#AmWriting — off the screen, onto the page

Writing is hard work. That probably won’t surprise anyone reading this blog post, but it constantly surprises me. Take my current novel project: I started the first draft of it back in 2013. It was my NaNoWriMo project that year, and while I had a pretty strong idea of what the book would be, IContinue reading “#AmWriting — off the screen, onto the page”

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 andContinue reading “Thoughts from a white writer on our responsibilities as writers”

DL Fowler and Abraham Lincoln

My late paternal grandfather was a deeply religious and compassionate man, had a tremendous and constant sense of humor, and stood six foot four and a quarter — the same faith, disposition, and height as Abraham Lincoln. Which is the reason I always felt an affinity for Lincoln: he reminded me of my Grandpa. Lincoln wasContinue reading “DL Fowler and Abraham Lincoln”

What’s past is prologue

In my series of blog posts (and, this past spring, my series of writing workshops) on researching for historical fiction, I’ve discussed “going to the source,” by which I usually mean interviewing live people, getting expert opinions or local insights or eyewitness accounts. But as I explained in my workshop a few months back, sometimes theContinue reading “What’s past is prologue”

Texas Rising — and rising . . . and . . . mercifully, it’s gone

It’s over, folks. At long, long last, the Texas Rising series is finished. But hang in there, because I still have to write about this last episode, which I’ve done more or less in the order it was presented us, mostly because of some problems I want to point out with both the narrative and theContinue reading “Texas Rising — and rising . . . and . . . mercifully, it’s gone”

Texas Rising — some comments before the last episode

Tonight, the final episode of Texas Rising airs, and yes, exhausted though I was after even the first episode, I am sticking it out to the end and I’ll blog about it tomorrow. In the meantime, my posts so far attracted the attention of the Wall Street Journal, and ten days ago I had aContinue reading “Texas Rising — some comments before the last episode”

Texas Rising — in a cloud of dust and a fog of history

When I was a boy living in Texas, I loved The Dukes of Hazzard. I watch their TV show constantly, I had the General Lee in both Hot Wheels size and the large action-figure size because I also had the action figures of Bo and Luke Duke. I often had them mingle with my actionContinue reading “Texas Rising — in a cloud of dust and a fog of history”

Texas Rising — a yellow rose blooms, but mind the thorns

So, before I get into the third episode of Texas Rising, I would like to start with the show’s own disclaimer: “The following program is a dramatic interpretation of Texas’ fight for independence. Viewer discretion is advised.” I suppose the “viewer discretion” they advise is to focus on the “interpretation” part and not take any of this tooContinue reading “Texas Rising — a yellow rose blooms, but mind the thorns”

Texas Rising — and quickly falling

I grew up in Texas, where the hagiography of early Texans and the aggrandizing of our heritage (or, at least, our Anglo heritage) was mandatory. People think I’m participating in the tradition of tall tales when I say a thing like that, but it’s true: in Texas schools, you learn Texas history before you learn AmericanContinue reading “Texas Rising — and quickly falling”

A Writer’s Notebook: family history

This one rambles, but it’s an exercise and it’s rough, so bear with me. I used to read books. I mean on paper, pages made of wood pulp pressed flat in huge machines, cut and stitched or glued together and then cut again, printed with ink and bound in cardstock covers. When I turned theContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: family history”