i’ve been thinking about firsts.  to first write, to first send it out, to have a story accepted.  to eat a fresh nectarine, the juices dripping down my chin into the folds of my neck.  to talk to a real writer.  to take a weekend away from my life.  to stay up all night writing. … Read more

we’re on tv in the universe

an excerpt from a fine short story from the collection SWEET TALK by Stephanie Vaughn, titled “we’re on tv in the universe.”   “So you don’t want to go to the party?” I said to the chicken.  I knew by then that I was driving on a chancy road, and I was trying to keep … Read more


last year, i attended a writing conference and spent a week fleshing out the main characters of a book i’m writing. throughout the process, fellow writers commented that my character’s name, Mike Blank, was annoying. it’s the repetition of the ‘k’ sounds. they all agreed that i needed to come up with a new name. … Read more


i’ve been thinking lately about clutter.  specifically, clutter in writing.  those extra words and clauses that muddy my sentences and paragraphs.  William Zinsser discusses this problem in ON WRITING WELL and states “be grateful for what you can throw away.” what writing have you thrown away?