Category writing ideas

A Voice on Editing and Ego

Editing a manuscript is one thing you cannot shortcut.  The process is direct, personal and, if you’re not ready for it, editing will rip the flesh from your bones, leaving you and your story a quivering mass of gelatin. Like most things in life, I’ve learned this the hard way.  You’ve finished a draft of your […]

A Voice on Finishing What You’ve Started

Have you ever had that moment? That moment when you finish your novel and a dark creeping dread taps you on the shoulder? And all the joy evaporates… I have.  Almost every single time.  The drafting and writing is done.  This should be a happy time – this should be a happy dance time. But, no. […]

Running on Empty

One of the most miserable sensations known to man comes at the precise moment your car starts to sputter, spit and lurch like a taser charged ferret.  Your eyes immediately flick to the gas gauge, because deep in your soul-of-souls, you experience a charge of enlightenment worthy of a Shaolin monk.  You, Young Grasshopper,  have run out of […]

Prison and Plotting

Prison changes a man. I actually heard a hardened prison gang member say that once. The man was feared in gang circles and ran one of the biggest gang, weapons and drug rackets in Folsom Prison in the 1980’s. New inmates, “fish” as they were called, had to check in with his underlings and pay […]

The After Life

I have this new story idea bouncing around in my head.  It refuses to leave me alone.  The damned thing left a ransom note in a dusty corner of my brain, threatening to hold my attention hostage until I do something. So, here goes…the background. During the years I worked inside maximum security prisons, I […]