The Lonely Life of the Writer in the Age of Social Media

Hello, blogosphere. I’ve been absent for some time but I’ve recently been reminded that this is a bit of sin. I need to maintain my web presence if I ever hope to be a published or successful author. Agents and publishers want to authors who are active…

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Literariness

I write fantasy. I imagine that if I am ever published, my books will appear in the fantasy/science fiction section of the bookstore. Is that a bad thing? Is it something to be ashamed of? Is fantasy only childish, escapist make-believe? I think the an…

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On Style

Be clear. Be concise. Omit needless words.This is the prevailing advice on writing these days. Avoid long sentences and figures of speech. Beware of adverbs. Go light on the exposition. Use modifiers sparingly. Show, don’t tell. It is the notion that t…

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Accounting for Taste

I have long believed that taste, one’s aesthetic sense, one’s choice in music, literature, art and fashion, is important, that it is not trivial or superficial. I’ve always struggled to articulate the idea, always wondering how people can like certain…

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My Bias

David GilmourLast year, David Gilmour, Canadian author and a lecturer at the University of Toronto, stirred up  controversy when he proclaimed his preference for heterosexual, white, male authors.  Gilmour said, “I would only teach the people…

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How I Quit Smoking

I have been smoking for half my life.  And it’s no wonder that I took it up.  I grew up with it.  My mom smoked in the house, in the car, in bed.  She would write a note and send me to pick up cigarettes for her at the corner store….

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