Writing the Fight: Violence vs. Action

This is the first in a series of articles I’ll be posting about writing an effective fight scene, based on my graduate presentation for the Stonecoast MFA program in Creative Writing. Though I’m aiming at folks writing prose, a lot of the examples will be drawn from stage and film. I’ll be writing from the […]

Describing Dogs

I’ve been rereading [1] Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens in advance of the mini-series dropping on Amazon Prime, and I ran across a wonderful bit of description, which I’ll share in just a bit. Description has always been a challenge for me. I’m strong on dialog—that probably comes from my theatre background—and I […]

Three Rules for Driving in the Desert

Over Thanksgiving, I treated myself to a white-knuckle drive through the Mojave because I got complacent and didn’t follow the rules for driving in the desert: have a map, fill your tank and bring water. More succinctly: don’t get lost, don’t get stuck and don’t die. Even more succinctly: be prepared. [1] Now, I enjoy […]

Resource management

Over on her Blog of Doom, my Stonecoast friend and classmate Shawna Borman was sharing her time management strategy and asking for others to share theirs. The comment I was going to leave got a little long, so I’m posting it here: Time Management I find time management relatively easy. I’ve set myself the goal […]


I’ve been experimenting recently with a technique I call “meta-writing,” by which I mean shifting to another level of writing while I continue to write in order to break through logjams, overcome resistance and maintain momentum. (I specifically don’t mean the sort of pre-writing, or para-writing, of notes, outlines, character bios and so on.) When […]

Year(s) in Review

Towards the end of 2017, I was feeling pretty discouraged about how my writing was progressing. My first novel continued to not sell. My second novel continued to not write itself (yeah, I know—I thought about it a lot but didn’t spend much time at the keyboard). My biggest frustration, though, was a non-fiction project […]