This novel is a tough challenge, but that’s why I want to write it

One of the things I have to keep reminding myself is writing a novel is a marathon. Another thing I have to keep in mind while working on this new project is "Don't hold back." As I write this I keep coming up against a mental block that makes me stop, and I have to …

Conversing with Story: Cloaking Uncertainty with Genre

Me: I want to write a historical science fiction horror story today. Story: How nice for you. Me: I haven't written one in a long time. Come to think of it I've never written that blend of genre. Plus, they're really hot right now. Story: That's true. They are selling like hotcakes. Me: So I …

October is my favorite month mostly cuz there are werewolves.

October is my favorite month of the year.  Not only does it have my second favorite holiday, I also like the raw nip in the night air, the Harvest Moon casting its blue glare over a quiet landscape,  the lonely stars glimmering above stubbled corn stalks, the bare limbs of trees hanging like fingers of …

A Polite Conversation: First, Enter an Idea. Later, Enter Story.

Idea: Hello. Me: Who are you? Idea: An idea. Me: Hey, you're not too bad. Idea: I know. I think I have promise. Me: So do I. Excuse me a moment. Idea: Where are you going? Me: I'm going to write. Idea: Whoa! Hold on a minute. You're going to write me? Me: Why not? …

Started a new novel today, and one almost-nervous breakdown later….

Oh boy. What a nervy day. I got up early because I couldn't sleep. Today was the day I picked to start the new novel so I was eager to see how it would all pan out. I had breakfast and drove to the coffee shop to meet my writing buddy where I often worked. …

The Gibson Girl vs. The Flapper

The Gibson Girl, popularized through drawings by Charles Dane Gibson, was the first national standard of American feminine beauty. Never before had a fashion taken the entire nation by storm. Before the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, standards of beauty were localized and fragmented. The Gibson Girl changed all that, particularly with the spread …

I remember when every SF book I read the story was new. And now….

I've read a lot of science fiction in my lifetime.  Maybe I've read too much. It seems I've reached a point of diminishing returns.  The science fiction field isn't that large. You can pretty much exhaust it if you read voraciously.  Then you move on to the magazines, but after a while you realize you're …

Conversation with Story: The Heartbreak of First Love, Lost

Me: I'm sorry. Story: So am I. I wanted it to work out. Me: I feel I've failed you in some way. Story: No. We both wanted it to work, but it didn't come together. Hey, it's not like we didn't try. Not like we didn't care. Me: When I first had the idea of …

The Buffalo of Caprock Canyon

I've spoken about this before. One of the things that rocked me when I saw the buffalo was how small they are. I mean, small compared to my expectations. I think they've been so built up in our minds through mythology they have taken on some larger size both in meaning and cultural identity. They're …

“Never Turn Your Back on a Clown”

The Devil's Rejects (2005) is the sequel to Rob Zombie's excellent horror film House of 1000 Corpses which I reviewed earlier.  Except it's less of a sequel than an entirely different film altogether.  All the old gang is reprised: Sid Haig as the clown head of the psychotic Firefly family, Sherri Moon Zombie as his …

The Sunset of Destruction, the Ashes of the West: A Retrospective from Caprock Canyon

I got a lot of work done on my trip to Caprock Canyon. I wanted to dovetail the preliminary stages of working on the new novel with the trip in the hope of synergy. It worked, better than I hoped. I came up with a lot of ideas and thoughts about the novel, characters, tone …

Another Conversation with Story: The Synergy of Creativity and Process

Me: One thing I don't understand. Story: Just one? I doubt that. Anyway, that's why I'm here. Shoot. Me: Why is it sometimes you seem to write yourself, and other times it's like pulling teeth from a wolverine to get you finished? Story: Oh, boy. I was afraid you were going to ask me that …

Flapper Talk and the Reflection of Language on Human Culture

As a writer I am fascinated by processes which shape and form human thoughts and ideas in a social context. This interests me because as a writer I feel it is my duty to present human beings in their full and unadulterated light. Therefore, as we study different cultures and ideas, we see patterns and …