A Game of Inches

It’s a game of inches. Or at least it has been for me. Other writers, they decide to write a novel and voila! It’s published before I can get my first cup of tea in the morning. My latest endeavor began in 2004. I don’t know how many inches that is in days, but I think an inchworm could have circled the globe with how long I’ve...

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A Different Way to Write Book Club Questions

I am nearing the end of my Beta reader feedback on In the Name of Mississippi. Thus, in complete blind faith that I will find an agent for this manuscript and, unlike my last three agents, they will sell this novel about a groundbreaking civil rights lawsuit, I’m moving on to the next step. In the Name of Mississippi is contemporary fiction,...

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Wiping the Slate Clean

You know when you’ve solved a complex calculus equation, and you take the eraser and literally wipe the slate clean? I did that last week with my writing career. Three acceptances triggered the erasure: First, I was accepted into the Community Writers Workshop in the Virtual Valley for July of this year. This fabulous writers conference...

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Waiting with Baited Breath

As far as where my writing stands, I know y’all await the latest news with bated breath (which if only it were spelled “baited breath” would mean your breath smells like an earthworm wiggling on the hook.) So you’ll be glad to hear that IN THE NAME OF MISSISSIPPI is with the 2nd round of Beta Readers. By the time this round...

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Where Do We Go from Here?

The revisions to my Mississippi novel have reached the “listening to the computer read to me” stage. I’ve received wonderfully helpful feedback from Beta readers and spent 2 months implementing it. “Implementing” sounds so neutral, but I wrote another 20,000 words and revised the ones I already had on the page. Now...

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If I Had Two Wings

I didn’t know what I was doing. I had quit practicing law to become a writer. In typical lawyerly fashion, I formulated a “private MFA” where I would take 2 years and teach myself to write. I didn’t want to get an actual MFA because I figured, as a lawyer who had been the office’s managing partner, I would be a terrible...

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China, Words, and Hope

I don’t know if this is appropriate or not, but I need to tell you that a really nice publishing house is, right now, reading the full manuscript on MUD ISLAND, the mystery featuring a formerly homeless young woman set in Memphis in 1997 (which I revised from being a formerly homeless old man set in 2019), and I’m trying not to think...

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That Which Soothes When All Begins to Crumble

Though I welcomed—after our terror subsided—the stillness of our shelter-in-place life, we who had been circling and circling for years, the last few days I have felt as if I might crumble, my “dust to dust” having become friable, my feet of clay exposed, a descending that was not helped when the priest who understood me and yet encouraged...

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Where We Are….

Last summer, I got an agent for my mystery. Once reason I chose her was because she had good ideas on improving the manuscript. I made those revisions, which were not insubstantial, and in the fall the agent submitted to publishing houses. We didn’t get any bites. We confabbed in January, and she suggested I change the gender of the amateur...

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Lord, This Wore Me Down

(I INTRODUCED this set of book reviews here. This is the 4th in the series) Pedro ParamoJuan Rulfo (set in Mexico, pub 1955)Plot Summary: man returns to (literal) ghost town searching for his father This is the second time in as many reviews that I find myself reviewing a book not for its writing or character development or dialogue or atmosphere...

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