The Netherlands: Days 10.1 & 10.2 (the Great Volcano Standstill, 2010)

Day 10.1 Friday, April 16, 2010 Stranded still.  The volcano continues to spew, the European authorities in charge of their respective airspaces continue to freak out, many of our fellow passengers are growing irrationally angry, and it’s looking more and more like we’re in this for a longer haul than anyone would like. We wokeContinue reading “The Netherlands: Days 10.1 & 10.2 (the Great Volcano Standstill, 2010)”

The Netherlands: Day 5

Day 5 Saturday, April 10, 2010 Today was a weird, difficult day.  It started out a little off:  Jennifer forgot her chapstick, my hair was so wild in the wind that Jennifer had to braid it just to keep it under control, and we kept missing our trams by seconds and getting stuck waiting aroundContinue reading “The Netherlands: Day 5”

The good times are killing me

We writers and academics love to ask each other what books we’d want with us if ever we’re stranded on a desert island, and we love offering clever, literary answers: Jane Austen, Cormac McCarthy, the Oxford English Dictionary, the Dhammapada. But we’re lying to ourselves.

A Writer’s Notebook: Capt. Snoek, the elder: Adventures at sea with Ted Snoek’s father (Pt. 2)

Today, we’re we should have been on our way home from the Netherlands (see the note at the bottom), so I’ll conclude the story of my great-grandfather and return to other writing exercises next week.  As with last week’s entry, I’m still working from the basic interview-storytelling exercise I mentioned in the first “Capt. Snoek”Continue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: Capt. Snoek, the elder: Adventures at sea with Ted Snoek’s father (Pt. 2)”

A Writer’s Notebook: Capt. Snoek, the elder: Adventures at sea with Ted Snoek’s father (Pt. 1)

Because we’re in the Netherlands, land of my ancestors, I thought I’d continue the story of my great-grandfather William Karel Snoek, Sr., who left his home in Hoorn, Holland at the age of 12 and took to a life at sea.  There is no new exercise this week, though–I’m still working from the basic interview-storytellingContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: Capt. Snoek, the elder: Adventures at sea with Ted Snoek’s father (Pt. 1)”

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”

The Road

It’s been a long time coming. When I first heard Cormac McCarthy‘s brilliant novel The Road was being developed as a film, I noted the release date on my mental calendar and held my breath. That was back in early 2008. When the movie finally did get released more than a year and a halfContinue reading “The Road”

A Writer’s Notebook: The salty but true story of the origins of one Capt. Ted Snoek

I thought I’d try my hand at some non-fiction this week, though I confess this is not my forte.  For the reason I’ve engaged this genre–and, as always, for the exercise itself–see below. I come from a line of seamen. My father, and my father’s father, and my father’s father’s father-in-law, all were captains ofContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: The salty but true story of the origins of one Capt. Ted Snoek”

Research wrap-up: More resources than you ever wanted (but not nearly as many as you’ll need)

For more on researching for fiction, go to the main research page.  (UPDATED with new links!) As I said in the first post of this series, there’s a lot of advice out there. I’ve just hit some highlights that have intrigued me over the years, but if you want to push further and see whatContinue reading “Research wrap-up: More resources than you ever wanted (but not nearly as many as you’ll need)”