Naked Montréal now available for pre-sale

I haven't posted a blog update in a while, mostly as I've been mulling over the information I learned last weekend in an informal class given by Bobbie Christensen at the University of Texas, entitled "How to Write Your 1st Book (Or 7th)." Basically, Ms. Christensen offered us a 10-step process for writing any type of book in just 6 weeks (or 20 weekends, if you have to work full-time, like most Continue Reading...

Surreal Valentine: Austin, TX

Let me just say, up front, that I have had words with Valentine's Day in the past, and that it is well aware of my feelings on the subject, for all of the obvious—and not-so-obvious—reasons. However, seeing as the day is upon us and all must comment, whether in the Pro or Anti camps, I offer you a simple drawing that I think should sum things up nicely. I call it "Surreal Valentine: Austin, Continue Reading...

Become a successful writer in 3 easy steps!

[caption id="attachment_1718" align="alignright" width="220" caption=""Become A Writer" collage by Laura Roberts"][/caption] Today I've been catching up on my Twitter feeds, and I've found some interesting posts from a variety of writers. There's The Worst Love Poem in Chicago by Mel Schwartz over at the Tribune, Bo's Café Life (a cartoon about writing in cafés by Wayne E. Continue Reading...

Self-publishing is the only way

Despite the terrible things people say about self-publishing, I've come to the conclusion that it's the only way to make any money as a writer. Please note that I hate money as much as the next artiste, and I don't want to have to sell myself short in favor of a paycheck. However, I will admit that I enjoy writing for money, because I feel it's the best way to pay for my not-so-extravagant Continue Reading...

Winter haiku

I haven't written any of my haiku-a-day in a while, and since I've got a few Basho books out of the library right now, I thought I'd give it a go. It's the end of January, and I'm feeling a bit unmoored. I'm used to ice and snow at this time of the year, and while it's certainly cold here in Texas (apparently it's 34 degrees outside right now) and rather a desolate landscape (as evidenced by my Continue Reading...

Suite101 and Demand Studios: Why content mills aren’t worth the effort

Since many people have been writing to me lately asking for my take on the Suite101/Demand Studios types of writing scams and content mills out there, I just wanted to refer everyone back to my original post on the subject, as the final paragraph links to several articles on Writers Weekly which are quite informative and feature real users (i.e. people who've worked for these sites) who have Continue Reading...

2010: Time for a Short Story Challenge

I'm constantly debating with myself whether or not it's worthwhile to enter writing contests, since I hate paying the entry fees when I have no idea how many potential contestants I'm actually up against. It seems a bit unfair not to know your odds. I mean, even people playing the lottery can at least envision their one-in-10-million chances and decide for themselves whether it's worth the buck Continue Reading...

Charles Bukowski on writing what you know

Here's a good question: "why don't you write a novel about all that?" I asked her. "Hank," she answered, "you're just a cynical old drunk and a son-of-a-bitch. no wonder your stuff sounds like it was written in a cesspool. the next novel she wrote had a cynical old drunk in it who thought he could write but he couldn't really write at all, he just wrote shit which appealed somehow to Continue Reading...

WordPress update haiku

In case you haven't noticed yet, there's a new version of WordPress available. Upgrade your website now to avoid falling prey to obnoxious hackers! Here's a haiku to remind you. I call it "Be alert; the world needs more lerts": Obnoxious hackers in yr base killing yr d00dz, ruining yr Continue Reading...

Personal privacy and literary executors

This story is driving me nuts. Friday's Gazette reports that Nelly Arcan's money-hungry publishers are trying to hack into her computer to exploit the potential goldmine of unpublished work it houses. Various experts weigh in, throughout the piece, suggesting either that it's the publisher's right to do this or, more sanely, that it's up to her family or any "literary heir" she may have named in Continue Reading...