Category Archives: Thoughts about Writing

Briarpatch From Page to Screen

Ross Thomas published his southwestern detective novel Briarpatch in 1984. His protagonist, Benjamin “Pickle” Dill (kids stopped calling him “Pickle” in the 4th grade after he beat up a bunch of them) returns to his New Mexico hometown to investigate … Continue reading

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All About the Stakes

I recently finished the first draft of the sequel to Aluminum Leaves. The beginning was pretty good. I thought the end was pretty good too; the plot threads came together in something that looked like woven cloth rather than a … Continue reading

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Not All Pirates Are Cool

Self-published writer John van Stry recently prevailed in a lawsuit against a man named Travis McCrea, who was the founder and leader of the Canadian Pirate Party. He was, and maybe still is, part of the USA branch of the … Continue reading

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The Portolan Project

One of the little joys of attending a convention is that I always learn something brand new to me. This year at FOGCon, on the Archive panel, I learned about Portolan maps. First drawn in the 13th century, portolan maps … Continue reading

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Reading the Field

A couple of weeks ago I was talking to a friend who is a developing writer who plans to write science fiction. We started talking about who they had read, and it emerged that they haven’t read the field recently. … Continue reading

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Richard Powers

Richard Powers, Pulitzer Prize wining author of The Overstory, spoke at Petaluma Copperfield’s, in conversation with Cheryl, the store’s book buyer. I can throw around the usual words about Powers, like, genius. I think I’ll let his own words do … Continue reading

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Let’s Do a Writing Exercise

First of all, a quotation: “He rode into our valley in the summer of ’89. I was a kid then, barely topping the backboard of father’s old chuck-wagon. I was on the upper rail of our small corral, soaking in … Continue reading

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Readers’ Favorite

Readers’ Favorite gave Aluminum Leaves a 5-star rating. The reviewer said it was a fantasy “of majestic scale.” Overall, I’m pleased by the generous review, given by a reader who clearly “got” the story. Readers Favorite exists to connect readers … Continue reading

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So, What is Bookscan, Anyway?

When I set up my author page on Amazon, I discovered that one tool I can now use is NPD Bookscan. Bookscan is an arm of the Neilsen corporation, the same people who used to do television rating (I guess … Continue reading

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The Launch Party, Thoughts and Photos

I am overcome with appreciation and gratitude for the number of people who turned out for the launch party on Sunday, August 11. It was literally standing room only! While I knew nearly everybody there, three young Coast Guard members, … Continue reading

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