January 29, 2018

About a year ago, I blogged about my pre-writing exercises (I recommend checking out that post for more details on my process. I’m going to be brief here). This step in my writing process was a big break-through for my productivity. It still is, however I’ve recently tweaked and improved my method, and so I thought…

January 12, 2017

I am not a fast writer. To my readers who have been waiting such a long time for my third book (Sorry! Sorry! It’s coming!), this is probably painfully obvious. I’ll likely never be the speediest of writers—I won’t be that indie author pumping out new books month after month. But I am trying to…

April 28, 2016

I’ve written about how wonderful travel is for writers before (here), but I’ve been wanting to address more specifically how I try to inform my fictional settings with the texture and wonder of real places I’ve been. A big part of the reason I began teaching in Asia is because it enables me to travel….

January 6, 2016

I’ve always been fascinated by marital arts (a fact surprising to none of my readers, I’m betting). Growing up, I watched my dad moving through his Kung Fu forms in our living room, and I developed a great appreciation not just for the physical elements of martial arts, but their poetry—I love the sense of ritual, of…

August 23, 2014

Good Dialogue–it’s the difference between:    “Look, Your Worshipfulness, let’s get one thing straight. I take orders from just one person: me” And:    “I wish that I could just wish away my feelings.” (Ugh. I wish that I could wish away that whole movie.) Great dialogue can do so many things: characterize the speaker,…

May 31, 2014

In my experience, there are three kinds of writers: there are those who believe they are the reincarnated talent of whichever all-time-great they admire, whose first drafts are beyond reproach, the writers who, when presented with criticism, insist that you just ‘didn’t get it’; then there is the writer who is so crippled with a…

February 13, 2014

Let me begin by saying that this blog post is difficult for me to write. It’s something that I should have written many weeks ago, but every time I opened the document, my mind would shy away. It would tell me there’s no point in admitting a problem that is going to resolve itself any…

October 24, 2013

One of my favorite literary figures has, for many years, been Gerard Manly Hopkins. In my book, the man is a genius and a massive inspiration. I’ve never encountered use of sound and imagery to rival his poetry. He invented two terms, which he wrote about extensively in his journals and letters: inscape and instress….