Moving Forward, Cutting Loose

So the holidays are over. I spent mine reading obscure horror stories from the 19th century and the nonfiction writing of various friends, drinking too much Tetley's tea, and enjoying myself at home. I mostly stayed in Oxford this year; though, I did have fun going to London on Christmas Eve. It is, without a… Continue reading Moving Forward, Cutting Loose

How to be Good

It was the beginning of a time when it was almost as if the novel itself didn't matter anymore. Publishing a shiny booklike object was simply an excuse for parties and glamour and goodlooking authors reading finely honed minimalism to students who would listen rapt with slack­jawed admiration, thinking, I could do that, I could… Continue reading How to be Good

Life vs. Death (or How I Keep Going)

1. Veritas vos Liberabit Karl Lessing and I decided to finish the five gallon jugs of flat Michelob his little brother had liberated from a frat party. It felt like a big decision. This was 1993. We were sitting in Karl's parents' garage, watching old footage of Tower of Power's “What is Hip?” on Soul… Continue reading Life vs. Death (or How I Keep Going)

Seeing the Cranes: Double Dickage, the Dragon Tower, and Felicia Day

I was sitting in a cafe across the street from Rundetaarn, a Masonic dragon tower in Copenhagen, trying to make progress with William Gibson’s novel, The Peripheral, when I realized it’s constipated with words and it wasn't going to get any more regular after 100 pages. It’s so self-referential, so overwrought and self-conscious that it broke… Continue reading Seeing the Cranes: Double Dickage, the Dragon Tower, and Felicia Day

Reyn til Runa: Seek the Mysteries

There is an emotional truth or reality at the center of a story I may be writing.  I have a fleeting sense of it and then I start off by trying to explore it, trying to get to the center.  Then I always stop.  Sometimes it's because I've forgotten that "fleeting sense" and consequently do… Continue reading Reyn til Runa: Seek the Mysteries

Looking Forward

I started this website years ago, when I was living in East Africa and had no idea when I'd be leaving. The idea was to experiment with travel non-fiction essays I might eventually submit to magazines. But, over time, The Writing Expedition became more than that. I've begun to notice a theme emerging—the same theme… Continue reading Looking Forward

It Never Ends

For me, writing fiction means staying wide open to human experience by giving myself permission to be vulnerable and to intuit how other people can be vulnerable in the same ways.  It’s about representing that complex emotional mystery with as much sincerity and authenticity as possible—not as some kind of living camera, but as an… Continue reading It Never Ends

Problems and Solutions, Part 2: This is Why You Fail

​Here are some random thoughts on getting creative work done with a minimum of grief. Basic Artistic Needs.  In order to write, I need, at minimum: 1. Quiet. 2. Solitude. 3. Minimal levels of discomfort​ - i.e. not feeling feverish and sick (including being hung over, exhausted, or otherwise ill), the heater not turned all… Continue reading Problems and Solutions, Part 2: This is Why You Fail

Art is Your Right

Don’t buy into the romantic assumption that being a creative artist is easy for those who are truly talented and meant to do it.  This is a materialistic commercial lie.  Something I believe: art is part of being human and must therefore be available to everyone.  And those who do it right never find it… Continue reading Art is Your Right