Thursday, January 18, 2018

To the Main Muse...

Snow sifted down through dark of night,
Startled us at morning light,
We drank our coffee, looked around
at ghostly trees and untracked ground,
Snow kept on falling right ‘til noon,
When it had ceased, sun followed soon,
Clouds lifted, parted, then gave way
And blue skies claimed our winter day;
My dream last night had all come true,
I spent these unbound hours with you.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

...the right one.

Writing fiction is nothing like you think it will be, nothing like they teach you at writers' workshops, nothing like you see it in the movies. First drafts are all written by strangers. Most of your great ideas will die of overwork long before there's a book in sight. Maybe ten percent of what you write will survive the third re-write.

When writing comes easily, it's most likely bad writing. The only thing harder than good writing is not writing. You are only a writer while you are writing, so you keep piling up the words day by day. Even when nothing you write sets you afire, you keep writing, looking for that one right sentence that will strike a spark. You will find it eventually, unless you quit.

Not all good writers get published. Nobody gets published who doesn't write first. When you write, do your mightiest to make it the best you can write. Otherwise you might be ashamed one day to see your name on the cover of a bad book. You might fool a critic. You might even fool an editor. You might fool some of your readers if they like you personally. But you will never quite fool yourself. The acrid taste of a sloppy job will hang in the back of your mind like stale wine or mediocre praise.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

What he is...

Someone today accused Simon of being "a good guard dog." He wants y'all to understand that he is not a guard dog. He is, however, a good welcome dog.

Monday, January 15, 2018

You are what you eat...

Reading Richard Rohr, I see him say that we awaken our true life by eating the Eucharist. This, just after he said we don't manufacture our soul life through rituals and sacraments.

What is he saying then, if not that we feed on thanksgiving? We are nourished by gratitude. We become alive when mercy and grace are our food and drink. The end Maker has appointed for us is that we become all that we have received and taken to heart. The universe itself is sacramental.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

...make or break.

Short stories are where one learns the rules of writing good fiction.
Novels are where one learns to break them.

Saturday, January 13, 2018


If we spend all our energy
trying to be comfortable,
There's none left
for being alive.

Friday, January 12, 2018


Who is this smelly Beast
lolling upon our liberties,
wallowing in praise,
drunk on adulation,
trampling every virtue
that will not bow,
muddying any truth
that will not serve
his insatiable vanity?

Is this the wicked one
foretold, who by witless
cunning and heartless guile
deceives even the knowing,
or were we just careless,
leaving our door ajar
for any passing fool
or ravening monster,
to wander in?