The Birthday Resolutions Take Flight

Earlier this week, on the eve of my thirtieth birthday, I was flipping through a stack of old National Geographic magazines, looking for something to symbolize my goals for the new year. A friend was hosting a vision board party at a bar in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood. Now, I’m not entirely sure I understandContinue reading “The Birthday Resolutions Take Flight”

Wired for Story

I don’t know about you, but I’m always writing stories in my head. A snippet of interesting conversation, an observation on the street, a song on the radio — my brain will wheel off on a creative tangent. I hear dialogue in restaurants. I imagine plot twists on my drive to and from the office.Continue reading “Wired for Story”

The Magic of Deadlines

I have heard rumors in my travels of creative people who are entirely self-motivated. They get up early, awakened by an innate drive to create, go to their computers, ignore Facebook and Google, and complete their work in a timely manner with no exterior motivator. I am not one of those people. I’m not evenContinue reading “The Magic of Deadlines”

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”

A Lonely Kid’s Best Friend

I think most writers start out as lonely kids whose best friends are books. A little over a month ago, my wife and I were packing to visit my family for Thanksgiving. All of my clothes were neatly packed and I was frantically searching our bookshelves for some light airplane reading. Reading an engaging bookContinue reading “A Lonely Kid’s Best Friend”

An Ear for Good Writing

There are some writers who can work in total silence. I have never been one of them. I don’t understand them and I don’t associate with their kind. I’ve always been at my most creative when my auditory senses are engaged. Not just any sound will do. I’m a well-known eavesdropper — it’s where IContinue reading “An Ear for Good Writing”

How It’s Made

“Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made.” – John Godfrey Saxe We are on the eve of a hallowed time in the writer’s calendar. At the stroke of midnight on November 1, thousands of people around the world will start the long and arduous process ofContinue reading “How It’s Made”

Writing Is The Best Therapy

I haven’t written a word since before Labor Day. It’s been more than four weeks since I’ve made the time to create amid the chaos of wedding planning, learning a new job and moving into a new house. For a writer to go a prolonged period without writing is like an athlete not training forContinue reading “Writing Is The Best Therapy”

The Inspiration Trap

For centuries — maybe longer — an insidious lie has spread through the creative community; whispered from one generation to the next. A lie that has kept promising writers, painters, photographers and filmmakers from achieving their potential. It is a simple idea that buries itself deep in the mind of the beginning artist like aContinue reading “The Inspiration Trap”