Five Reasons I’m Grateful For Depression

When I’m depressed, nothing works, nothing’s right.  And certainly a list of reasons to be grateful would just make me stick out my tongue and go blaaa.  But, as I started to climb out of the valley of my depression on Friday (and as I was walking the trails in beautiful Watson’s Mill State Park)Continue reading “Five Reasons I’m Grateful For Depression”

Everything You Want Is Just Outside Your Comfort Zone

When you decide to change your life, to improve or expound or dream beyond the limits of your hard, tattered shell — many things will happen at once. ¬†And most of them will seem bad. ¬†Whether it’s guardians at the gate (a la Joseph Campbell) or the simple fact that you’ve moved onto that steep,Continue reading “Everything You Want Is Just Outside Your Comfort Zone”

How to Make Your Characters Come Alive

I love everything about writing.  I love words, I love plots, but above all — I love characters. Now, the picture above may be cheating a little bit, because some (or most) of the characters on Deadwood were based on real people.  But that doesn’t matter.  I defy you to find a more well-rounded, intriguing,Continue reading “How to Make Your Characters Come Alive”

Tips for the Newborn Writer

When did I become a writer?  Truthfully, I don’t know.  I am just the kid who never stopped telling stories.  I was homeschooled, out in the Athens, GA countryside, making up tales (many involving pretending I was a wild horse).  Later, as a teenager, I changed to people-based stories.  Also,  my sister and I wouldContinue reading “Tips for the Newborn Writer”

How Long Should We Wait to Start Living Our Dreams?

I told my friend Nancy, the poet, that when I had four novels finished, I thought I could become a ‘professional novelist’.  She asked, ‘Shouldn’t you be able to do that with one book?’  Therein lies an interesting question — How Long Should We Wait to Start Living Our Dreams? Now, for the dream ofContinue reading “How Long Should We Wait to Start Living Our Dreams?”

The Five Fucking Reasons You’d Better Live Your Dreams

There’s a line I love from Eulogy by Frank Turner.  It’s about going after your big dream.  The song is only 1:35 but it builds to a great point — Well I haven’t always been a perfect person And I haven’t done what Mum and Dad had dreamed But on the day I die I’llContinue reading “The Five Fucking Reasons You’d Better Live Your Dreams”


Now we come to the tricky part — actually writing a good description.  I say ‘good’ because I think some writers do themselves harm by either spending months on it, or giving up and calling a half-done description ‘good enough’.  I picked five Amazon listings sort of at random, ones that I thought were quiteContinue reading “AMAZON DESCRIPTIONS FOR YOUR NOVEL (PART THREE OF THREE)”


Descriptions are IMPOSSIBLE! Now that isn’t a very positive outlook to have, but any author who’s tried to cram a 150,000 word novel that took five years and a thousand day dreams to produce down into a 250 word query letter or an Amazon description has probably had that thought at least once.  Now, beforeContinue reading “AMAZON DESCRIPTIONS FOR YOUR NOVEL (PART TWO OF THREE)”

Amazon Descriptions for Your Novel (Part one of Three)

What is this a picture of? Now, you might say trees, which is correct.  You might say a meadow, which is not quite correct.  You might even say water (though I can’t image why) which is also, oddly, correct.  Lastly, you could say “A carpet of red and green plants on top of the water at MerchantsContinue reading “Amazon Descriptions for Your Novel (Part one of Three)”

Wake Up to Your Potential

A couple of weeks ago I got a chance to see the Netherlands Dance Theater group (above) perform live in Chapel Hill, NC.  I believe it will be one of the seminal moments of my life.   I was three rows from the stage, which meant I was maybe 30 feet from 20 people who were someContinue reading “Wake Up to Your Potential”