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”

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)”

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”

The Hill Country Years

I’ve spent the last few days running around my old home town, taking pictures and scribbling notes, overtly to document scenes in some of my stories and to refresh memories I rely on for my fiction, but also, I admit, just to relive some of my childhood. It’s a weird feeling, really, because I spentContinue reading “The Hill Country Years”

A writer is a writer: on understanding and humility

Today my university hosted a panel discussion with the six authors who were shortlisted for this year’s International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF). I’ve long hungered for the kind of “visiting writer” experiences I used to enjoy in grad school at University of North Texas, and with this I had a chance to meet andContinue reading “A writer is a writer: on understanding and humility”

Good-bye, New York

Good-bye, Manhattan. Good-bye, Hilton New York. Good-bye Best Western President. Good-bye, Chrysler Building. Say hi to the others — I’ll catch them next time. Good-bye, Broadway. Good-bye 5th Avenue. Good-bye 59th Street. Good-bye corner of Grove and Benton — what great Friends you made. So long, Times Square. You’re a little flashy, but I likeContinue reading “Good-bye, New York”

On friends, lions, and Friends again

This morning, I woke early and walked the dozen blocks to the conference hotel so I could hit the first session of panel presentations on the schedule. The panel I attended was a discussion about creative writers and their careers as teachers. Strangely, every member of the panel managed to utter at least one witheringContinue reading “On friends, lions, and Friends again”