Writer as Public Figure 

It’s impossible to speak to someone about a book one has written. Marguerite Duras wrote this sentence in her penultimate book Writing. Right after the publication of my first novel, I was walking on campus where I was taking an MFA in Writing. My classmates were asking for copies and telling me it …

The Politics of Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology

The release of Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology predictably has caused a bit of a ruckus — from pagans. Might Gaiman be misrepresenting their religion? Probably not, but I’m no expert. It seems the way in which the book is being offered to the masses is another matter. Large-scale marketing can only burnish …

Irony is dead; long live Irony

Literary fiction is realism focusing on a character and how the character is transformed by exterior forces denying, compelling, or otherwise styming interior desires. The gap between expectations and reality in this way is filled with relative power, and its attendant strains of irony. Power and The Gap To recap, …

The Big Short — all the rage 

Brevity is best, said my history professor years ago. And it stuck. Not that I always follow this sage advice. In fact, there is nothing wrong with an accumulative sentence — it all depends on audience, and purpose. Regardless. My history professor’s belief appears prescient, especially our contemporary appetite for …

Stuff with Strangers 

We are isolated in the master bedroom, while four strangers rifle through our stuff. These are the good kind of strangers though — movers. Our kids, Story and Leo, are out of the house, thankfully, at the groomers for most of this day, our first of possibly three days of …

Creative Friendships

Creative friendships are important. I’ve had a few in my creative life: Robert L. was my first and strongest. We gathered in his basement barroom every Wednesday, drank scotch and soda and listened to Jack Teagarden records. We encouraged each other, supported each other, and were sometimes hard on each …

Moving & Things

I like the butchered saying that goes: It’s not going through one door to another that’s troublesome, it’s the hallway that’s hell. Which is to say, yes, change is indeed difficult, but it is when you are in the midst of it that is the most taxing. Dyan and I have …

Beginning a Memoir 

While in graduate school, I had the pleasure of having a one-on-one writing session with Rodger Kamenetz, author of The History of Last Night’s Dream, and other books. You can find out more about Mr. Kamenetz here: http://rodgerkamenetz.com The chief takeaway from our meeting, discussing memoir structure, was that the memoirist is asking a question …

Waywords and Meansigns 

Interesting e-mail sent my way this week. Derek had read my post on the “Finnegans Wake Toolkit” and sent me a note about this wild endeavor — to put James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake to music. Amazing. Check it out. Waywords and Meansigns: Recreating Finnegans Wake in its whole wholume. James Joyce’s Finnegans …