How I Finished the First Draft of My Novel

Way back in November, while insanely sleep-deprived while caring for a one-month-old, I made a fateful—and you might say crazy—decision: I decided to take a crack at writing a novel. This was far from my first attempt at writing a novel. My computer’s hard drive is littered with abandoned first drafts I had every intentionContinue reading “How I Finished the First Draft of My Novel”

The Birthday Resolutions Get Better with Age Like a Fine Wine

What a year, am I right? After the dumpster fire that was 2020, 2021 offered new and unexpected challenges, along with a second helping of pandemic life just to keep things interesting. Personally, this past year was a time of incredible change, for which I’m grateful (ongoing global epidemic notwithstanding). This year, I became aContinue reading “The Birthday Resolutions Get Better with Age Like a Fine Wine”

The Clear Light of Morning, New Year’s Day

It’s 7:30 am on New Year’s Day. Morning dawns cold and clear and silver over the snow that still blankets the roads and rooftops in our neighborhood. I am in the nursery, trying to coax a three-month-old human to go back to sleep. My wife has been up half the night with an anxious dogContinue reading “The Clear Light of Morning, New Year’s Day”

Publishing News: Two Stories for a World on Fire

Writing is a strange craft. You spend months or years with an idea rolling around in the dark recesses of your mind, weeks or months or years coaxing that idea out of the shadows, and months more chipping away at the rough edges before its time to shop a story around to find it aContinue reading “Publishing News: Two Stories for a World on Fire”

Motivated By Rejection

This week, I got a rejection from a prominent science fiction journal. Rejections are common when you’re a writer trying to publish short fiction. The competition is fierce and editors can only publish so many stories. They have to draw the line somewhere, so the vast majority of responses you get when shopping around aContinue reading “Motivated By Rejection”

The Birthday Resolutions Ride Again

Resolutions are funny things. Every year, I make myself a series of promises and every year, I break most of those promises. And yet, I keep making resolutions on my birthday, because while I’m not good at fulfilling them, I still find value in the tradition — in aspiring to do better and be betterContinue reading “The Birthday Resolutions Ride Again”

Permission to Write Something That Sucks

It’s been one month since I’ve looked at my novel draft. Despite setting myself a lofty goal of completing a first draft by the end of the year, I stalled out. As much as I would like (and have tried) to blame my characters or my word count goals or the ergonomics of my keyboard,Continue reading “Permission to Write Something That Sucks”

Photographing a Very Nearly Almost Total Eclipse

Even 200 miles from the path of totality, the solar eclipse was all anyone could talk about this week in Washington. In the mad scramble for special viewing glasses and the endless debates over whether it was worth it to brave the slog of traffic heading south, I found myself in my office’s parking lotContinue reading “Photographing a Very Nearly Almost Total Eclipse”

Writing About the Great War

One hundred years ago today, millions of men in Europe were fighting and dying in trenches in a war that not only unleashed the terror of modern warfare on the world, but set the stage for nearly every conflict that would follow in the 20th century. I’m referring, of course, to the Great War, which todayContinue reading “Writing About the Great War”

My Solo Writing Retreat to the Island of Inspiration

It was a dark winter’s night when I drove onto the ferry from Point Defiance to Tahlequah. I was off to nearby Vashon Island for a day-and-a-half solo writing retreat to start my novel. On the short trip from Tacoma to Vashon, I tried not to think too much about the enormous task I wasContinue reading “My Solo Writing Retreat to the Island of Inspiration”