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Category Archives: Urge to Write

Ideas, Ideas – What is the Source of Inspiration?

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” – Albert Einstein I’m sometimes asked how I come up with new ideas, especially since most of my novels involve alternate worlds and unusual cultures. The short answer: I don’t have a clue. Ideas come to me rather than me seeking them out. They arrive at odd times, usually when I’m least rational. They appear out of thin air during

First drafts – Ugh!

writers-blockAs I plod away at the mystical process of gathering impressions, images and ideas , tossing them into a cauldron and stirring them until they transform into a new novel, I'm reminded what an act of faith first drafts can be. I console myself with a quote I read  recently:

"I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand

Realists of a Larger Reality

65th Annual National Book AwardsCheck out this six minute video of Ursula LeGuin’s acceptance speech for a lifetime achievement award at the National Book Awards ceremony, where she gave an impassioned defense of science fiction — and of writers in general.

A sampling: “I rejoice in accepting it and sharing it with all those who were excluded from literature for so long, my fellow writers of fantasy and science fiction, writers of the imagination,who for the last fifty years watched the beautiful awards go to the so-called realists. I think hard times are coming when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now and can see through our fear-stricken societies and even imagine some real grounds for hope…the realists of a larger reality.”

She also had some choice words about the current state of the publishing industry. Worth a listen.

Why I describe my novels as speculative literary fiction

Someone recently asked me why I use the term "speculative literary fiction" to describe the genre of my novels. While both terms are used frequently on their own, they are not often paired together. Speculative fiction is a term coined by Margaret Atwood in an effort to avoid the hard-core sci-fi label (she said she needed a category that meant sci-fi without Martians). It has been used to describe a number of

Why do I write?

I recently did an interview where a book blogger asked the following question: “What’s the reason for your life? Have you figured out your reason for being here yet?” I’ve done a number of interviews before, both in my prior life as a technologist and in my current role as an author. Some questions are professional. What do you think of a certain technology trend? What's your

The man in the arena

Okay. I’ve been meaning to post this but have been cowed for fear it would be taken poorly by critics. I think it’s time. We, as authors, work hard in isolation. Very few will have significant success. For some, their fondest dream is that a handful of people will read their work and be moved by it, be changed in some way. Whatever our aspirations, no one but close friends and family

First Draft Frustrations

Hooray. I’ve finished slogging through the first ten thousand words of my newest novel (the sequel to the soon to be released The Children of Darkness). For the past two years, I’ve been working on Along the Watchtower and The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky , so it’s been a while since I’ve had to deal with the dreaded blank page. I’d almost forgotten how frustrating it can
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