Rory’s Story Cubes

Like many of you, in various English classes through Junior and Senior High I had to keep a journal. For the first 5 minutes of class we each pulled out a cheap spiral notebook and wrote about…whatever. I’m sure the intent, when the assignment was first conceived, was a bit more focused than it was…

Pen Review: Franklin-Christoph 02 Intrinsic Emerald and Ice

I love Franklin-Christoph pens–and I love the company, too. This is, in part, local pride as we’re both residents of North Carolina’s Research Triangle. However, I also love them because of all the companies I’ve seen, F-C seems to have a flair for experimentation and innovation. I’ve had several Franklin-Christoph pens over the past couple…

Nock Cases Group Review

There are plenty of reviews of the various Nock Cases lurking around the web.  This one will have a different focus.  I’m going to take a look at the cases as a group.  Think of it like a review of a collection of short stories instead of just a single story. I was a backer…

A Common Enemy

Writer’s Block is a pain in the ass. If you follow me on this blog, or on the other blog I contribute to–Today’s Author–you’ve doubtless noticed that I’ve been quiet lately. This is not because I have no time to write.  It’s because every time I sit down to write, I spend all my time…

Dirty Little Reading Secret

As bibliophiles, we’re often held to a higher standard when it comes to the novels we spend our time reading. Friends often assume that because I’m well read, and because I write, that I not only have good taste when it comes to the books I read, but also that I exercise that taste with…

Storms and Drought

Weather and writing. More generally, weather and creativity. They are inextricably linked together through metaphor. Throwing out ideas is a Brainstorm. Ideas come in a flood—or sometimes a torrent. Ideas come out of nowhere like a bolt of lightning. Weather seems a particularly apt analogy for creativity. They both seem out of our control—random even….

Is There Power in Boredom?

When was the last time you were bored? Truly bored. Not a time when you wish you were doing something more interesting, but where your mind was almost completely unoccupied. I’ll bet it’s a lot less common than it used to be. Especially if you have a smartphone. And that might just be a problem….

Looking for Balance

I’m not sure I’ve ever heard NaNoWriMo (in the running for the clumsiest acronym ever) spoken aloud. But each year from October 1 through December 7 (or so) it’s nearly impossible to be part of the online writing community without wading, hip-deep, into the NaNo fray. Will you or won’t you? Does it work, or…

Characters Who Push Back

I don’t think I’m going too far out on a limb to conclude that most writers, generally think of characters as dynamic beings. While I won’t itemize past posts you won’t have trouble finding opinions on this very blog about how certain characters are easily led, while others are uncooperative. And advice abounds about interviewing…

Diagnosing Dialogue

Dialogue is difficult to get just right and, like many others, I struggle with it mightily. Even so, I love writing good dialogue. But, if it’s so hard, why do I like it? I love how good dialogue shows us more about a character than the author could ever tell us. I love the energy…

Uncovering Shakespeare

I love musical covers—where one artist performs, and often changes, another artist’s song.  I’ve taken a lot of gentle teasing over the years because of this, because many people see covers as a form of copying someone else, rather than an original work.  But for me, it’s always been about interpretation—it’s fascinating for me to…

Nurture vs. Nature

Where do your ideas come from? Do they spring into your head not-quite-fully formed (Nature), or are they the process of laborious trial, error, sweat and tears (Nurture)? Are you the type to go to a coffee shop with a notebook and pen to brainstorm ideas for a new story? Can you look back over…