Liability Shields and Idiots

I wrote a blog post many years ago called ‘Liability Shields Can’t Stop Bullets’. It was a provocative piece about shootings, and it almost made its way into my first novel. I decided not to include it in the book because it weighted the closing in a strange way, opening up a new theme as the story ended. In that context, I felt the piece might be misunderstood as an attempt to justify shootings or appease shooters. Continue Reading

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The Sacrificial Lands

Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. These are the latest sacrificial lands in the great public lands battle in America. I’ve been thinking of writing about this for some time, but it comes forward now because I recently flew over Grand Staircase in a plane. It’s a beautiful place, or so it looks from (near) space. And it seems there’s some idiots who can’t really see that. Continue Reading

The Writer’s Denouement

I originally intended to call this post The Writer’s Decision, but the term denouement seems to better capture my feelings. I made my decisions about following a writer’s path in life long ago, and now it feels like I lost on that. Denouement simply means epilogue, the pulling together of strands of a story after the last act, but to me the word has an added connotation of melancholy. Finality. Continue Reading

The Writer’s Journey

You can tell more truth in fiction than you can in nonfiction. * disclaimer

In the introductory post to this series, I wrote about two women I met here in Tucson: the beautiful blind optometrist and the doll-faced maniacal masseuse—and of course these are stereotypes, a bit nuanced, but still it’s fiction typecasting. I got trapped between these two stereotypes in my own mind as if they were battling for my future and my soul—to put it dramatically. Continue Reading

The Writer’s Mindset

What if every emotion is legitimate, and there’s no such thing as coincidence?

In essence I believe this is the writer’s mindset. As a writer struggles to find the words to tell a story, this is really what they are struggling with. In a fictional world, every emotion expressed has some kind of legitimacy, or the writer wouldn’t include it. And if there’s a coincidence that doesn’t pay off, a reader will feel robbed. Easy enough in fiction, but what about in real life? Continue Reading

Wonder Woman and Feminism Versus Female-ism

I watched the new Wonder Woman movie some time ago, and I’ve read lots of blog reviews by millennial women. It strikes me how so many of the reviews struggle with ideas of female empowerment and feminism. There seems to be an amazing lack of clarity there, as if there’s no recognizable difference between feminism and something one might call ‘ female-ism’. Is anyone learning about the arts anymore? Continue Reading

Judgement trumps Description?

I’m sure you’ve heard someone say “you shouldn’t judge people” or “don’t be so judgmental.” So you shut down rational thought and feel a little bad, mainly because you don’t want someone judging you. I hear this said often, but like so many sayings or ideas, it has wandered from its original meaning. There’s been times when I offer a description and get accused of passing judgement, but actually the accuser passed judgement on my description. Continue Reading