No One Ever Said It Was Easy

December 18, 2013 I think it was from 1986-87 that I worked for a year in St. Petersburg, Florida. During that time, I came up with an idea for a long novel that would be made up of many parts – short stories about soldiers in the American army during ...
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In Praise of Music

January 1, 2014 Except when writing first drafts, I usually listen to music while I work on my stories. I prefer classical music and have listened to BBC Radio 3 on the Internet for ten years or so. I play CD’s, too, and old LP’s, of which I have a ...
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On Creativity

Here are some thoughts about creativity: A creative project begins with a dream, a vision, a desire to make something new, an urge to express oneself. I came across this sentence  in “The Fifth Mountain”, a novel by Paulo Coelho. “When you want something, all the world conspires in helping ...
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The Art of Fiction

Does the art of fiction need to be defended? More than likely. Everything gets examined and questioned. Here are some random thoughts on the benefits of fiction: A  novel or a story usually bring us into an unfamiliar milieu. Fiction can give us insights into society and human nature. It keeps writers ...
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From My Writing Life

In the mid-1980’s, when I was a second-career student at a Lutheran theological seminary in Indiana, an idea for a novel came to me. The main elements would be stories I wrote derived from my hitch as an enlisted man in the American army from 1964 – 1968 and a ...
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A Breakthrough

In the mid-1980’s, when I was a second-career student at a Lutheran theological seminary in Indiana, an idea for a novel came to me. The main elements would be stories I wrote derived from my hitch as an enlisted man in the American army from 1964 – 1968 and a ...
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Writing for its own Sake: Joseph Conrad, et. al

People who write do so for different reasons. Some write because an event or fashion or something that’s wrong inspires them. Others write to support themselves and still others for the sake of writing, because their imaginations drive them and they know that they’ll write well and occasionally brilliantly. Some ...
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The Struggle and Joy of Revising

The old saying “writing is rewriting” surely is true for me. Revising a long work takes stamina and faith, but persistence receives its reward, including gifts of insight into one’s work and oneself. Here are some things I include as I rework. •Remove repetitions and anything that slows down the ...
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Steps in Writing Fiction

Some years ago — decades really — I decided that writing fiction would be at the center of my life. Along with interesting and worthwhile things I did to earn my living, I have created a collection of unpublished novels and stories for which I hope to find readers. Most ...
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Fiction and Structure

From a writer’s viewpoint, every work offers a basic challenge: how to present his or her interests and predilections in a way that will appeal to readers she or he doesn’t know — the public at large. The question of structure comes up at this point — how a story ...
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