Reading Gender Into It – Children’s Books and Beyond

There's an ongoing discussion in the kid lit world about why boys don't want to read "girl books," meaning books that star female protagonists or feature fairies or princesses on the cover or in the title. Is this "preference" intrinsic, or are they steered away from such interests, starting at a very young age? Shannon … Continue reading Reading Gender Into It – Children’s Books and Beyond

Lucky Boy – Shanthi Sekaran

In a nation overtaken by arguments about immigration and the building of walls, Shanthi Sekaran's new novel underscores the complexity of the situation. But immigration issues are more than a decorative backdrop in Sekaran's novel. They provide the disturbing context for its premise: two women fighting for the right to raise one child, one of … Continue reading Lucky Boy – Shanthi Sekaran

What Does Literature Do to You?

I spent some delicious time with a few hundred Ansel Adams photographs today. But, surprisingly, the most memorable moment came not in the form of an image but as one of Adams's favorite quotes. It hit me head on: "People say that what we're seeking is the meaning of life. I don't think that's what … Continue reading What Does Literature Do to You?

Apple vs Microsoft – What is a Writer to Do??

Just an hour ago, I clicked on the "purchase" button at the online Apple store, spending $1700+ dollars on a new MacBook Air. Hence the Apple logo, the insatiably voracious version of Pac Man. Five minutes later, I panicked and canceled the order. This, after spending at least a week reading CNet reviews, Google and … Continue reading Apple vs Microsoft – What is a Writer to Do??

Dusting Bookshelves – A Poll

So I was primed for a long workday, but I happened to glance at my bookshelves---and realized I haven't dusted them since the Cubs won the World Series. It never pays to ID household shortcomings, because it is now noon. My bookshelves are dust-free, the carpets swept, and the HEPA air purifier filters changed. I … Continue reading Dusting Bookshelves – A Poll

Echoes Before Silence

Echo River "Soon we had fashioned a rude boat, and with lanterns affixed to the prow were ferrying tours across the smoky waters: Styx, Lethe, Echo River, the host  of wonders I had found. By slapping the water with the flat of my paddle, there comes a sound like the ringing of bells, a mournful, … Continue reading Echoes Before Silence

A Writer Becomes An Orphan

On November 27, 2012 at 2:25pm, the man who called me "Bugsy" took his last gasp. I can't really call it a breath. Image courtesy of FREEBigPictures.com It wasn't extraordinary, but the manner in which the air left his body was. Maybe someone would say that the sound had the "air of finality." Or maybe … Continue reading A Writer Becomes An Orphan

Can Fiction Writing Be Taught?

Writing is like sailing. You go where the wind takes you, but it can be lifesaving to have a chart and a few other tools for navigation.  Oh, and it never hurts to have a Painkiller at the ready.

A Banner Week for Women Writers – or Not?

I just posted this on the Dogpatch Writers Collective, but I thought I'd share this on my blog, too. The women at VIDA have their work cut out for them. A Banner Week for Women Writers - or Not?.

True Story

One of my nieces dated many men on her way to the altar. She stayed close with some, and one in particular, Ted, became a long term friend. At least until he died from cancer. Ted left a twenty-something wife and a young son, Tommy, to figure out their lives without him. They all live … Continue reading True Story