Five Brief Lessons from Taos Toolbox

Prairie dogs sing. Really! Look closely at sentences. There are emotions hidden in almost every one. End your scenes with a small hook--a bit of drama, a witty line of dialogue--to keep your reader coming back for more. You can break your reader's nose and her heart at the same time. Sometimes running at a …

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6 Life Lessons Learned from Writing Groups

From the Floating Liars' Club to the Speculative Wordsmiths, I've been a member of one writing group or another for almost two decades. It turns out, many of the skills you learn in writing groups also apply to life in general. Listicle time! 1. Don't be critical of something you don't know a damn thing about. …

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Balticon 50

On Saturday, I ran up to Baltimore for the day to participate in one of the 50th anniversary of one of the east coast's greatest science fiction and fantasy conventions: Balticon. With several thousand fans in attendance, there was room for all types of geeks: writers, readers, comic fans, artists and illustrators, gamers, and cosplayers. …

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I’m Desert-Bound*

I am very happy to announce that I've been accepted into this year's Taos Toolbox Writers' Workshop, hosted in Angel Fire, New Mexico in July. Taos Toolbox is an intensive, 2-week workshop for writers of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. The workshop is taught by award-winning authors Walter Jon Williams and Nancy Kress, with guest …

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Collaborations

I have done three collaborations with other writers. Each experience was different, and in each case the story turned out differently than I had planned. And that was the beauty of the experience. My first collaboration was with Carl Duzett, a fellow member of the Speculative Wordsmiths writing group, on the story “Six Degrees of …

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The Sounds of White Bone Spirit

As I have previously written, I regularly listen to music while I write. My current work in progress (WIP) is a hard-boiled fantasy novel set in San Francisco in 1926. It was inspired by the writing of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, among others. Tone and mood is very important to me in this book. …

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Two Questions About Creativity

Last weekend, I was reading The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larson. Modest Mouse was playing in the background. I had a belly full of very good steak and decent red wine. I'd spent the weekend relaxing, writing, bike riding, drinking, and eating well. I was reading a scene in which one of …

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Eveningland

  In the early 2000's, my good friend and fellow writer Nathan McKnight, read a book titled How to Start Your Own Country. Inspired, he declared the inside of his apartment to be sovereign territory and christened it Eveningland. Eveningland was filled with large collections of scientific glassware, old circuitboards, moth-eaten furniture, a chalkboard, stained coffee …

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