Category: Writing & Reading

Literature is important to me, since my mother read Uncle Remus to us. That surely is a dated reference as well as a hoary old stereotype, but one shouldn’t deny the truth because it is inconvenient.

When I realized retirement was beckoning, I started taking fiction writing courses, since I saw that as my new job–convert my ideas into stories. Boomer was one result. This blog, Burning Thoughts, is another, as is Mental Construction, a theory of how neural operations affect our mode of thinking.

This category has numerous posts about writing techniques.

Thomas Wolfe’s House

After Biltmore on Saturday, Kris and I went to downtown on Sunday. Thomas Wolfe’s childhood house in Asheville. He populated Look Homeward Angel with characters drawn from the boarding house his mother ran and the town he lived in. After it was published, he didn’t return for years, fearing the reaction the town had to…

Innocence

Irene, dark-haired and intelligent Mind pure, uncluttered by uncertainty Summer begun for her Passing Cylburn’s greenhouses God wouldn’t allow evil in her world Only the pure would dare approach her. Carl’s long strides along the path Relieved his stress No cutting father, no meek mother Past the rows of warm azaleas A world of beauty…

Deep in His Own Well

George Clark listed this stat of the day in his FB feed: a visitor views a picture for a median of 17 seconds in the NYC Met Museum of Art is 17 secs. I wouldn’t dispute that, but let me add this flash piece representing a long tail end. Originally published in the Mensa Bulletin…

Phil Never Loses

The other day, talking to Mark Gorkin who specializes in burn-out recovery and teamwork, I realized I too have a few stories that deal with work. Here’s one with a boss’s trait worth knowing about.   My boss, Phil, use to brag, “I’ve never lost an argument at work.  Whether it’s about which teams get…

Conspiracy Theorists and Excuse Mavens

Conspiracy theorists and excuse mavens come from the same folly, using low probability events to make up stories and draw their conclusions. Shakespeare caught it perfectly. He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument. All Hillary’s actions are subjected to the low probability interpretations to cast umbrage upon…

Dialog in Fiction

Dialog in Fiction I stumbled across a lode for creating realistic dialog in a surprising book. Before I get to that, let me just highlight some key elements that dialog in fiction must perform. Convey plot information Display the speaker’s attitude, background, and social strata Sound like people speak Create tension between the speaker’s goal…

Louisa May Alcott

Reading has always brought me pleasure, but I came to enjoy writing only after many years. It fascinates me how writers came to their calling. On Amazon Prime the other night, I watched the American Masters biographical documentary of Louisa May Alcott. She was much different and more complex than my imaginings. Her history was…

Boomer … Sees the Light

My short story collection, Boomer,  is now available at Amazon. Give it a look when you have a chance. All baby boomers are not the same. There are many strains of differences. The common suburban strain of long hair, dope smoking, and economic opportunity was a myth in some urban neighborhoods where work-a-day conservatism fought…