Patrons of writing and teaching: Thoth

Among the many, many files on my computer, I have a collection of seemingly frivolous notes and scribbles related to writing, which I insist are vital to what I do and will someday, surely, come in handy.  Mostly, I’m wrong.  But every now and then, as I’m cleaning out my files and tossing the listsContinue reading “Patrons of writing and teaching: Thoth”

Compassion in action

My friend Lori Ann Bloomfield, over on her blog First Line, has posted an excellent comment on how writers can help not only Haitians but all human beings, simply through the act of writing.  By writing more human characters, she says, we come to understand our fellow human beings better, and it’s a very smallContinue reading “Compassion in action”

Research tip #6: Marbling

For more on researching for fiction, go to the main research page.  So now you have all your research done and you’re ready to get back to the writing. But you’re writing fiction here, not a research paper — so how do you use this research you’ve done? Sometimes the answer is easy: You wereContinue reading “Research tip #6: Marbling”

Research tip #5: Shop the catalogue

For more on researching for fiction, go to the main research page.  I’ve written about this before, but just to recap: Tom Franklin hates doing research. Yet his first two novels were historical fiction, which stuck Franklin doing the very thing he hates. Still, Franklin prefers to focus on the writing, to let the fictionContinue reading “Research tip #5: Shop the catalogue”

Research tip #4: Shoot the bullet

For more on researching for fiction, go to the main research page.  A few years ago, I was at the big national conference of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, and a friend of mine, Tom Franklin, was on a panel discussing research in fiction. Franklin joined the panel by virtue of his historicalContinue reading “Research tip #4: Shoot the bullet”

Re-researching fiction: The new, expanded edition!

For more on researching for fiction, go to the main research page.  A while ago I wrote a blog entry on the research I was doing for my NaNoWriMo novel, a twisted little Civil War novel set in southwestern Louisiana during the last of the war years. At the time I was just counting someContinue reading “Re-researching fiction: The new, expanded edition!”

It was a dark and stormy writer’s block….

A long time ago, when I was a nerd in high school, I hung out with a bunch of other nerds in high school and we played role playing games. You know the bit Mike Myers did on his 2001 appearance on Inside the Actors Studio, with one eye crossed and speaking in a lisp asContinue reading “It was a dark and stormy writer’s block….”

Researching fiction (NaNoWriMo update #3)

For more on researching for fiction, go to the main research page.  Here I am at the end of day 8 of NaNoWriMo.  My current total word count is 25,504. I know that makes it seem I’ve spent every waking moment of the past week writing, but really, I’ve managed to work in more thanContinue reading “Researching fiction (NaNoWriMo update #3)”

Bleeding regions; plus, NaNoWriMo and happy holidays!

Still working on the Texas writers list, though it’s looking more and more impossible. Where do I put an author like Katherine Anne Porter, for instance? She was born in South Texas, lived a long time in Central Texas, and one of the major writing contests that bear her name is headquartered in North Texas.Continue reading “Bleeding regions; plus, NaNoWriMo and happy holidays!”

Y’all is from where?: Texas regionalism

This is LONG overdue, but since my last post, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about regionalism and my identity as a writer. This has been an ongoing internal discussion for me, but lately, as my friends list expands in Facebook and I reconnect with old pals from across the state of Texas but especiallyContinue reading “Y’all is from where?: Texas regionalism”