Wielding the Red Pen

“You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you — And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.” – Arthur Plotnik If you want to learn the mechanics of great writing, edit someone else’s writing. That’s what I’ve been doing for the last couple of months.Continue reading “Wielding the Red Pen”

The Case of the Locked Door

It was a cold, stormy day in the city of sin and pine trees. Rain fell from the sky like the tears of fate. A train whistle cut the thin air. It was the kinda day that’s so perfect, you just know something’s bound to go disastrously wrong. It didn’t take long for Lady LuckContinue reading “The Case of the Locked Door”


As long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with machines. Cogs and gears and wheels and pistons and springs and pulleys. When I was young, I was obsessed with steam engines and since then, my tastes have always taken a bent toward the old fashioned. I was always the kid taking apart pensContinue reading “Mechansims”

Solstice Filming

Filmmaking is often a fast-paced process. You have to be ready to hit record at a moment’s notice and then run off to set up your next shot. Actors have tight schedules (even more so when you’re not able to pay them). Lighting conditions are in flux. It is constant movement; constant anticipation; constant, simmeringContinue reading “Solstice Filming”

Sometimes, All You Need is Tea

There are days when I think I was born on the wrong side of the Atlantic. In a land of coffee addicts, I choose tea every time. To be sure, the taste is better; more nuanced and varied than coffee, but there is more to it than that. There is something in the ritual ofContinue reading “Sometimes, All You Need is Tea”

A Change of Place

Writer’s block is the worst. Worse than getting a cold in the summer. It sneaks up without warning and can leave you wordless for days, weeks. Thousands of books and blogs have been written promising the cure. Sometimes they help, but sometimes there is no easy cure. Like a car on an icy road, you’reContinue reading “A Change of Place”

Let Your Characters Speak for Themselves

Some writers are afraid of dialogue. I used to be one of them. I would write page after page of brilliant narrative — crisp details and settings so real you could smell the ponderosa pine sap on the thin mountain air — without a single line of dialogue. I was terrified to let my charactersContinue reading “Let Your Characters Speak for Themselves”

Envelopes and Anticipation

There was an undeniable sense of destiny as I slipped the envelope into the mailbox. Inside was a submission for a literary journal’s fiction contest. I’ve entered several contests and submitted to many journals over the past year, but for some reason, this one felt bigger. Why? Why was I so apprehensive? The reason, IContinue reading “Envelopes and Anticipation”

The End of an Era

All things must end. Wind and water erode mountains, rust eats away steel, entropy unravels the universe and my university deletes my email account. I guess it was bound to happen eventually, but I’m not ready to give it up. I still use it for correspondence (and coupons), to use the school’s wireless internet andContinue reading “The End of an Era”