• The Biggest Liar in Los Angeles, Ch. 1

    One TOM Hickey rented in a court near the intersection of Wilshire and Normandie, halfway between downtown Los Angeles and Beverly Hills. He shared the cottage with his sixteen-year-old sister Florence. Almost six years ago, Tom had snatched her away from their mother, Millicent Hickey, a seamstress for Universal Pictures. He hadn’t spoken to Milly more

  • The Prop

    by Pete Hautman The world is mighty puzzling, so I won’t even ask myself why I started reading Pete Hautman’s novel The Proptwo days before a poker game, my first in many years, at my son’s home. I mean, when I picked up the book someone had given me long ago, I didn’t know The more

  • Review-A Prayer for Owen Meany

    Confession: I am not a subjective reviewer. John Irving was my first teacher at the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop. He was smart and friendly. He had published three novels and was working on what would become The World According to Garp, which I believe didn’t yet have a title. Admission to the Writer’s Workshop more

  • Artists and A.D.D.

    Like many (maybe most) artists, I could be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder. This doesn’t bother me since I don’t consider ADD a disorder at all. Rather, I see it as a sort of disposition we should recognize and adapt to. As a writer, parent, student of human behavior, and college counselor, I have consistently more

  • Creatives and Creators

    My Zoe likes Shark Tank on tv so I often watch it with her. This may indicate that my daughter will become a capitalist. I’m not sure that would please me. But for now, I’m getting some insights by watching these venture capitalists and would-be entrepreneurs I’ll call creatives. Venture capitalists are not anyone I more

  • The Virtue of a Real Creator

    Here are some lines excerpted from Friedrich Nietzsche’s, Thus Spake Zarathustra, on the working of the heart, mind, spirit, and soul of a true creator. If you are or would be that, take them to heart, please. XXII, The Bestowing Virtue In truth I divine you well, my disciples; you strive like me for the bestowing more

  • Craft and Inspiration

    Last week, I completed draft five of my newest novel, The Answer to Everything. The novel is most likely the final book of my Tom Hickey crime series, and in many ways it’s a departure from the other nine books. One of those ways is, I have attempted to pay more attention to inspiration and more

  • Me, Writer, in Brief

    As some folks are no doubt dying to know the story of my writing career. I’m going to attempt a capsule version. Of course I once set out to write a short story and ended up with 1400 pages. I’ll try my best to make this shorter. As high school kid and later as a more

  • How Many Words, How Many Drafts

    A note to a Perelandra College student: About word count etc, let me give an example of what I go through with pretty much every novel I have written (17.5 if I counted correctly). In the first draft I aim low, say 200 pages or about 60,000 words. Then I go through it and always more

  • The Key to Good Writing

    Like all of us these days, I get too much email. I sign up for something and emails from a dozen purveyors of similar somethings invade my inbox. So I find myself depending upon headlines, which I know very well is an unsound practice given that charlatans are often the best headline writers. I got more