Hyperlocal Advocacy in Native American Literature

I’ve been promoting my writing on my Twitter account for a few months now.  Slowly but surely I’m getting more and more engagement and I’m nearing the cusp of 9K followers, and hoping to hit the 10K plus realm within a week or so.  One of my followers, and now a tried a true fan, […]

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Tuning into the Nuances of the Void

There are two things most dangerous:  apathy and stagnation.  For me?  The former leads to the latter.  It’s a cycle of violence I’ve always struggled to overcome.  It’s like when I’m gourd dancing with my family, and I’m trying to predict by cadence and rhythm the switching of the beat so I can anticipate the […]

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Susceptibility to Structuralism’s Manipulation of Self-Preservation

I like to think I’m too smart to be manipulated.  I have a Master’s Degree.  I’m an avid reader and writer.  Critical and creative thinking is my business.  Then I attend one of those Hollywood productions (of the better variety, like Life of Pi), and despite my knowledge of all those structural techniques I still […]

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Humanitarian Effort for the Rich: Hollywood’s Humanizing Project

When I watch movies, I tend to watch independents.  Sometimes I’ll watch the Hollywood independents, if it looks like they’re only going to modestly apply structuralism.  I like to think I’m savvy.  I don’t want to feel like I’m a monkey watching for bananas, which Hollywood has turned into a science.  If you don’t know how […]

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When the Community has a Voice

Let’s say you’re in the office and you’re telling a story about someone.  First you talk about what the person did. Maybe it’s something juicy, like a secret infidelity with a prison inmate, or maybe it’s something subtle, like they moved away from home.  Then you go on to tell about something more recent, like, “Just […]

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Seeing through Layers like Blankets on a Cold Night

My father was am immigrant from Mexico.  My mother a full blood Kiowa/Cherokee from Oklahoma.  They worked the peanut and cotton fields when my sisters and I were young.  I remember ducking the large rolling water sprayers in the fields; I remember the heat coming from the dirt onto my bare feet; and I remember living […]

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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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Being In’din 101: Where Native American Culture Meets Novel Writing

“There’s not much culture in this writing,” I’ve heard students say when critiquing student work or reading the novel of a Native author.  Or they’ll say, “It looks like the main character is having an identity crisis,” and it can sound dismissive, but there’s something we have to understand about most Natives:  We move deep […]

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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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Main Character Slam, Drop, Kick!

Revision is a little punk b#?ch!  There I am toiling away on the second draft, almost to the end of the novel and starting to think about characters in the novel (mentally preparing for the “sweeps” portion of my revision process), and then I come to realize my main character is an asshole.

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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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