Writer at Work:
Santas, Wizards, & Life behind the Curtain

December 23rd, 2016

jl-santaSo it’s December 1997. I’m driving north out of Oakland, toward Bigelow Boulevard and downtown Pittsburgh. It’s a gray day, light snow falling. Colored lights trim some of the buildings, and then I see him … (read more at The 21st-Century Scop).

Writer at Work:
Standing up for Your Writes

December 18th, 2016

standing-up-for-the-craft2-2“The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.”

C.S. Lewis gave that advice in 1937, in an article titled, “Breaking in Print.” But it didn’t originate with him. He got it from his mentor Mary Heaton Vorse, who seems to be the source of the oft-repeated advice.

You may have heard that advice in its more condensed form, a terse little maxim attributed to writers as varied as Oliver Stone and Stephen King:

“Writing equals ass in chair.”

As with most maxims, it’s short, simple, memorable, and frequently offered as sound advice to up-and-comers. But I’m here to tell you: It isn’t so…. [Read more at The 21st-Century Scop.]

Writer at Work:
Out of the Stories and into the World

December 11th, 2016

hollywoodIt’s been a while since I’ve posted here. There’s a good reason for that. I’ve been working.

I’ve always regarded blogging as a leisure activity, fun when there’s time for it, but readily set aside when big projects hit.

Last June, with a new film script sold and an ambitious novel expanding beyond expectations, I realized it was time to focus on fiction. And that’s pretty much where I was until I finished the book early last week. At that point, with the manuscript mailed off and fending for itself, I got out from behind the desk and headed west for some social interaction with the good people involved in the film project.

[Read more at The 21st Century Scop.]

Flash Fiction @ Sewickley Public Library

June 16th, 2016

flash fictionThis Friday, June 17, I’ll be taking a break from working on the new book to drop by the Sewickley Public Library, where I’ve been invited to talk about one of my favorite subjects–flash fiction.

It’s a presentation that I’ve given before at various workshops and conferences, and I’m looking forward to dusting it off and giving it again. It’s always a good time.

The talk starts at 10:30 AM. If you’re in the area, I’ll hope to see you there. Either way, you can get a preview at this vintage post from Oct. 2013. Scop on!