Category Archives: thoughts

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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meddling—but in a good way

Do you like book reviews? As a reader, I’m sometimes ambivalent about them, especially for fiction. I don’t want my impression of a work to be polluted by the thoughts of someone else who has already read it. Reading is … Continue reading

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the writer-publisher on the flying trapeze

I’m reading a biography right now: Pursued by Furies: A Life of Malcolm Lowry by Gordon Bowker. I’m learning a lot about this troubled, alcoholic genius, who spent the best years of his life, by his own reckoning, living in … Continue reading

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Smashwords SSR?

I’m in the process of publishing my short story A Tourist Visa as an e-book. It has been successfully published to Amazon, and can be seen and bought in any Amazon store. Yippee! That was easy. For publishing to non-Amazon … Continue reading

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the thrice-born story

When my father arrived, at age 14, with his mother in Halifax in 1948 as a refugee from Germany, it had been 4 years since he had last seen his father, Alexander. Alexander had waved goodbye to them from the … Continue reading

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“I Have No Mouth . . .”

I was a breech birth. Since then, I’ve done everything in life bass ackwards. A recent and relevant example of this is my education as a writer. Instead of first learning the craft of writing, and then studying up on … Continue reading

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