Life, After Death

Another older piece. Based on real events, written with permission from my patient–who became my friend, and whose heart beat beneath my hands There once was a man–a good man. A decent man. A man who was wheeled into an ER with chest pain and promptly dropped dead.  He was resuscitated for over an hourContinue reading “Life, After Death”

The Big, Big Bang

I tuned in to watch the launch of the SpaceX Starship SN8. The commentators gave a tight rundown of everything happening at ground zero–is that the right term? Ground zero? Everything was exhilarating to them, from condensation rings on the fuel tanks to the stillness around the launch pad. At long last, sirens wailed, signalingContinue reading “The Big, Big Bang”

What kind of writer am I, anyway?

“You must be a FACEBOOK writer?” That’s the message I opened this morning, complete with the capital letters. He caught me off guard. Why the emphasis on Facebook? Was he insinuating I call myself a writer but only write on Facebook? Kind of like that woman who calls herself a model but only models onContinue reading “What kind of writer am I, anyway?”

Being a good writer… means having the courage to suck. Bad.

I wrote something this morning–something gratuitously pretentious and magnificently arrogant. Something so over-the-top I cringed while typing it. And now it’s going in someone else’s novel. I couldn’t be prouder. I belong to a writing group where people often post tidbits of their work, asking for critique. I don’t post much because I tend toContinue reading “Being a good writer… means having the courage to suck. Bad.”

Of Yellow Barns and Info Dumps

I love the yellow barn. That’s not a metaphor for anything; I honestly love the yellow barn. It sits on the crest of a curve, far too close to the busy road. As if someone spilled a load of rebar onto a country lane and decided, “…meh. Play it where it lies.” It’s not anContinue reading “Of Yellow Barns and Info Dumps”

The Subtleties of Subtext

This post is less how-to and more hell if I know. Because truly–hell if I do (cue shoulder shrug). I watched Pride and Prejudice last week, a mere fifteen years after its release. In my defense, I didn’t get to watch many movies the first decade of this century (I did, however, see every episodeContinue reading “The Subtleties of Subtext”

Snowdust

My kid is wearing his brother’s coat and my shoes–the waterproof ones with the Sherpa lining. The coat is too big for his thirteen-year-old frame; surprisingly, the shoes are not. He stands in the middle of the driveway, looking out at the houses, watching. The trees are blanketed with white and blend seamlessly with theContinue reading “Snowdust”

A Dinosaur Walked Into A RadioShack… or “Should you add tech to fiction when you’re technologically stunted?”

Once upon a time… I discovered the secret to happiness; I downgraded to a $.99 phone. That’s cents- as in “less than a dollar.” It made calls, kinda. I could hear people on the other end. Mostly. And my texts were limited to one-word responses. There was no internet. No Facebook. Nary a selfie toContinue reading “A Dinosaur Walked Into A RadioShack… or “Should you add tech to fiction when you’re technologically stunted?””

Imaginings, reimagined

My favorite writing exercise this year (so far) was during a class called “Fairytales Reimagined.” The premise was just as it sounds; reimagine classic tales, and give them new twists. There were some very creative writers in that group; one rewrote Hansel and Gretel and turned them into incestuous cannibals who turn on each other after making tapa of theContinue reading “Imaginings, reimagined”

“So you write, huh? What advice do you have?”

The punctuation goes inside the quotation marks. The people asking for advice do not require rudimentary grammar lessons, nor am I, duty-bound as a “real writer” and all, sworn to deliver those lessons on a gleaming platter of sanctimony and pretentiousness. It’s because that comment is, without a doubt, the one I get back mostContinue reading ““So you write, huh? What advice do you have?””