anne enright’s writing tips

Anne Enright has some things to say about the writing life. The first 12 years are the worst. The way to write a book is to actually write a book. A pen is useful, typing is also good. Keep putting words on the page. Only bad writers think that their work is really good. Description is hard. Remember that … Read more

forgive me

for i have sinned.  it’s been 11 days since my last confession posting.

good rejection

i received a great rejection letter today in which not only one, but two people gave me feedback in the letter.  i have to say that i enjoy this level of rejection, if that makes any sense, and it probably doesn’t, but what the hell.  it’s just that lately i’ve been thinking about submitting in … Read more

my diorama

if i were to create a diorama of the story i’m editing, it would contain: a flip up cityscape of Hong Kong two plainclothes policemen lurking around a corner a camera and a TV set a bowl of noodles and a couple bottles of Tsing Tao beer a copy of Rashomon, Kurasawa’s movie about relative … Read more

killer quote

“writing is defiance,” says John Vigna, short story genius. defiance is defined as “the act or instance of defying:  challenge” by Merriam-Webster Dictionary.  i’ve been thinking on this one and trying to figure out who or what a writer defies and i think i’ve figured it out.  it’s your self.  it’s a challenge to not … Read more

zadie smith’s rules for writers

When still a child, make sure you read a lot of books.  Spend more time doing this than anything else. When an adult, try to read your own work as a stranger would read it, or even better, as an enemy would. Don’t “romanticize your vocation”.  You can either write good sentences or you can’t. … Read more


spammed by louis vuitton knock-offs. there is irony in this.  i’ve written a series of stories set in Hong Kong, the mecca of knock-offs, and in one particular story an authentic Louis Vuitton handbag stands out.  here’s an excerpt: I admit that when I first saw her, I wondered why she was wearing a Shanghai … Read more

a giant eyeball

a giant eyeball washes ashore in Florida and i’m printing out the story and adding it to my file marked “stranger than fiction”. here’s the link: you’re welcome.


one day, i doubt and the next day, i believe. it’s been an unusual week.


i enjoy freefall writing–that’s where you react to a writing prompt and just write, no pause, no edits, no erasing.  until someone tells you to stop.  it’s fascinating what happens when you free your mind, the skips and jumps that occur.  i use it to ease back into a writing schedule. today’s prompt was:  a … Read more