#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”

Booklist 2016 and my reading goals for 2017

It’s been another slow year in reading. I could make excuses — I spent the early part of the year mourning my grandfather’s death, and then we moved in the middle of the year, and I’ve been writing full-time since fall, and the election knocked the wind out of me — but they’re just excuses.Continue reading “Booklist 2016 and my reading goals for 2017”

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”

Upcoming appearances and events

Things are picking up again, gang, so if you haven’t been keeping tabs on my Events page or my Facebook or Twitter accounts, you might like to know about a couple of upcoming events in my calendar: First up is brand-new: this weekend, I’ll be selling books at the Blue Skirt Press Spring Pop-Up Fair in theContinue reading “Upcoming appearances and events”

Booklist 2015, and the power of my students’ writing

This is long delayed, but finally, I’m sharing my annual reading list. Not that it’s anything spectacular; continuing a trend, 2015 was an even lighter reading year than 2014 was — even when I count collected runs of comics issues as “books,” I’m down from 60 books to 42. This was partly because I set aside all reading in November to focus on draftingContinue reading “Booklist 2015, and the power of my students’ writing”

NaNoWriMo 2015: inspiration

A few months back, while looking through some old family miscellany, I had an idea for a new novel. This month, I’m writing that novel for NaNoWriMo. But unlike in years past, I’m trying to avoid reading much of anything while I’m writing the book — I have a pretty clear narrative voice and, as ofContinue reading “NaNoWriMo 2015: inspiration”

Miscellaneous storytelling

A couple of years ago, while undertaking a heavy revision of Hagridden, I used the funds from my Oregon Literary Fellowship to take a research trip to the Louisiana bayou. While I was there, I also spent some time with my family down there, and my uncle Brad, who had recently been clearing out hisContinue reading “Miscellaneous storytelling”

Booklist 2014

It’s time again, gang, for my annual reading list. This year’s been quite light, actually — I felt like I’d read quite a bit, but turns out I managed just under 60 books. Does it count that I reread my own novel something like seven times in revisions before it came out in August? My summer months were slowest, whichContinue reading “Booklist 2014”

Winter writing retreat, day 9

Okay, so I haven’t actually done a lot of writing today. I certainly intended to, but this morning I got an email notice that some books I’d put on hold at the library had arrived, so I went to pick them up and they’re an absolute TROVE! So it’s been more of a “reading retreat.”Continue reading “Winter writing retreat, day 9”

Winter writing retreat, day 5

Here I am blogging before I’m even finished writing, but today that’s because I’m enjoying a FULL day of writing and it’s not over yet. (My wife is entertaining company this evening, so I get to retreat to my study all night if I want to. Seriously: one of the most important things to any successful homeContinue reading “Winter writing retreat, day 5”