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)”

Writing in the middle (NaNoWriMo update #2)

When I was doing doctoral work at UNT, my writing professor Barb Rodman once commented that I could write more story in to less space than anyone she’d seen in a long while.  “I’m always surprised when I finish a story and I look at the page count to see how short it is.  YourContinue reading “Writing in the middle (NaNoWriMo update #2)”

NaNoWriMo update #1: So it begins.

I’m now two days into November and so two days into my new novel for National Novel Writing Month.  So far I’m off to a strange but delicious start:  I’ve had a very clear vision for this novel for about four years now, so at the outset of this project I set myself up a relativelyContinue reading “NaNoWriMo update #1: So it begins.”

Bleeding regions; plus, NaNoWriMo and happy holidays!

Still working on the Texas writers list, though it’s looking more and more impossible. Where do I put an author like Katherine Anne Porter, for instance? She was born in South Texas, lived a long time in Central Texas, and one of the major writing contests that bear her name is headquartered in North Texas.Continue reading “Bleeding regions; plus, NaNoWriMo and happy holidays!”

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”

On a life, our liberty, and the pursuit of reading: a reflection on the life and work of Judith Krug

Two years ago, I had the great privilege of eating dinner with Judith Krug. My wife was giving a two-hour presentation on librarians in film at the annual conference of the Wisconsin Library Association, and as a member of WLA’s Intellectual Freedom Roundtable, she also got to meet and work briefly with Judith Krug, theContinue reading “On a life, our liberty, and the pursuit of reading: a reflection on the life and work of Judith Krug”

Writing in Chicago

I’m in Chicago this weekend and most of next week; my wife has a professional conference here and I get to tag along and soak up the city. I love this town, and if I controlled the universe and could orchestrate my life, I’d probably fix myself with a nice brownstone in the Gold CoastContinue reading “Writing in Chicago”

"Insanely busy"

So, today I read an article in Newsweek about Paul Krugman, the liberal economist and Nobel Prize winner who has been criticizing the Obama administration’s method of handling the economy. And I came across this description of Krugman: He is, to be sure, insanely busy, producing two columns a week, teaching two courses and stillContinue reading “"Insanely busy"”

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”