Fiction Writing: the Private Course

Assessing interest: I’m thinking of starting another 5-week fiction writing and publishing tutorial for individual students.  And if I get a lot of interest like last year, I might put together some small group workshops as well.  Over the last 2 years, I’ve taught 12 students.  That’s not a lot when you think of large… Continue reading Fiction Writing: the Private Course

The Way of All Things

Wherein I give myself a stern talking to . . .  "I'm lost. Life makes no sense. It's unfair." Because, deep down, you have beliefs.  You believe it should be different. The problem is not the world or your life. Those things are nature—formless, amoral, apolitical, adogmatic, unorthodox, unpredictable, beyond systems and formulas, always changing. … Continue reading The Way of All Things

Being a Creative Writer in an Age of Anxiety

A colleague of mine, a self-employed commercial artist and science fiction writer I will call “Jim,” recently declared, “If you’re a man getting close to your 50s and you haven’t done something yet, don’t say you’re doing to do it someday because you probably won’t.”  Jim was criticizing another guy in the same industry, who… Continue reading Being a Creative Writer in an Age of Anxiety

Social Justice and Online Zen

Just about every day, I see idealistic, well-meaning people online proposing solutions to social problems. Many of those solutions reflect utopian, siloed thinking, requiring highly unrealistic, comprehensive overhauls to systems that have been in place for a long time. It kind of breaks my heart. I know people want positive change and improvement. And I'm… Continue reading Social Justice and Online Zen

You Might Live to be 100

Too much death in the air these days . . .  The truth is you have no idea.  If you're morbid and enjoy reading tragic stories, you might have nevertheless noticed that the terminally ill, those infected with bizarre venereal diseases (or run-of-the-mill venereal diseases, or even run-of-the-mill venereal Covid), people given personal doomsday clocks… Continue reading You Might Live to be 100

Everywhere Under Your Feet

“[Bilbo] used often to say there was only one Road; and that it was like a great river: its springs were at every doorstep, and every path was its tributary. ‘It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,’ he used to say. ‘You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your… Continue reading Everywhere Under Your Feet