Things I Remember
Many years ago, I knew a girl with a dog named Plato. I’d never met the dog, and doubt that she’d mentioned him more than once. After all this time, I haven’t forgotten his name.
The Sound of My Own Voice
An odd thing to wake up to. Here’s a link to an appearance on Pittsburgh NPR affiliate WESA, where I chat about a couple of books on my mind at that moment, and share a few thoughts about short fiction as well. I first heard it over an alarm clock radio, one that pulled me from a dream.
My Possessions No More
It’s strange to think about my characters out there in the world without me. For the longest time, they were solely my company. Yes, trusted readers took a look at the manuscript and shared their thoughts, but that is a close circle I know well and have selected with care. Now, my treasured fictional friends are free to move about on their own.
Walt, Gwen, Sam, Dr. Art, Jimmy DeLuca, and, of course, Miss June are among you. Should you encounter Miss June, I suggest you be on your best behavior. If you bump into Jimmy, enjoy the ride — but keep him away from your wife…
A Curious Endeavor
Writing a novel, that is. No one asks you to do it, it’s often not much fun, yet it’s all-consuming and often all that matters. Writerly selfishness kicks in. Allegiances are tested. True character is revealed, and irritability abounds. Or maybe this occurs in the writer’s mind, only. Some authors, I assume, pull the charade off without letting on that while they smile and nod — as they chat at a cocktail party or share the family dinner table — they are a thousand miles away tending to those other people, those they also love, those they have created.
Go to the Library
It’s interesting how settling in to do dry research — simple fact-checking of unfamiliar places or things — sometimes spurs mad creation. How the quest for a fact or two can lead to facets of a story I had no idea might exist. That the lives of my characters might change based on a photo or phrase that catches my eye. That is why it’s important not to rely too heavily on the internet. While it is an endless source of answers to questions, the answers come so directly that I miss what errant information I might have stumbled across during my own, slow, clumsy, inefficient search. That is why the library is the best place for exploring. That, and because there are just so many good books there.