Aug

02

Back to School

Although the air—heavy, barely stirring—would indicate otherwise, summer vacation is nearly finished. Oh, there is still some unstructured time left before the new school year starts: lazy days by the pool, a family trip to Colorado, middle-the-week sleepovers with friends. Nonetheless, my children yesterday went to the office supply store to buy new pens, mechanical […]

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Feb

15

Roses Are Red

Think of all the words that come to mind when you think of Valentine’s Day. Love, right? Cupid, heart, kiss, like, happiness? How about red, pink, chocolate, XOXO? Also friend, hug, candy, roses-are-red, joy, romantic and perhaps even heartbreak, arrows, and, oddly, fountain? These and several dozen more were the ideas that my third-grade WITS […]

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Jan

24

Мен батыл жазушы екенімді

When I introduce myself to a group of students I’ll be teaching for a school year or a work week, I ask them if they ever feel nervous when they’re given an assignment. If, when they turn their notebooks to a bright-white, blank page, they feel like they don’t know where to start. Or if they […]

4 Comments

Jun

26

Old Books, New Life

A writer’s books are like a mother’s children: she loves them all–mostly equally–even when a new one comes along. That’s why I’m delighted that two of my older books have received some new attention recently. I completed my first manuscript One Last Time Forever (originally called Literally Everything) about the time the market crashed in 2008. It’s the […]

6 Comments

Mar

29

What Ifs

I walked along a greening path yesterday morning, everything bright and budding, signaling a time for renewal, but all I can think about is the image that’s been haunting me for weeks: a woman, on her way to see a man at a remote cabin, falls down in the snow, and stays there. I have […]

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Feb

16

The Tenets of Creative Writing

As I was writing my most recent novel THE WEIGHT OF A PIANO from June 2013 to February 2016, I kept a diary. I recorded new ideas, moments of synchronicity, observations about the work, my emotional status. As of this weekend, the book is finished abandoned again. My goals for this project were to write […]

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Nov

03

Going Back To Death Valley

My novel THE WEIGHT OF A PIANO is back on my desk. It went briefly out into the world, but the magic that I’d heard in it didn’t quite resonate. I think I knew on some level that it was slightly out of tune, which is why I couldn’t become invested in a new novel-length […]

8 Comments

Sep

10

On Lying Fallow

I’ve been feeling a little desperate recently. A little panicked. Because for the first time in more than a decade, I don’t have anything to write. Oh, I have a few ideas: the novel that I didn’t think I was capable of writing before I started writing novels, the short stories that might eventually be […]

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Sep

02

Houston Matters

It was such a pleasure speaking with Executive Producer Michael Hagerty on yesterday’s episode of Houston Matters, which concluded Houston Public Media’s summer reading series. Michael gets serious journalistic props for doing his research via the Wayback Machine, invoking my past “lives” on the show, and inviting me to consider what bodybuilding, firefighting, and writing have in common. […]

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Jun

26

What Happened to Liam

I’m so grateful for the overwhelming response from readers of WHISPER HOLLOW. Based on the reviews and offline feedback, it seems to have had quite an impact. Thank you to those readers who shared their reactions–it’s rewarding to know that something I spent years creating has resonated in the minds of others. One of the […]

6 Comments