General posts about writing (sometimes my own, but not always)

Grappling with the business of writing

Writing isn’t just writing, it’s reading and knowing how to sell yourself and how to query or submit to a publisher and a million other things that aren’t the actual process of writing. Oh, first and foremost you’ve got to be able to string words together in an interesting way — it’s the most important thing, no question about that — but when you’re all done making with the wording what do you do with it? It’s easy to stagger around blindly at that stage. All this mess about query letters and proposals and cover letters markets — writers want to WRITE, they don’t want to bother with that stuff! But you HAVE to if you ever want it to be more than a hobby….
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The Laptopless Life

Sometimes I am a forgetful fool. Yesterday I was at my buddy Jim’s, where we began recording what will be a weekly podcast series covering ground similar to our book, A Year of Hitchcock (Scarecrow Press, 2009). It was a fun project to dive into. While I’ve done radio before (doing the “color commentary” for a local station’s Election Day coverage, that sort of thing), I had never done podcasting. They’re similar, but not quite the same. Anyway, I the laptop and some recording equipment up to his place, we yammered for a while about Alfred Hitchcock’s movies, had lunch with the wildly talented Chris Knight (who we tried to convince to be a guest on a future show), then I went home. AND LEFT…
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New challenges = hooray!

When it comes to writing, I like facing new challenges. Trying something I’ve never tried before. Figuring out how to put the pieces together and make it work. It’s exciting. It’s thrilling. Sometimes I’ll just invent some challenge to overcome, for no other reason than it seems like fun. Right now I’m facing an enjoyable challenge. As mentioned in a previous post, I’m putting together an anthology of comic stories. Not comic as in funny, comic as in illustrated fiction. The challenge of taking these plots, pacing them out so they work in a mere eight pages, working with the artists, scripting the stories, getting the balance of elements right … It’s a thrill. When stuff clicks and it all falls into place, it’s like…
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My life as a railroad hobo – part 1

The first time you taste possum you begin to question if this is what you really want to be doing with your time. It’s got a gritty taste, like lamb rubbed down with sandpaper, and the scent. Well, no amount of cheap whiskey or vomit will wash that out of your mouth. So needless to say, it makes you begin to question the choices you’ve made. Thing is, when the rails catch up to you, eventually you’ll eat whatever you can find. It was somewhere in Tennessee, I think — the details are still a little foggy — but it was the first bite I’d had since leaving Kentucky and besides, if you find someone on the tracks will to share his dinner you don’t…
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Tellin’ Stories

Writing about Neil Gaiman’s Sandman the last few weeks has reminded me of how envious I am of him. Not in a BAD way, mind you. Rather, in the way that makes you more eager than ever to bust your ass and create things until the world sits up, takes notice, and says, “Okay, good. You can live your life doing this full time.” Here’s a guy who was allowed to create something that afforded him the ability to write pretty much any kind of story he wanted to write. Horror. Fantasy. Adventure. Mythology. Romance and historical and crime and drama and a hundred other things. This when he first broke into comics. When he was a totally unknown quantity. And he took it, and…
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