A Writer’s Notebook: some kind of revision

The time-travel entry! (The date says Friday, but we all know it’s Saturday and I’m late in posting this. But I did write it yesterday, while sitting in my chiropractor’s waiting room.) Original: “The people made such a fuss because they are worried,” Bobby continued for her. “Nothing like this has ever happened, Nessie. Nobody hasContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: some kind of revision”

[Music] is the liquid that we’re all dissolved in*

Some writers cannot write except in silence. Some, actually, need specific kinds of silence: crickets, white noise, one of those nature-sound machines, wind in the trees. But silence all the same. I am not one of those writers. Sure, if I fall into a story and lose all track of my physical surroundings, I canContinue reading “[Music] is the liquid that we’re all dissolved in*”

The Netherlands: Days 10.5 & 10.6 (the Great Volcano Standstill, 2010)

Day 10.5 Tuesday, April 20, 2010 Success? Relief? I hope so. We spent all last night checking trains and buses, but nothing we could find was getting us anywhere any faster. Our B&B hostess found a train to Istanbul that would take only two days, but some legs of the journey were unavailable for onlineContinue reading “The Netherlands: Days 10.5 & 10.6 (the Great Volcano Standstill, 2010)”

A Writer’s Notebook: Script Frenzy

So, as you might know, my planned 10-day interruption in participating in Script Frenzy turned into two and a half weeks, because we were stuck in Amsterdam for a week trying to figure out how to get home.  Then I was resting up, then working on other projects, like my travel journal….  Needless to say,Continue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: Script Frenzy”

After life

Look upon the world as a bubble, regard it as a mirage; who thus perceives the world, him Mara, the king of death, does not see. ~ Dhammapada, Canto XIII, verse 170 I’ve become a student of many aspects of many religions, but one of the areas I pay most attention to is death andContinue reading “After life”

A Clean, Well-Lighted Place*

Just about every book on writing you’re likely to ever pick up will begin with this advice: Find a place to write. It’s strange advice, in some ways, because the most important thing about writing should always be the writing — the words themselves — which means it shouldn’t matter where you write or even howContinue reading “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place*”

Dissertation vs. Novel

Today (yes, it took that long–it’s been nearly a year), the bound copies of my dissertation arrived in the mail. It’s an odd thing to see, this document long finished here anew in my hands, in a solid form suggesting something like legitimacy. In some ways, I dread looking through it–over the past year, whileContinue reading “Dissertation vs. Novel”

A good omen

That’s right, I believe in signs. I’m speaking in the written sense, mostly: Whether they’re manifested messages from some divine authority or inidicators of universal synchronicity a la Jung or just psychological revelations based on a personal symbology, I enjoy finding coincidental meaning in seemingly mundane events. In my novel, the narrator spends much ofContinue reading “A good omen”


My sister has this life-long friend who grew up on a farm. Raised cows, learned to drive a tractor at age 6, showed pigs at the county fair–the whole bit. She once described to us the process of delivering piglets, an ordeal my sister got to participate in. Third-grade arms deep inside the pig, littleContinue reading “Novel-writing”

No one writing

On my Google homepage, I subscribe to a series of quotes that change day to day. One is a daily Thoreau quote, one is a general literary quote, one is a daily Jon Stewart quote, and so on. I also receive daily quotes from Buddhism (the service applies the term a bit liberally, often ascribingContinue reading “No one writing”