Blog

This is an experiment. In creating this website, I’ve focused on introducing my books–the six fiction titles published under the Sky Spinner Press imprint since August of 2011. I have also answered questions in the interview section at some length in order to give readers an idea of what my life has been like as a writer and, perhaps, the common threads in most writing lives. Too, I have used the opportunity this website offers to give voice to some of my other work and, in creating a motley list of favorites, tried to give readers an idea of the sensibility that animates my writing.

What I want to do now–squeezing one more tab into the category row that runs across the tops of pages and links to the site’s content–is to add a blog piece.  I expect the new posts to be brief (largely wishful thinking, it seems) and to cover a pretty wide range of subject matter–whatever pops into my head and stays awhile. I think of these anticipated posts as mini-blogs or, more simply, just thoughts.
 
So we’ll give it a try, with this introduction logging in as main blog page and installment one.

–May, 26, 2012

Note: I apologize for not setting this up as a comment thread. It’s a time and stamina matter for me. But please feel welcome to send any questions or thoughts via the Contact button.                ________________________________________________________________________________________________
10-17-12: For the Moment, Full Stop
I think people who’ve  read my stories and a poem or two, maybe a blog post or interview answer, will know language intrigues me. I love when things are said beautifully or with such energy or playfulness thoughts blaze up like a quickening of fireflies, a blue rain of emergency lights. Read more…

9-22-12: On Having Work Reviewed
Coincidentally, just as I was beginning to write this blog post on the danger of having work reviewed, I received a very welcome note that was relayed from Mildred James, the remarkable woman whose hundredth birthday was recognized on this site just over a year ago. The note felt very relevant for it included comments from Mildred’s daughter on a newspaper article that, in noting her mother’s 101st birthday, got a number of facts and names wrong and misquoted Mildred on Read more…

9-15-12: Election Year Thoughts on Writing
I guess you could call it a toy, that wheel of heavy-stock paper set between die-cut layers of shirt cardboard and anchored with a grommet. While my right pointer finger advanced it president by president, I pinched the grommet between the thumb and fingers of my left hand. Sometimes the wheel flew, Read more…

 9-8-12: Making Things
I’ve spent a lot of my life making things. Stories are my favorite production, but I’m aware that I use my writer’s impulse and M.O. in many other activities, This is particularly true when it comes to my use of material (or materials) and, really, it dates to my childhood and to my parents who were often abstemious and yet, Read more…

9-1-12: The Necessary Post Card
I love post cards. I’ve kept a number of my favorite ones for a very long time. They lean against a lamp or on a bookshelf. Sometimes they disappear, turning up months later–rescued Read more…

8-25-12: Politics, Morality, and Fiction
I don’t think you’d know it from visiting this site or reading my books, but I’m a political junkie. I’ve even been a commenter on political blogs, although I did have to be nudged into online posting. There are certainly fiction writers who write with political agendas but, except for the background issues of Vietnam and race that were formative for me, I’m rarely one of them. To me, the best fiction casts a wide net, Read more…

8-22-12: Becoming a Writer
Recently, someone asked me how to become a writer. The question caught me offguard and left me feeling oddly puzzled. I did ask if the questioner knew what he wanted to write, and he told me he had tons of ideas Read more…

8-18-12: Accepting the Torch
In late June, my friend Birgitta, who runs the Sky Spinner Press Facebook page, posted a link to a short article from the Guardian that talked about inmates in Brazilian prisons earning time off their sentences by reading books and writing essays about them. (I’m not including the link here because the article has been removed due to copyright issues; it does appear on various websites under the title, “Brazilian Read more…

8-15-12: The Weaving of Time
A week or so ago when I was looking at things to include in a page of Site Essentials as a guide for visitors, I reread the Interview question from Alvin Greenberg along with my answer to it. Al, who’s published many fine books of poetry and fiction, has also written a moving memoir of his effort to learn about his mother who died when he was born, a fact he didn’t learn from his father and stepmother until he received a card Read more…

8-8-12: Olympic Coolness
Like most people, I’ve been enjoying the great international get-together of the Olympics. It’s amazing to see the results of all that discipline and hard work by people with great physical gifts, to say nothing of the Queen’s skill at parachuting. I’ve also loved the vicarious trip to London Read more…

8-4-12: Trains of My Life
Occasionally I receive a newsletter from someone who travels regularly on the City of New Orleans. I always pause. Just the name of that train is evocative. So many train names are. The Wabash Cannonball. The Night Scotsman. Read more…

7-28-12: The Look of What We Write
When I have ideas of things I might want to blog about, I usually write them down in the notes section of my iPad. Hunting for something yesterday, I found a line that said “news in capitalization.” Actually, what it said was, News in Capitalization, Read more…

7-21-12: The Parents Are Leaving
We all have many dates to keep track of. For me, there are some that have resonance without my immediately knowing why. And then I remember. Read more…

7-18-12: Lights Up
I’m a big believer in the importance of art—every kind of art, regardless of the medium. Art has a unique and critical way of inspiriting life. I can time-travel Read more…

7-14-12: Al and the Higgs Boson
On this Bastille Day, some of my thoughts are in Europe. A former neighbor visited a week or so ago, bringing along a laptop slideshow of the new home he’s building near the Adriatic and of his farmhouse—an hour and a half distant—near Ljubljana, Read more…

7-7-12: Where’s Nate Silver When You Need Him?
In the last several months, my ongoing work on the Sky Spinner project has turned mostly to marketing efforts. While each part of the project has been an unquestioned challenge, Read more…

6-30-12: The Invisible Writer
In the age of the blogger, when writers (particularly those in the commentariat) are everywhere, it’s easy not to realize that the work of most writers is invisible—and the writers invisible as well. Read more…

6-27-12: Change
I take a certain pride in having kept up with the world. I may brag a little that much of my recent life has been built around the ability Read more…

6-23-12: Wonderful! More Mantel
Sometimes things sneak up on you. I didn’t realize Bring Up the Bodies, the second volume of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy, was coming out until Read more…

6-20-12: A Magic Wand
What would I change given magical powers? As a responsible person, Read more…

6-16–12: When the Picture Lies
In April of 2010, the New York Times ran a fascinating article by Alana Newhouse that described a curator’s discovery that the well known work of the photographer Roman Vishniac documented a world of Eastern European Jewry that had never really existed. Read more…

6-9-12: Still, Race 
There is a passage in Suite Harmonic: A Civil War Novel of Rediscovery in which John Given thinks about the words of Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address, “perplexed by their troubled darkness.” Read more…

6-6-12: Unsubscribing
Often, my life seems to stretch out comfortably, no end in view, while at other moments–Read more…

6-2-12: And the Austen Winner Is?
Having recently reread Jane Austen’s work, I was immediately ready to make my own list when I came across a ranking of her major work Read more…

5-30-12: Ben and Fussell
I learned a few days ago that the oldest member of the Sky Spinner Support Team Read more…

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