3 Reasons Why Ron Swanson Is a Transcendentalist

3 Reasons Why Ron Swanson Is a Transcendentalist


Every year about this time in my American Literature classes we get on the topic of transcendentalism, namely the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.  This leads us to reading comparative essays by Wendell Berry.  This also invariably causes students who are fans of the NBC hit show Parks and Recreation to draw the conclusion … Continue reading

New Podcast Up: Our 50th Episode!

New Podcast Up: Our 50th Episode!


On our fiftieth podcast (and we can’t believe we have made it this far) we talk about fan fiction. What are the legalities of writing stories about our favorite pop culture heroes? Can you really get in trouble for it? We also discuss the upcoming series finales and series that we can’t wait to see … Continue reading

Originality vs Execution: Which Is More Important?

Originality vs Execution: Which Is More Important?


Recently there was a lawsuit filed by Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne against Sam Smith and his producers for the song “Stay With Me”.  They claimed that if sped up, the song sounds exactly like their 80’s hit “Won’t Back Down”.  The video below illustrates this very well: I have mentioned before on this blog … Continue reading

New Podcast Up: Time Enough for Batman

New Podcast Up: Time Enough for Batman


On this episode we discuss one of the most important techniques in fiction writing: passage of time. We discuss the many ways that writers can relate the passage of time in their novels so that they are not dragging down the narrative with unnecessary prose. We also discuss an incident that happened in my life … Continue reading

Writing Requires Discipline

Writing Requires Discipline


I have taught writing for years and years and I’ve been a writer for twice that long.  I’m writing this blog post today for the writers out there who are thinking of “hanging it up”. If you have tried your hand at this writing gig and you don’t like it, then just do something else. … Continue reading

Friday Fiction: Bahamut

Friday Fiction: Bahamut


The heat from the white dunes caused a mirage effect on the construction site as Harold wiped his brow again, taking a long swig from a jug of water and letting out a quickly drying breath. The wind, like the unforgiving blast of a hair dryer, did its best to absorb any leftover moisture on … Continue reading

5 Ways to Improve Your Writing Style

5 Ways to Improve Your Writing Style


Why is it that two different writers could write in the same genre, write about the same ideas, plot devices and themes yet one writer creates beautiful prose while the other makes the reader never want to read again? Every time I write a chunk of prose that really sings through the initial first draft, … Continue reading

Shade: A Short Story

Shade: A Short Story


Colonel Hall lay beneath a jagged shelf of black stone, a sloppy trail of dust behind her on the coal-dark rock which led out into the white-hot heat of the alien day. Her ship crashed in the distance, her crew all forever silent, she pressed the beacon on her yellow environmental suit and listened to … Continue reading

Why Should Readers Care About Your Protagonist?

Why Should Readers Care About Your Protagonist?


My current WIP has sent me through several psychological states: first elation, then dread, then depression, then elation again, and then probably bi-polar disorder. I spent nearly 6 months designing five separate solar systems complete with flora and fauna, alien races, cultures, history, and tons of other things that probably would bore you to death. … Continue reading