Process

Fiction Two Ways

Discussions about craft are important in any medium, but in writing they can be particularly insightful because the they are delivered through the medium in which they seek to explore. My favorites include Stephen King's On Writing and John Gardner's The Art of Fiction, and I recently added James Wood's How Fiction Works to the… Continue reading Fiction Two Ways

Process, Uncategorized

Escaping Influence

A few weeks ago I wrote about my most recent writing's similarities to Cronenberg's body-horror flicks from early in his career, and the thought, once I'd put it into words, wormed its way all the way down the street to the library, where it forced me to borrow The Brood, Videodrome, and Naked Lunch. I'd… Continue reading Escaping Influence

Process, Uncategorized

Rhythm, Sound and Sense

Words are fun. In an interview with Kendrick Lamar, the rapper talked about the pleasure of molding words to his own purposes, twisting them so that they rhymed or almost rhymed. Internal rhyme, end rhyme and rhythm are the backbone of rap and have been the site of the genre's most noticeable innovations beyond, of… Continue reading Rhythm, Sound and Sense

Process, Uncategorized

Constant Revision

John Steinbeck once wrote that you should not get caught up in the language or style of a piece but should instead just plow through and worry about fixing everything up later. As a practical strategy for just getting ideas on the page, this is excellent advice. In order for a story to work you… Continue reading Constant Revision

Product

Processed Product’s 2015 Mid-Year Best Of List

Today's cultural acceleration leaves me completely unmoored. Step away from the current for less than a second and the frenetic wash of conversation has already gone down to the sea and is evaporating, only to reform again upstream so that it can rush back to the the sea once more, quickening, and ever faster. Time… Continue reading Processed Product’s 2015 Mid-Year Best Of List

Process

Celebrating the Halfway Point, but then…

The beginning of summer makes me nostalgic and reflective. Maybe it's because my birthday falls near the beginning of the season, or maybe it's because I am a teacher, meaning I've always--aside from a few quick years spent in the real world while I finished graduate school--associated summer with endings. The end of the school… Continue reading Celebrating the Halfway Point, but then…

Product

Chrysalis, Listening

Ever since I picked up To Pimp a Butterfly three days ago, I can't stop thinking about anything else. I've listened to it at least ten times and it holds up to all of the praise and talk it's generated so far. It's been hailed as  for-real black music, the blackness of which is beautifully, achingly… Continue reading Chrysalis, Listening

Process

Who’d’ve Thought?

The other day I finally sat down with the intention of getting organized. It has been more than a month since I last worked with my novel, yet during that time I have been endlessly thinking about where I had last left off. I was in the midst of a chase scene in Chapter 3, and… Continue reading Who’d’ve Thought?

Process

When You Come Back

There is nothing like the practical concerns of daily life to interfere with your writing process. A while back I wrote about Poets and Writers magazine and how much I love their hopeful, inspiring stories about overcoming obstacles and finding success in writing, whatever form that success might take. The legendary writers who wrestle time away from… Continue reading When You Come Back