Oh No, My Balls Hit the Floor! (5 Ways to Get Your Writing Project Re-Started)

How to Get Your Writing Project Restarted

Juggling the Balls of Desire This is the writer’s life: we carefully construct plans and schedules; we arrange and sacrifice. Everything from, “If I give up TV, I can write for two hours more each night,” to life-altering decisions like deciding to major in creative writing in college or putting off having children. This probably […] Read more »

Short Stories by Kelly Link, a review

Review of Kelly Link, by Melanie Lamaga, The Metaphysical Circus

Nobody writes cooler stories than Kelly Link. Link’s stories draw from fairy tales, myth, pop culture, experimental, horror, gothic, and detective fiction, the tabloids, dreams, nightmares, and half a dozen other things. But this is not merely pulp fiction—wham, bam, thrill and chill. Link uses the tools of pulp fiction to deal with literary concerns: […] Read more »

Bitchy Boss, Rebellious Employee (or both)?

Bipolar (before) by Jose Angel Sanchez & Melanie Lamaga

Learning to Love (and Leave) Deadlines Many creatives and entrepreneurs, especially in the early part of their careers, are working for themselves, in every sense. They are working without the benefit of anyone else’s expectations; they are working without the benefit of pay; they are working for their future or for love for the craft. […] Read more »

Freaks’ Amour, by Tom De Haven

Cover of Freaks' Amour, a novel by Tom De Haven

Mutants on the Outside, Looking In Hardcore. That’s the word that comes to mind. But not just because Freaks’ Amour refers to a XXX rated show where Normals go to watch mutant men rape their wives and girlfriends (and for a finale the Normals pelt them with rotten fruit). The sex scenes are not particularly […] Read more »

Step Right Up and Write Some Crap!

Image credit: xochicalco / 123RF Stock Photo

How to Get the First Draft Done. Hemingway famously said “The first draft of anything is shit.” So what do think when you hear about people writing novels in a couple of months or even weeks? Hmm. Well, to be fair, maybe they’ve been thinking about it a really long time… or maybe they are […] Read more »

A Review of Zoo City, by Lauren Beukes

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A Noir Detective Pagan Cyberpunk Novel Zoo City is a ghetto in Johannesburg, populated by outcasts. Each person there is marked by the wild animal that appears just after they kill someone (intentionally or not). Animal and human become extensions of one another, and any “Zoo” unfortunate enough to lose her animal gets a visit […] Read more »

Review of What I Didn’t See and Other Stories, by Karen Joy Fowler

What-I-Didnt-See-and-Other-Stories-by-Karen-Joy-Fowler

Exploring the Historical Fantastic Karen Joy Fowler is one of the writers who, to me, exemplify the literary fantastic. Her stories crack the shell of history, looking for strange and beautiful pearls. The fantastical elements always seem entirely probable, if mysterious, and serve to deepen our understanding of the human condition. Her writing style is […] Read more »

Briar Rose by Robert Coover, a Review

Cover of Briar Rose by Robert Coover

A Postmodern Fairy Tale with a Wicked Sense of Humor  “He is surprised to discover how easy it is. The branches part like thighs, the silky petals caress his cheeks. His drawn sword is stained, not with blood, but with dew and pollen. Yet another inflated legend. He has undertaken this great adventure, not for […] Read more »

Shakespeare, the Sexy Fantatist

ShakespearetheFantatist

Most people will never read Shakespeare after wading through Romeo and Juliet and maybe Hamlet in high school, and that’s understandable. Elizabethan English is a bit of brain twister. It’s a shame, though, because unlike many greats of the past that we know we should read because it’s good for us, Shakespeare should be read […] Read more »

John Irving

Hotel New Hampshire

Colorful, Complicated Characters Inhabit Worlds By Turns Domestic, Surreal, and Absurd. In other words, realism. In my opinion, often it is only through the particulars of an artist’s vision that we can begin to delve into the irrational motivations, tendencies, and quirks that many of us (and our culture) have but which (at least until […] Read more »