WittnerMetronome-2 In comedy, timing is everything. Change the timing, and a comedy can quickly turn into tragedy. In music, timing is the foundation of everything.  Even in freeform stuff like Eric Whitacre’s work, there is a time to let go of a chord.  The right time. You’ve seen movie scenes that have made your eyes roll […] Continue reading →


GloriaChazMiddle In the last – oh – maybe decade or so, there’ve been a lot of people fah-reeeking out about what the internet is doing to literacy.  Me?  I don’t really get why they’ve so got their shorts in a knot over this (and what does that actually mean, “shorts in a knot?”).  Seems to me […] Continue reading →


BaurHorseBigger There are only so many. Basically, every story goes something like this: man, woman, child, animal-protagonist-treated-anthropomorphically  deals with antagonists, nature, supernatural or alien elements in order to win love, get sex, save the world, right a wrong, win power, or just get what they want – including and up to acceptance in the world. At […] Continue reading →

Me? I Prefer People to Finger Puppets

ChazDragonMiddle One of the elements that separates good writing from the boiler-plate stuff is the quality of the characters.  I remember picking up one of the first local novels ever published in my neck of the woods—one that was being devoured by all my students (think Twilight, but on an even more grass-roots basis and without […] Continue reading →

Bad Boys and Brooding Heroes

Bad Boys What is it that draws women to these guys?  Lately, I heard a piece on the radio about this very thing – that a recent study found women to be drawn to men dark and brooding—or  forceful and swaggering.  Happy men?  Out in the cold. The odd corollary to this is that men were most […] Continue reading →

The Perfect Thing

HurtChajikoImage Whenever we watch a movie or talk about a book, G gets this wistful look and complains that people in stories always know exactly what to say.  I’ve stopped pointing out that this may be due to the fact that good published dialogue is put together word by word by professional dramatists who write it […] Continue reading →

Weaponized Language and Sex

SwearingNONO May I just propose that writing is an art?  An A-R-T. We writers use words instead of paint or stone or sound.  And with those words, if we are good at what we do, we affect a manipulation of brain chemistry in our readers.  We can invoke deep feeling.  Deep thought.  Anger, love, memory, discomfort. […] Continue reading →