literature, writing

Year of Mysteries, Part 6: A Crime in the Neighborhood

This month I read A Crime in the Neighborhood by Suzanne Berne for the Year of Mysteries. I'm not going to wait to the end for spoilers, so be warned! This book reminded me a lot of Mystic River, the second book we did for the series, in that it presented a crime and then… Continue reading Year of Mysteries, Part 6: A Crime in the Neighborhood

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art, film, literature, writing

Why It Works: You’ve Got Mail

A series in which I oversimplify one concept from a work of literature to make you a better writer. When I came up with the idea to do a romance for this series, I was tempted to pick a modern romance novel, but thousands come out each year. Even looking at some "best of" lists,… Continue reading Why It Works: You’ve Got Mail

literature, writing

Year of Mysteries, Part 5: Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow

I've put off writing about this book, because I was left pretty conflicted on how to feel about it. As a mystery, it was deeply unsatisfying. But as a novel, it scratched some itches I didn't know I had. The book drew me in quickly. It starts with the death of a boy. It looks… Continue reading Year of Mysteries, Part 5: Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow

art, film, literature, writing

Why It Works: The Lord of the Rings

A series in which I oversimplify one concept from a work of literature to make you a better writer. Corruption. The ring corrupts everyone. Quite early on, we learn that Frodo, our hero, is not immune to the corrupting effects. This becomes one of the greatest sources of tension. Will Frodo be able to destroy the… Continue reading Why It Works: The Lord of the Rings

literature, writing

Year of Mystery Novels, Part 4: The Big Sleep

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler is probably my least favorite mystery novel of the year so far. Let's start with the good. Chandler's style of writing is amazing. It's full of sentences that contribute to the noir atmosphere. One of my favorite examples is: "Dead men are heavier than broken hearts." It obviously makes… Continue reading Year of Mystery Novels, Part 4: The Big Sleep

art, literature

Specter of the Spheres: Prologue

It's probably not fair to spend years on this blog teaching writing and prose techniques and critiquing other novels without ever showing my own. Here's the prologue from my newest book for your enjoyment. Specter of the Spheres Prologue Priestess Elienne squinted toward the southern horizon. The blood moon hung low, and time was short… Continue reading Specter of the Spheres: Prologue