Of Memoir, Climax, and “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”…

Writing teacher and mentor, Clive Matson, always said that if a writer found her or himself wanting and/or needing to explain her or his story that the reader might gain the author’s intended message, the author needed to revise their story further.

Completing a manuscript requires more than simply writing the story, editing and revising it for clarity regarding grammar and typos, or even for development of plot.

Within each story or novel lives the narrative of that story, and how it came into being.

The author’s understanding and exploration of this process informs

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Of Books, Tension, and The Mind on the Page…

Presently I am reading Anuradha Roy’s novel, An Atlas of Impossible Longing .

As with any good novel, interactions between the main characters are strained.

Tension abounds, but not in a melodramatic way.

The story moves with a nice speed for an opening.

I look forward each evening–a hallmark that I have found a jewel of a novel–to settling into bed,

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Of Revelation, Illusions and the Parallel Processes of Writing and Discovery…

Revelation plays an important role in constructing and/or assembling the middle section of a novel.

Revelation also encompasses the uncovering of truth of what has always stood present, but remained hidden by strong held illusions and beliefs.

Stories and novels stand upon revelations, ones that sustain the cause-and-effect events that comprise, most particularly, the plot of a novel and that lead towards crisis and onto climax.

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Of Intimacy, Revelation and Redemption…

In my recent interview with Tabitha Vinson of Praise and Worship ICU (PWICU), we discussed human intimacy, an aspect that, for Tabitha, played heavily in my recent novel, The House.

That night, it struck me that as with The House, and all good works of fiction, intimacy plays an important role in not simply the emotional narrative of a story.

Intimacy heavily contributes to the establishment of the opening of a work of fiction.

Through presenting the protagonist in a series of intimate relationships, readers get to know the personality of the central character, flaws and all.

From this we gain entrance into their yearnings.

And yearnings always relate to desires and wants, ultimately inner conflicts that get ignited once the protagonist enters the quest to achieve her or his goal.

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…the writing life… | “Bollywood, The Hijinks of Thrillers, and Definition…”

I am always amazed how much screen time Bollywood movies donate to establishing and clarifying family relations of the film’s protagonist compared to the nil to absent mention of family connections in American movies.

The protagonist of an American made movie can be undergoing the direst and most despairing of circumstances and the screenplay makes no mention of mother, father, sister, or brother. Often very little time or explanation is given to the ex-spouse or ex-significant other, unless she or he is central to the plot.

Where Bollywood movies perhaps overdramatize the gifts and goodness of family, American theater emphasizes the need to break away and discover who one truly is.

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Of Contract Negotiations, Cyril Connolly, and Vivekananda…

What caught my attention in a recent article on author Janet Evanovich, more specifically her asking price for the rights to publish her next 4 novels–$50 million from St. Martin’s Press–were the complaints and criticism concerning the quality of Evanovich’s recent novels launched by many who described themselves as loyal fans.

In toto, most stated that recent installments of her Stephanie Plum Series , the latest installment being, Sizzling Sixteen, had grown flat with the protagonist, Stephanie Plum, growing stagnant and not evolving.

Some even stated that it was clear to them she had been writing with her focus on fulfilling her contract obligation rather than providing fans with an engaging and entertaining story.

This all brings me to the point of where does one, more specifically the writer/author, draw the line between meeting the demands of their contract and providing readers with what they have come to expect and you, as well as they know you can achieve?

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Change, Challenge and Seasons of Growth…

I’ve been gone most of the summer, first to Brussels, then to Maui where vacation each year. 



As the opening of the new school year approaches I am amazed at how it seems that just yesterday I was bidding a enjoyable and safe travels to fellow parents and their daughters and sons who attend the same school as my children.

Now nearly 2 and half months later I have received the first in a line of requests from the service that provides lunches at the school our youngest child attends the choices of entrées our child desires.

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