Archive for the 'Writing' Category

ANNDDD… I’M BACK…

November 25th, 2016

As promised, I’m back from a mini-retreat from the news, but over the course of the last 16 days a lot of news was published and guess what? My world didn’t collapse. So I’ve decided to ease my way back in over the balance of 2016 and decide, probably somewhere short of my previous deep […]

SURVIVING ON $26,000 A YEAR IN NEW YORK…

November 24th, 2016

The Paris Review: “The Art Of Fiction No. 11” with Nelson Algren: INTERVIEWER: Did you have any trouble getting The Man with the Golden Arm published? NELSON ALGREN: No, no. Nothing was easier, because I got paid before I wrote it. It got a very lucky deal because they had an awful lot of money, […]

THIS COLUMN POST WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE…

November 23rd, 2016

So, I’ve been a devotee of Julia Cameron’s morning pages from her 1992 book, The Artist’s Way, since the mid-90s when I began writing my first (yet unpublished) novel Cold Silence. My morning writing routine consisted of: Step 1—complete my morning pages, Step 2—read a Lawrence Block article from his collections of Writing Fiction columns […]

ADAM HARVEY, THE ORGANIC MECHANIC, RETURNS…

November 21st, 2016

I saw a lot of faces, that I haven’t seen in too many years at the memorial service for George Nemeth held at the Millard Fillmore Presidential Library in Collinwood last evening. I stayed about twice as long as I had intended and got to catch up people who were around in the beginning of […]

WE STRUGGLE TO DISCOVER THE EFFORTLESS…

November 17th, 2016

The Paris Review: “The Art Of Fiction No. 10” with James Thurber: INTERVIEWER: Is the act of writing easy for you? THURBER: For me it’s mostly a question of rewriting. It’s part of a constant attempt on my part to make the finished version smooth, to make it seem effortless. A story I’ve been working […]

GIVING CHARACTERS THE WEIGHT OF SCULPTURE…

November 16th, 2016

I’ve read the Russians—Tolstoy, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Turgenev, Pushkin, Solzhenitsyn, &c.—but not for a very, very long time and not with a writer’s eye. The importance of the Russians in literature, however, is repeated again and again as I work my way through the Paris Review interviews. Simenon is no exception. The Paris Review: “The Art […]

WRITERS WRITE WITH HANDS, NOT THEIR MOUTHS…

November 15th, 2016

The Paris Review: “The Art Of Fiction No. 9” with Georges Simenon: INTERVIEWER: Have you ever dictated fiction, commercial or any other? SIMENON: No. I am an artisan; I need to work with my hands. I would like to carve my novel in a piece of wood. My characters—I would like to have them heavier, […]

WRITING WITH THE WEIGHT OF CÉZANNE…

November 14th, 2016

Bad writing is often referred to as flat, cardboard. The characters have no third dimension. Simenon uses painting as a way to understand how the good writing lifts the story out of the flatland of the page and into the real space of the reader’s imagination. The Paris Review: “The Art Of Fiction No. 9” […]

BEGIN AT THE BEGINNING, SORT OF…

November 13th, 2016

The Paris Review: “The Art Of Fiction No. 9” with Georges Simenon My first face-to-face contact with a working writer came in the spring of 1981 when I took Daniel Keyes’ short story writing course at Ohio University. I learned a lot from Keyes, but the first lesson he taught me was that most writers […]

OUT OF SORTS…? MISE EN PLACE…!

November 12th, 2016

Over the course of my life I have found that when I feel out of sorts the reason lies in the chaos or clutter in my surroundings. If I want to be focused and deliberate then I have to ensure that my place is focused and deliberate. This is the lesson of Mise En Place, […]

ALL NOVELS ARE PSYCHOLOGICAL EXPLORATIONS…

November 10th, 2016

When Miguel de Cervantes first sat to write The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, commonly considered to be the first novel, we do not know what was in his mind. After we read the book, however, we gain insight to Cervantes psychology. When a writers creates a world, no matter how narrowly focused, […]

BLOGDADDY GEORGE A. NEMETH JR.: 1968-2016…

November 7th, 2016

If you’re a blogger you need to be at The Millard Fillmore Presidential Library on Sunday beginning at 4 p.m. for the memorial service for Cleveland’s blogger zero, George Andrew Nemeth Jr. You can read George’s official obituary here, and I’m sure that much more will be said over the consumption of adult beverages in […]

MY PLAN FOR 9-24 NOVEMBER: (NEARLY) NO NEWS…

November 5th, 2016

For the 16 days running from Wednesday, 9 November to Friday, 25 November, I have a plan. With a single exception—events in and around the Dakota Access Pipe Line (I’ve set up a Google alert for this purpose)—I’m not going to read any news. Full stop. I’m also not going to write any news here […]

TRUMPLAND IS NOT AN AMUSEMENT PARK…

November 4th, 2016

So, yesterday I wrote in FBI AGENTS RESIGNED OVER COMEY’S DECISION… about how FBI agents had handed in letters of resignation in protest over FBI Director James Comey’s decision earlier this year to give Hillary Clinton a pass on criminal charges resulting from her infamous email server. I was prompted by Neal Gabler, writing for […]

THIS TRULY IS THE WRITER’S ALPHA AND OMEGA…

October 29th, 2016

My father, a very wise man, told me that becoming an overnight success requires years and years of work. Paul Beatty, winner of this year’s Man Booker prize for The Sellout, was rejected 18 times—which pale before James Lee Burke’s 27—before a publisher took a chance. How did Beatty become an overnight success, by doing […]

WRITING IS A VOCATION OF UNHAPPINESS

October 28th, 2016

Often when I tell someone that I’m a writer they gets this dreamy look in their eyes and tell that they wish they could be a writer. I don’t attempt to disillusion them, but in my mind I want to say: “No you don’t. You want to have written in the same way your present […]

I ATTEND AS ATTENTION DRAWS MY ATTENTION…

October 26th, 2016

I have long attended to the notion that we notice that which we pay attention to. Others see this as coincidence or perhaps some deep secret, but, as a writer, this is my normal lot. Oliver Burkeman, writing in How to think about writing for The Guardian, draws our attention to the views of Steven […]

THE REAL ART IS IN REVISION AND MORE REVISION…

October 23rd, 2016

Non-artists think that creating perfection is what artists do. They don’t understand the mistakes, the blind alleys, the concepts gone wrong that we face. If were fortunate to work in a forgiving medium like writing, we’re OK with the mistakes. We can revise, change, alter the work in ways that bring our conception into view. […]

FACING 45 YEARS FOR THE CRIME OF JOURNALISM…

October 22nd, 2016

Muckraking is a proud and storied tradition for Journalists in America. Perhaps my favorite example is Ida Minerva Tarbell, the woman who singlehandedly brought down the giant that was Standard Oil. In my lifetime I have followed the journalistic careers of I.F. Stone and Roldo Bartimole. Judge John Grinsteiner threw out rioting charges related to […]

[UPDATED] MAKING THE CASE FOR BEING BORED…

October 20th, 2016

I found this podcast series via James Hamblin’s video for The Atlantic titled: Creative Ideas Happen When You Stop Checking Your Phone that features Note To Self host Manoush Zomorodi and artist Nina Katchadourian. (Katchadourian was one of Walter Mischel subjects in the marshmallow study.) I was taken by her exercise for creating a state […]

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