in which the sangha comes together and talks about what it means, this time of year in the West especially, to give of oneself, wholly and … More Bodhisattvas amid the ruin, and the treasure you can give

Holiday shopping, literature, and a thousand lights in the coming night

Usually, around this time of year, I tell you all the books I’ve been reading, or all the books I’ve been buying, or all the books in the past year or so by friends of mine, and I suggest you make your holiday shopping list from it. It’s a way to support literature and my literary … More Holiday shopping, literature, and a thousand lights in the coming night

Disarming my words

I will no longer give trigger warnings to my students. I will not shoot them emails; I will not fire off messages. As a writer, I no longer have targets and I will no longer take aim at them. When I send out new stories for publication, I will not shotgun or scattergun my submissions … More Disarming my words

On words and awareness and ignorance and compassion

Social media is a hyper-emotional space, fraught with extreme opinions, extreme sensitivities, extreme expressions conveyed in extreme compression which leads to extreme misunderstanding. This is true on Facebook, on blogs, on Instagram, on Reddit, and perhaps especially on Twitter, where the limitation of 140 characters demands an extreme attention to and care with language but … More On words and awareness and ignorance and compassion