#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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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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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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Gossip: Weapon of the Weak

So what do you do when a character is powerless?  The first thing I tend to do when I’m looking to solve problems in my storylines is to turn to my immediate surroundings.  For some reason, and I’m not sure where I got this from (possibly through reflection in the early mornings as I sip […]

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Impetus for Creative Spawn

Like angels and devils breading hordes of bastard monstrosities, the impetus for the type of stories I like to write comes out of the comingling of two polar opposite ideologies.  One is quite happy frolicking with idealism and innocence, while the other takes great pleasure in torturing countless victims.  Together they make for unpleasant friends.  The type to […]

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When Reincarnated Narratives are Lost to Unpredictable Rollercoasters

“How many lives do you think you have lived?” someone asked me, and I responded “In this lifetime, I’m on seven.”  I’m sure she meant previous lives, as in reincarnation in its literal meaning, but if you’re going to have a conversation with an artist you have to understand our minds work in symbols.  I’m going […]

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From Hipster Beards to Tiki Torches

Sometimes I wonder about the critical thinking skills of our era.  We are taught in school rote behavior.  Regurgitate, bell rings, regurgitate, bell rings, regurgitate, bell rings.  In that form of habitualization, we stop thinking for ourselves.  You become even more aware of this tactic after you read “Social Class and School Knowledge” by Jean Anyon.   Having […]

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When We Hope to Be Pure

I’ve been revising chapter five in my novel for about two months now.  On the second draft and I was moving along quite nicely until I hit chapter five.  There was something about the chapter that wasn’t gelling.  The previous four ran smooth and there was a dynamic quality that forced the chapters to more or […]

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The Art of Running Into Flames

When I think about creativity, or the impulses to create, and how there is a certain bravery or cowardice involved, I think of forest fires.  You see, my cousins were fire fighters for the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma.  I love it when they regale me with stories of their adventures and sometimes these are about disaster relief, like following […]

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