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…

“Last Run” Topped Out

When a building’s top floor is in place, especially for tall buiildings, they’re “topped out.” Usually a tree, sometimes a flag. Authors should have something analogous for a novel. Even if we’re not trying to appease the tree gods. Sunday…

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…

When Story Meets Truth

I have a short story, Best Shot, which I’m currently shopping for publication. It started as a snippet: I photographer killed while reporting from a combat area. But the incident with the Iraqi videographer this week was very spookily like…

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…

Character infodump

My current WIP has a cast of characters, a bunch of whom are all first seen by my POV character in a room together. My first draft of this was, upon re-reading, a flood of details that made the narrative…