Category Archives: thoughts

coming attractions

I find it difficult getting my work published—even when I do the publishing myself! It takes time to get all the elements to come together (and for me, it takes time to do anything at all). I can work fast … Continue reading

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celebrate International Hermit Day

As far as I know, I have invented International Hermit Day: it is November 9, the date on which my short story, The Hermit, is set. It’s a date I’ll always remember, for I chose it with great care; it … Continue reading

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gearing down for Homer

I’ve changed my approach to reading. I read from several books each day, in an informally structured way. I start my afternoon reading session (usually around 4:00 p.m.) with a “dharma” book—that is, a book on the Buddhist teachings or … Continue reading

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a literary Casanova

When I was about 16 I read You Can’t Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe. The protagonist, George Webber, is a writer whose working method, if you can call it that, is to become seized with intense bouts of inspiration … Continue reading

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writers write—or do they?

By my own confession, I’m a writer. That means my profession, or let’s say my vocation, is writing. I write. But what do I write? What do I actually spend my time writing? When I look at it, the creation … Continue reading

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enter the patron

From earliest times, becoming an artist has been a socially difficult choice. In the first place, one’s family might not approve: “How are you going to make a living with that?” “I don’t know—it’s just something I have to do! … Continue reading

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the inventiveness of creators, from Homer to my aunt Jackie

As I’ve mentioned, I’m currently rereading Robert Fagles’ translation of Homer’s Iliad. In my last post, I talked about some thoughts sparked by a recent article in Archaeology magazine, in which the archaeologist Barry Powell conjectures that Homer himself may … Continue reading

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why vowels cost money on The Wheel of Fortune

Since I’m creating an epic (The Age of Pisces), I want to learn all I can about the epic form. What is an epic, exactly? What features turn a non-epic or sub-epic into an epic? This is a matter of … Continue reading

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the Western Civilization Genome Project

One of my reading projects right now is to reread the Old Testament. I’ve been wanting to reread it for a couple of reasons: it’s part of the Great Books reading program, and it is also a key text for … Continue reading

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not commercial, not literary—what, then?

What do writers do with their time? I can’t speak for others; indeed, I can barely speak for myself, for I wonder where all the time goes. Partly this is an artifact of age, sure (I’m 58), but really it … Continue reading

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