Book Review – Relentless

If you were to judge my favorite author list one thing stands out. I like the scenic route. The slow burn reads that build into bonfires. It is why Dean Koontz is on that list. He has the ability to pull you in, keep you engaged until the last page. However, I’ve learned not all Koontz books are equal. Sometimes the slow burn becomes a raging fire and sometimes it fizzles. Relentless falls somewhere in between. I wanted to like this book. I wanted to love it. That is the problem. I’m ambivalent. I was hoping for more because underneath Continue Reading →

Book Review – Prince Of Tides

It isn’t often that the two halves of my soul (the reader and the writer) agree on a book’s worth and find something different to admire in the process. Yet this is exactly what Pat Conroy accomplished with The Prince of Tides. I’ve seen the movie, it’s old, and it is one that has always stuck with me. To date I think it is one of the best performances I’ve ever seen by Nick Nolte. His chemistry with Barbara Streisand “Lowenstein” by the end, just gets ya. So here is what I loved as a reader: Conroy pulled me in immediately. Tom Continue Reading →

Goodreads Book Challenge

This year I’m seven  four books behind on my Goodreads challenge. What I lack are not books, it’s time. Stephen King will tell you to spend every spare second reading. As a kid I did. Books kept me from being bored but now with 24-hour access to the world via practically any electronic device, on demand TV, games, life, the lost cyber hole of social media, I’m lucky to read in binge fits between my favorite TV shows. All the greats tell you to read your genre and read widely. Stephen King says he reads an average of 70 to Continue Reading →

The Good Earth – Book Review

Some books sweep you away and the reasons you love them jump off the page. After reading The Good Earth, it’s hard to say what captured me. Of course, it is a classic. A Pulitzer Prize winner. The writing holds up. It is still rich, simple, and beautiful, with an effortless flow from beginning to end. However when I finished the book, I couldn’t say what the ‘It’ factor was that grabbed me. There was no gush, no excitement, no explanation for why I wanted to read Sons (the second in the trilogy) or why in the billions of books Continue Reading →

Dreaded Red Ink

I’ve been there and it wasn’t pretty. Think murder scene with lots of arterial spray. That’s how it felt too, like walking in and seeing my butchered baby twitching on the floor in its death throws. Each red line and critical review felt like a personal affront. Sorry. I can’t not take it personally. I mean really, how can I be detached? After countless hours spent pouring over each and every word, (maybe not every word), pulling out my hair and chewing pencils, worrying about plot, characters, living and breathing them for months (or years), this hot mess is all Continue Reading →

Falling for the Written Word

I was a goner at my first introduction. There was something magical about opening and closing a book, even if I was reading the same sentences again and again. Okay, the pictures helped and who doesn’t love Dr. Seuss or the Bernstein Bears? It only got worse from there. Newbery Award winners, classics, the ever popular and the tried and true, didn’t matter the genre, just that I could escape into another world. Borrowed library books, hand me downs, comics, even cereal boxes, I read them all. Yes, I fell hard and fast for the written word. The love affair Continue Reading →

Creativity is a grand thing.

We tend to lump it in with the arts but creativity is greater than this. I think of it as ingenuity’s younger brother having fun. Pushing bounds, exploring ideas, finding solutions can all fall under creativity’s umbrella. We see it everywhere and sometimes don’t even notice. Extreme sports. Wild haircuts. Couture. Even nature gets into the act.   Sure, I marvel at bursts of verse – especially my own. It seems so unexpected, that moment caught on paper: the sentence, paragraph, page, and then if you are lucky – the chapter that rings with its own pulse and you think, ‘how did that get here?’ or my Continue Reading →

Tell Your Tale

Readers are not complicated beings. We want one thing – a good story. Something that grabs us, makes us want to turn the page. I’ll suspend belief if you ask me to, I’ll even roll my eyes and pretend not to notice mistakes if you keep that whispered window of magic flowing on the page. Put me firmly in your world and I might follow you until the ends of the earth. That is the joy of readership. Writing, on the other hand, can be complicated. You have to spin multiple plates in the air, keep them spinning and let Continue Reading →

Nutritional Benefits of Cardboard

Writers want to tell stories. We need to tell a story. Which is great because readers want to experience them. We have already established that in Something’s Gotta Give. Yet sometimes our writing is flat and it reads that way. There is something missing from the page. Something the writer did not translate. It usually comes in the form of show vs. tell, undeveloped plots/characters or first drafts getting a light edit before being rushed to print. It happens. Deadlines, burn out, or even trying to figure out what is missing on the page can flatten our writing. It doesn’t Continue Reading →

Prickled Underbellies

It starts with this: put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn’t in the middle of the room. Life isn’t a support system for art. It’s the other way around.  – Stephen King Life, the grand poohbah on high, offers us the guts of humanity to examine and explore every day. It is also a communal ride regardless of how singular we may think it to be. No man is ever an island or how else would we get our morning coffee? We bounce off each other forming thoughts and ideas every Continue Reading →