Greetings, all! It’s been a while since you heard from me. Several life events occurred earlier this year – good events, I should mention to avoid creating any unnecessary sense of mystery. I intended to get back to you all earlier this summer but at the same time I revamped my website. That project was NOT without its challenges and ended up bringing me deeper into the world of servers and website hosting know-hows than I ever thought I needed (or wanted) to go! In any case…[Read more…] about Check Out My New Website
Green Bay Outsiders
This is the first of a two-part blog series on what it takes to research a novel. This first post is about the factors that make me decide what to write about, which will inevitably require research.
My novel Green Bay Outsiders is finished and my editor has returned her edits, which I am going through now. As I prepare to launch the book into the world, one item remaining on my to-do list is to write the acknowledgments page. It’s not the most thrilling part of the book to get through, if you’re a reader, and I would wager to guess that most readers DON’T necessarily go through it. The acknowledgments section, though, isn’t really for readers–it’s a catalog of all the resources and individuals who helped bring a book to life by virtue of serving as research sources–so it’s really a thank you page, of sorts, for everyone who helped an author out with the book. If though, as a reader, you’re curious to know how an author researches a novel and just what sources they turn to, then this blog post series is for you.[Read more…] about What It Takes to Research a Novel (Part I)
Happy new year, readers! Last year around this time, I published a 2018 New Years resolutions video, which I won’t bother to link to here since I fell marvelously short of my goals. I did end up learning a lot more than I realized I needed to learn. But learning and getting things done aren’t always the same thing.
Results count so, with that in mind (as well as following a bruising year of not getting done what I anticipated) I’m happy to share a new set of goals for the coming 2019, starting with some good news.[Read more…] about Happy New Year (2019) – My Writing Resolutions
The worst dream I ever had in my life was when I was a boy, probably six or seven years old. I remember it vividly. I dreamed it was the middle of the night and I was standing on the unlit landing at the top of the 2nd-floor staircase in the row house where I lived with my sister and my parents, looking down into the foyer. The light was on down below and my mother was preparing to go out the front door. “Where are you going?” I asked, a note of panic in my voice. “I have to leave,” she said. “But I’ll be back in the spring.”
In my dream, I knew it was the beginning of winter and so it would be three or four months before I saw her again. The prospect of not seeing one of my parents for that long a time seized me with an unspeakable dread. Decades later, in real life, I still remember the power of that dream, and it disturbs me like few things ever. I woke up sobbing in my bed and my parents, who must have heard me having a bad dream from their bedroom, were sitting beside me, my father rubbing my back. [Read more…] about What It Means When People Leave and Other People Arrive
With all the disruptions and upheavals in daily life, the fears and anxieties of isolation and of looking bad, it’s always tempting to find a place – anyplace – where one can feel comfortable and secure, where one belongs. We are all social creatures and seeking out a group that offers validation can be an incredibly powerful motivator for behavior. The problem with that kind of pursuit, though, is that it’s all too possible to get caught up with the wrong crowd. By that I don’t mean a law-breaking, rock-throwing, breaking-into-someone’s car kind of crowd. I simply mean the kind of crowd that doesn’t really work with where you happen to be in life (other than by offering that very human need for validation).
[Read more…] about One Big Problem with Comfort and Security
I figured out what I wanted to do with my life before I was 20 years old. That is a far cry from Carl Daniels, the protagonist in my upcoming novel, Green Bay Outsiders, who has absolutely no clue what he wants to do when he graduates from college. By that point, he is 22. And the realization that he has to start making plans to find out what he wants to do is crucial if he wants to avoid falling into a miserable lifestyle set by everyone else’s expectations.
Not long after I discovered a love of writing during a creative writing course my senior year in high school, I knew that was something I would want to do in the future. But of course I was going to have to make countless choices in the following years – education, employment, travel, friendships, romance, adult responsibility – and for a while I drifted from one experience to another, experimenting, trying things out and ultimately returning to what I always loved.
This is how it all went down and what happened when I realized what I wanted to do with my life. (Too bad for Carl who doesn’t realize what he wants to do yet; he must decide if he needs to rip himself away from everything he already has in his life to discover something he considers more fulfilling.)
[Read more…] about What Happened When I Realized What I Wanted to Do with My Life