Unexpected Encounters

One of the things I have missed in the pandemic is getting new inputs and having new experiences. These lead to serendipities in my writing (problems solved and new directions taken) and keep me engaged and energized. A few months ago, just emerging from our isolation, my daughter and I went to a harbor-side restaurant…

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The evolution of a story

Once upon a time, the word gramarye (“grammar”) meant magical lore. Over time it took on the meaning of “the set of rules that govern how a language is written and spoken,” but I love that ancient link between language and magic. From the time I was old enough to read I’ve felt the deep…

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Backstory about THE WANDERER

When I started writing The Wanderer, I wanted to share my love for Old English literature and language but I’ve also been a writer and editor long enough to know that a strict adherence to the truth makes for poor storytelling. Fiction that is too self-conscious is metafiction, a story about story, or a story…

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On why I call it a bookhoard

One of the things I love about Old English* is how it gives you a little bit of insight into how early medieval people thought. Like, there are a lot of names for swords: Beaduscearp (“keen in battle”) and Beadulēoma (“light of battle”), among others. They named their swords the way some people name their…

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Welcome to Palm Springs

This morning, as I was sweeping the lizards out of the apartment, it occurred to me that this was not covered in the “Welcome to your new community!” brochure I was handed along with the counter-signed copy of my lease. I mean, there are pluses and minuses to various approaches. Do you use the big,…

On quiet adventures

I’ve come into Joshua Tree National Park from the Mojave side, and don’t actually see any Joshua trees at first. As I drive, I begin to wonder if the park has been perhaps ironically named. Like it’s actually the everything-but-Joshua-trees park. Little road signs label the various sights. They have names like Fried Liver Wash.…