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 literaryContinue reading “Holiday shopping, literature, and a thousand lights in the coming night”

Feeling thankful for my students

I held classes on Wednesday. At our community college, we’re on a quarter system and only have ten weeks or so per course, and in a writing class, that’s never enough, so we need to use all the days we can. Of course, the day before Thanksgiving, many of my students understandably take off to visit familyContinue reading “Feeling thankful for my students”

The first short story I ever wrote

I was in ninth grade. I was taking home-ec because I wanted to learn to cook, but we weren’t always in the kitchens — often, our class sat in desks and did bookwork, which I tended to get through quickly. So home-ec soon became my daydreaming time, and so I could look busy, I took toContinue reading “The first short story I ever wrote”

Zen and the art of brutality; or, How can a Buddhist write such violence?

A lot of people read my fiction and tell me something like, “Wait. I thought you were Buddhist?” Even friends are sometimes surprised that I am (by intention if not always by action) so committed to compassion and nonviolence and the pursuit of enlightenment, yet I write such cruel characters, such violent events, such aContinue reading “Zen and the art of brutality; or, How can a Buddhist write such violence?”

Halloween brings the Rougarou!

This past week, Hagridden‘s publisher, Columbus Press, put the call out for photos of my novel out in the world for Fall/Halloween — readers in costume with the book, or the book in scary locations, or the book in Fall scenery . . . . We got a lot of great photos from all youContinue reading “Halloween brings the Rougarou!”

Happy Irish Writers Day!

A couple of years ago, I posted a list of great Irish writers — or, at least, ones I’ve read and liked — in celebration of St. Patrick’s day. This year, I have a new favorite Irish writer, and she’s going to get the post all to herself: the fabulous Ethel Rohan. So far, I’ve onlyContinue reading “Happy Irish Writers Day!”

A Writer’s Notebook: travel fiction

This isn’t all new writing, but some of it is. This is, though, a response to an exercise, which I’ll explain below. When Name was a child, his mother would tell him stories while his father and and older brother worked and the infant children slept. Some of the stories were local tales of theContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: travel fiction”