Category Archives: Thoughts about Writing

The Curse of the Plot Monkeys

The term “archetype” has been adopted by agents, editors and reviewers to describe an underdeveloped character who acts solely according to the needs of the plot and not out of their own needs, fears and conflicts. In other words, they’re … Continue reading

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Strange California; It’s Funded!

Strange California is the themed anthology (can you guess the theme? Can you?) that accepted a story of mine earlier in the year. Payment and publication were all dependent on a Kickstarter campaign, and getting enough backers.  The Kickstarter ends … Continue reading

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Your City; a Helpful Guide

Super-powered people are everywhere now. They are so pervasive that you might live next door to one, or be one, and not even know it. Your city might be crawling with the cape-and-mask folks. These notes are designed to help … Continue reading

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“Contentless Dialogue;” A Writing Exercise by Daryl Gregory

“Contentless Dialogue” is a challenging and eye-opening writing exercise that writer Daryl Gregory gave us at his one-day writing workshop last Saturday. The workshop was sponsored by Locus Science Fiction Foundation (and magazine) and held at their editorial offices. It … Continue reading

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Kansas City, Mo

Nearly half a million people live in Kansas City, Missouri. The city hugs a curve of the Missouri River, and it’s close to the Kansas border, which makes things confusing for a tourist like me. Riding in a shuttle from … Continue reading

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WorldCon: The Dave Truesdale Thing

On Friday, August 19, the MidAmeriCon II staff expelled Dave Truesdale from WorldCon for violating the Con’s Code of Conduct. Truesdale is the editor of Tangent Online, and his publication was nominated for a Hugo in the best Fanzine category … Continue reading

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Goin’ to Kansas City

Wednesday morning: I wave to this woman. She says, “How ya doing?” “Great!” I say. “You here visiting?” I say, “What gave it away; my camera or the big goofy grin?” “A little of both,”she says. This is my hotel. … Continue reading

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Airport Dreams

I get up to the TSA security guy and hold out my boarding pass. He’s African American, probably in his late forties, dignified, deadpan and a little blase. He studies my pass. “You are in the wrong line,” he says. … Continue reading

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Vallejo as Location

I have set “The Project” in the city of Vallejo, Ca. I don’t remember ever reading an urban fantasy set in Vallejo. Vallejo occupies an odd bit of geography in northern coastal California, and stakes out an uncomfortable place in … Continue reading

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Three Things I Knew for Sure.

I started a writing project a couple of months ago. I don’t remember when, exactly, maybe early May. It’s urban fantasy, and I didn’t quite know where I was going with it, but there were three things I knew for … Continue reading

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