Arachnid Vs Reptilian: The Thirst for Brutality in Controversial Topics

The fangs of a snake might seem to overpower the fangs of a spider, and on the surface it can appear as though the match is uneven.  But we can’t forget the impulsiveness of the snake and the patience of the spider.  And we must remember a black widow sits nicely on the tongue of […]

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“How Awful Goodness Is”: Novel Writing from Unseen Places

One of my favorite lines in The Crow is when Eric (Brandon Lee) has T-Bird (David Patrick Kelly) duct taped to the drivers seat of his car, as its filled with explosives and aimed at a pier leading toward a harbor.  T-Bird can’t believe Eric has come back to life as The Crow and as […]

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#1 Writing Rule: Be Teachable

We writers area equal parts ego and vulnerable.  The cliché is to develop a “tough skin” over the years and be able to take criticism.  But we all think we’re geniuses, and we are. Brilliant beasts who are magical at hiding our softest parts behind a shield of “I already know” and “You just don’t understand […]

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Capricorn Mind on Structure and Writing Process

“I gotta keep my Capricorn mind straight,” said the planet of Saturn to the writer writing this post.  Okay, so that first sentence had a weird third person shift–almost like a third person shift to a different third person gear, but the first third person perspective was oddly different from the latter, which was equally bizarre but uniquely […]

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Tiny Trophies Alongside the Road

Getting bogged down in the muck is an artist’s nightmare.  You’ve done the initial work.  Maybe you painted the paintings, recorded the songs, or wrote the novels, and then you have to take the creation and offer it to world.  Just when you thought you were done.  There’s a million more hurdles.

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Education Minefields When the Diaspora Returns

Champions endure the hardest hits–psychological and emotional–and carry themselves forward with the idealism needed to see through the most barren desert landscapes.  We’re charged with getting an education and then returning home to make things better.  We’re up for the challenge.  But we can’t be surprised when we get hit on both sides of the drum.

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Proximity’s Unfortunate Consequence for Peripherals to the Writer’s Gaze

There you are enjoying the advantages of not being accountable and then a writer moves in next door.  At first you think, “Oh, this will be interesting…to have an artist type in the community,” and then you realize writers write.  More importantly, writers stand up for the weak, abused, and disadvantaged.

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Capitalism Down the Interstate

I was in grad school when a professor asked, “What metaphor would you use to describe how power structures stay intact?”  We were studying Faucoult and had come to his explanation of how individuals give up their power to others, with his example of a moving ship and how everyone does their part to keep the ship […]

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Drama Triangle: Enhancing Victimhood with Vengeance and Sacrifice

I don’t denounce structuralism.  Every time I watch a Disney or Pixar movie with my daughters and tears start welling up in my eyes by simple structural tactics, like music and camera angles, I’m reminded there is a reason it works.  But I’m a literary writer and we are defiant bastards and we like to […]

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Voice Echoes in Mimetic Hearing

How to hear?  Not to listen, like saying “You need to pay attention,” but instead how we create consistency in our voice as artists.  How do we hear voice?  How do we recognize  what is uniquely our own?  Is one obstacle.  Then the next.  How do we reproduce it again and again?

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Rewind Oscar’s Tape: The Making of an Introverted In’din Nerd

That’s how far back we’re about to go.  I’m going to use a simile only a certain generation will understand.  Remember tapes?  It kind of sounds odd to say now.  Tapes.  Sounds like a prehistoric infection.  If my kids overheard me ask someone if they “had tapes” when they were a teenager, they would think it was […]

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