Category: Essay

On Perpetrators and Puzzlement

We’ve all seen a puzzled neighbor or family member interviewed after some horrific killing or act saying “I don’t get it; he was the nicest guy. Never a problem.” “Yeah,” I’d snort to myself, “I’d have seen something.” Nah. I…

Alternative Histories

Authors of Alternative History novels (and TV series) often hinge on specific events: what would happen if Hitler won? After all, the Nazis were close on more than one occasion. Or if the creation story of Jesus never coalesced? Or,…

On fidelity in world-building

It’s hard to create a new world, complete with languages, people, and the minutiae that separates the reality that is our planet and its history. In a recent population analysis of GoT, Lyman Stone drills into deathly detail on how impossible George…

From the bottom of the writing/critiquing well…

I’m watching other writers and their blog posts. Some are regular as clockwork—it’s part of their marketing campaign, their name branding, and they’ve got more time (and definitely more discipline) to keep on that track. I’ll need to do it…

Why Charlottesville 2017 is not Berlin 1933

This is my professional blog. I had non-professional blogs once; Facebook takes care of that need now. I do a lot of tongue-biting when something happens in the world and I’ve got this (rather unbully) pulpit from which to vent.…

On Short Stories and Novellas

One of the agents with whom I spoke at the recent Writers’ League of Texas Agents & Editors Conference expressed interest in a set of short stories if I could also stick a novella in there. At least, that’s what…

Happy Fourth!

I grew up suspicious of a country where they lived stealth lives. My dad never wore a kippah (head covering) at work. A fedora on the way in and on the way home worked, but blatant Jewish exhibitionism was something…

Words, Books, Memory

As a Jewish atheist I enjoy the rituals of my people. While I don’t enjoy laying t’fillin (putting on phylacteries)—although I remember how—I’ve always had a visceral sense memory when seeing or touching the prayer book my dad used. I have the…

Bravery

I have a character in the short story ShutEye who gives her life for a love she knows she can never have, because it’s the right thing for the greater good. There’s a character in Best Shot (being shopped) who will…

Nazi Anything

Sometimes writing takes a back seat, as it should, to reality. We spend a lot of time, in this Trumpian, Facebookish era, endlessly macerating previous texts, quotes, and media. It’s easier, it’s true, to quote others than to write one’s own clever…