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Blues Preamble

Preamble

Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages.  Geoffrey Chaucer said that about 600 years ago as part of the prologue to the Canterbury Tales, the first writing we would recognize as English.  I believe it.  What would life be worth if it weren’t a pilgrimage?  Every day.  I hope you will join my pilgrimage.  I’m …

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Literary Agents The Agony of Genre

The Agony of Genre

I check agents’ sites occasionally, and yesterday I saw a note that a person had incorrectly classified her book as a ‘thriller’ in a query letter.  The agent said (quite correctly, I think from the query) that the book is suspense, not a thriller … but that’s okay, she said, because “thrillers are hard to …

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Fiction My timeline is collapsing.

My timeline is collapsing.

Yesterday’s New York Times headline read, nay, screamed: Cyberattacks Put Russian Fingers on the Switch at Power Plants, U.S. Says  (NYT, 3/15/18) … And blew my fictional timeline to bits. The first Joe Mayfield/Louise Napolitani novel, Fatal Score, turned on the idea that a good technological development (gene sequencing and analysis) is borrowed to shore …

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Fiction Reorganizing

Reorganizing

I’ve changed the site around a bit. I am approaching completion on novel number three (Fail Deadly) and am sketching out number four.  There’s a new page on this site (Novels) with the blurbs for the first three stories.  Those of you who have had to go through the difficult process of creating a blurbs, …

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Literary Agents Evolution of Agency?

Evolution of Agency?

I just had an interesting and hopeful experience.  At least one literary agency is wrestling with the issue all have been struggling with:  the tsunami of queries made possible by the Internet. And this one, Bookends, seems to have cracked the code of how to deal with the flood in what people from other industries …

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Mechanics Technique, again

Technique, again

I am taking a look yet again at my first novel, Fatal Score (initially called Hack the Yak), which I am preparing to query. I asked an editor to look at the first three chapters.  The results were eye-opening. When I began writing, I used interior monolog (protagonist’s thoughts), which I laid down in italics.  …

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Uncategorized Lazy!

Lazy!

Damn, it’s been a while.  I don’t expect anyone’s fallen into deep depression for lack of my insights on the writerly process. I’ve been trying, generally successfully, to hold my tongue on the subject of the dismantling of collegiality, common sense, and gentility that’s progressing so rapidly. Of course, none of that belongs in a …

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Technique Smile, and the whole world wonders what you’re up to

Smile, and the whole world wonders what you’re up to

It is said (apparently inaccurately) that the Inuit have many words for ‘snow.’  Why would that be?  Why, because they see a lot of snow, of course. English has very few words for ‘smile,’ even though we see a lot of them (I hope).  Grin.  Grimace. Beam. Smirk. Maybe even Simper. And you can drag …

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Writing No Genres!

No Genres!

Louise Penny, quoted in the New York Times book review, August 24th:  “I don’t buy into the notion of genres, perhaps for obvious reasons. I think that’s an effective marketing tool, but nothing more. Good storytelling is good storytelling. There are no borders or boundaries in literature and to try to define is to limit. …

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Fiction Google and Real Places

Google and Real Places

Google is wonderful.  For a person writing thrillers, it’s a critical resource.  Need a Russian phrase?  No problem. An overhead view of a village like Hainburg an der Donau in Austria (my second novel)?  Google Maps has you covered. The uniform of a Florida state trooper?  Google images. But … there is no substitute to actually having been …

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