• 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

  • How Politics Works

    On Upton Sinclair’s I, Candidate for Governor and How I Got Licked: I meant to get this issue of The Scoop out on February 1 or soon thereafter, but decided first to finish reading Upton Sinclair’s account of running for governor of California during 1934 so I could include a review Though the book is more

  • The Cartel

    I don’t write many reviews. Neither do I read many fat novels, as I’m rather compulsive about finishing what I start and if a fat book doesn’t keep me spellbound, it might cost me a month of reading time. So Don Winslow’s The Cartel sat on my shelf for a year. It’s around 600 pages. more