February 12, 2019

I’ve never been good at revision.  In fact, it’s always been a mystery to me, and I never saw how a writer took something apart and then put it back together, still cohesive, maybe even more so.  One writing teacher told me that in revision is power, maybe the only power a writer could ever have, because here is where she gets to be deliberate.  But for me, I had no access to that power, because I...

December 15, 2018

Reading Lorca’s essay on duende has me thinking about the brink. When the bullfighter faces the bull, he faces death. Lorca writes that duende “won’t appear if he can’t see the possibility of death, if he doesn’t know he can haunt death’s house, if he’s not certain to shake those branches we all carry, that do not bring, can never bring, consolation.” When thinking of death, I think of a blade. I...

December 10, 2018

Last week, Mystery Writers of America announced their grand marshal choices for the prestigious Edgar Awards, awarded annually for the best mystery books published in that year. The grand master award is given to a person to honor their contributions to the genre over the length of their career. The 2018 choice of recipients kicked off a heated debate between the old and new guardians of the genre...

November 12, 2018

There’s nothing like publishing a novel to knock your ego around. This year I lived the dream of publishing a novel. It was released to solid reviews and quickly picked up by the Book of the Month Club. I’ve been invited to read at some amazing places. I’ve confronted and mostly overcome my fear of public speaking. My friends all believe that since I achieved the dream, I am happy.

Truthfully, it’s...

October 17, 2018

   There are forty-five miles between where I live now and where I grew up. On a good day of traffic, it takes about fifty minutes to drive from Denton, Texas, to Garland, Texas, where my parents live. I live in Denton because I’m finishing my doctorate in creative writing. During the busy part of the semester, I hardly go home to visit.

     If I walked it would take me half a day. If I took...

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