Relating the Thoughtforms of Animism to Everyday Modern Life

One of the tenets of Wicca/Paganism is the idea that everything around us, rocks, trees, clouds, is alive. This animistic idea that animals, plants, even natural phenomenon itself have spiritual essence is ancient and very, very attractive. As I move into Wicca/Paganism I find these ideas do enlighten my perspective toward the world around me. …

My New Path into Norse Wicca

Many years past a couple of friends and I were talking about religion. What we liked, what we didn't like. I said then, "If I had not been born a Catholic I would have followed Wicca." I never forgot that. To be honest, I never realized at the time what being born, or not being …

My New Story Coming from Frontier Tales, and a Discussion of Character Motivation Revealed by Voice and Style

Frontier Tales has accepted a new Haxan story from me. It will appear in September. The title is as yet undecided. I'm really excited about this story for many reasons. It features Magra Snowberry and tells the story how she tries to get home to the man she loves. Standing in her way are four …

My Elevator Pitch for the New Haxan Novel “Quaternity” and Other Philosophical Arguments on Recursive Genre

*Press elevator stop button. Cage jerks to a halt.* "I can sum the novel up pretty fast. Jorge Luis Borges said man will one day resign himself to new abominations, and that soon only bandits and soldiers will be left. Which is why I'm going to beat the living shit out of you right now." …

On Pushing Your Writing Beyond Safe Boundaries

A writer friend of mine, Sandra Wickham, was trying to brainstorm ideas and found herself, in her own words, "floundering." She wondered aloud if people had any tips on how to dig deep for a big idea. I expect she got lots of good advice, because if writers have anything in over abundance it's advice. …

Tension and Compromise, the Charybdis and Scylla of Art

Speaking only for myself, but I find it's important to find a workable balance between perfection and compromise. I was responding on a classical guitar forum earlier tonight and it got me to thinking about this problem in more detail. Not only how it affects facets of our lives, but, since this is primarily a …

Writers Come and Go, but the Story is Eternal

I've been practicing classical guitar lately. Mostly arpeggios and reading music in divisi. (See how handy I am with those terms, haha) I was lax while working on the novel, and I've been working on the novel a year and half. So my CG playing suffered. I kept up with the guitar during that year …

Late Afternoon Thoughts on a Novel in Progress

I am not using italics for the Spanish translations in the Haxan prequel novel. I want to show stylistically the Spanish and English is all one part of the same culture. Now whether or not I am ultimately successful in this is open to debate. But that's my philosophy why I am not underlining Spanish …

Learning How to Write by Watching People

When I attended ArmadilloCon I had the good fortune to see my friend Gabrielle Faust on a panel focused on how you can write better. One thing she said, and it's something I have been saying and believing for a long time, is that you should watch other people to see how they act and …

Sometimes a Banana is just a Banana. And a Story is just a Story.

There is an apocryphal quote attributed to Freud: "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." There's no evidence he ever said this, and later SNL did a skit where they substituted the word "banana" for cigar. But it got me to thinking about stories and how we view them from different perspectives Re: writers and …

In Search of Bold Story Ideas…and settling on the warm safety of cliche.

I guess one of the things that surprises me most is how easy it is to come up with ideas for stories. I wrote about this before. I used to be worried I would never have enough story ideas when I began to write. Now I have too many. I suppose that's growth of a …

Island of Lost Souls (1933) – Censored Horror with Sex and Atmospheric Bestiality

The Island of Dr. Moreau is one of my favorite novels by H.G. Wells. Published in 1896 it has deep philosophical elements which Wells faces head on. It is arguably one of his least known, but best written, scientific romances. In 1933 the novel was adapted to film by Paramount Pictures. It starred Charles Laughton …

Writing as an Organic Process (in other words, it’s Art)

I have a background in physics with a little chemistry on the side. So I know all about the scientific method and how you employ it when approaching a problem. And the scientific method works when you are doing science. But we have no common method when it comes to writing. It's extremely organic and …

“The Downside of Persistence” by Richard Parks

Occasionally I come across a post by another writer that is so good I just have to share. "The Downside of Persistence" by Richard Parks is such a post. I know Richard from the time I lived in Mississippi. He is a superb writer and he thinks deeply about the process of writing and its …

Process VS Protocol, or why only one thing matters in writing

I've been a professional writer (by deed and definition) for a long time. Sometimes it amazes me. I will never be satisfied or ready to rest on my laurels, but I must admit if I never wrote another word for the rest of my life I have come further than I had any right to …