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

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art, language, literature, philosophy

Literature is for the Other

I've decided to end my silence by responding to a recent Tor article by Liz Bourke entitled Sleeps With Monsters: On the Question of Quality. I have one main beef with it, and it comes as a fundamental misunderstanding of the importance of literature. But before I get to that, I want to address a… Continue reading Literature is for the Other

art, ethics, literature, music

Difficult Subject Matter in 90’s Song Lyrics

I don't want to make one of those click bait "the 90's had the best music EVER!!" posts. One can find really terrible music and really excellent music in any decade. It would be a futile task to claim one decade had the best music. I went down a strange rabbit hole the other day,… Continue reading Difficult Subject Matter in 90’s Song Lyrics

art, language, literature

Two Letters of Wallace Stevens

I've been travelling for the holidays, so I don't have a good place to pop out a nice 1000-word blog post this week. I've been reading┬áThe Whole Harmonium, a biography of Wallace Stevens. He is one of the greatest American poets, yet most people outside of poetry haven't heard of him. Honestly, his life isn't… Continue reading Two Letters of Wallace Stevens

art, language, literature

Using Poetry to Improve Prose

This is going to be a short one. I recently broke my ankle, so I've been kind of busy with other things. I often talk about what makes good prose style. Most of these posts follow and give convention writing advice. I've done a few posts on poetry but not much. One of the most… Continue reading Using Poetry to Improve Prose

art, film, writing

Who is Ellen in Synecdoche, New York?

I'll warn you up front that this is going to make extensive reference to the movie Synecdoche, New York. It's not so much a spoiler warning, because this isn't the type of movie that can be spoiled. It's more to warn you that you will have no idea what I'm talking about if you haven't… Continue reading Who is Ellen in Synecdoche, New York?

art, language, music

Thoughts on Joanna Newsom’s Divers

I've made it no secret that I think Joanna Newsom is one of the most important living musicians. After five years, she has finally released her newest album Divers. I must begin this post with a ton of caveats. Writing about Newsom is difficult, because her albums are so complex. The melody, rhythm, and harmony… Continue reading Thoughts on Joanna Newsom’s Divers