Thoughts on Writing§

Since this site is about my writing activities, these entries are about my observations and thoughts about writing. I discuss what I’ve learned as a professional writer, and what I’m discovering about writing fiction.

Changing Images

My identity and sense of self seems to be shifting lately. More and more, I’m seeing myself as a novelist, which is what I’d ultimately and primarily like to be.

Why Some Novelists Write Novels

Novelists write novels for a few reasons. One is to be understood and heard.

Community Observer Roles

Within a community, each person has a role. There are teachers, carpenters, policemen, and many other roles. In this musing, I consider two roles in particular that I find interesting: an external and an internal observer.

What Happened to Burglars?

The word burglar is a perfectly good word, but a substitute word is becoming popular among Americans: home invaders. Is this where the English language is heading? Will English become simpler and less artistic? I find that irritating and depressing.

MySQL takes the Red Pill

As a current employee of MySQL and having worked in the investment industry for over twelve years in a previous life, I’m able to see the larger picture of the acquisition of MySQL by Sun Microsystems for a billion dollars.

On Becoming a Graham Greene

By pushing myself emotionally, continuing to read Graham Greene’s novels and writing reviews of them, I have made great progress in my fiction writing. I know I’m flattering myself, but I feel as though I’m become a Graham Greene.

Evaluating Not-Dead Authors

I’ve not read many contemporary novels, novels involving current settings and circumstances. Now I’ve begun reviewing newly published novels. This is difficult for me. I don’t know how to review them or what I should say about them.

I’m Not Creative

I’ve wondered lately if I am creative or if I have merely a creative sense. This is particularly important to me if I want to make my way as a novelist. If this is all I have to offer, maybe I should be a literary critic and not a writer of fiction.

Writing about Myself

There is a Zen tenet that says, One cannot observe and participate at the same time. I’ve given this tenet much thought over the past twenty years since I first heard it. I can say much about it, but now I’m starting to apply it to my writings.

Greene Beginnings

It’s not a problem for me to start to write a story—I never suffer from writer’s block. I usually start with a thought, a profound phrase that sums up a feeling. When I feel I’m ready, I begin writing.

Writing a Playpen

I’ve noticed in the stories that I write that there’s an innocence about some of my protagonists. They’re often playful in their tone; they don’t curse or act in an offensive manner. They try not to offend or hurt others in any way. I think that …

Next Novelist Step

Well, I declared my novel finished and sent a letter to a New York literary agent along with a copy of the first chapter. If he agrees to be my agent, it’s only a matter of time before he’ll have it sold and it will be published. Maybe this agen…

Writing Fiction is Dreaming

In dreams one is sometimes present not only in the character depicted as oneself, but also as other characters. The shift between perspectives occurs rapidly and sometimes exists dually, making it difficult to realize that the person with which o…

A Novel Pace

As I’m now making tremendous progress in writing my first novel, I’m starting to realize that I now know how to write a novel. When I first started back at college about fifteen years ago, I couldn’t see to the end of a few-page essay. I didn’t …

A Lizard in the Story

The idea of my novel began based on a humorous moment between my friend Richard Stringer, his wife, and me one night at their home. Richard was asking me about a virus he thought he had on his computer. In response, his wife said that he didn’t …

The Community Model

There’s a guy that I work with at MySQL who I aggrivate immensely when we have occasion to interact with each other. It’s not often and I try to avoid it. But, he sometimes is so bothered by me that he cannot help engaging me on-line or in perso…