Tacking with a new wind …

An announcement: This week I'm leaving my job of the past eleven years. My job has been the latest iteration of one I've held off and on for decades. As a staff writer for James Madison University, I've written about international students, philanthropists, autism, dams, archeology, engineering, international affairs, intelligence, education, pioneers, cyclists, museums, business, …

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A little trumpet fanfare, please …

I've hit it—the 100-books-sold mark for my novel, CAIRNAERIE. I am elated and enormously grateful for all those friends and acquaintances who have read it and shared it and reviewed it on Facebook and Goodreads. For a writer, having your work appreciated—even loved—is the epitome of success. Now begins the real work of finding new readers …

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Learning the craft…

Writing is an art and a craft just like playing the piano, designing a building, knitting a sweater, painting a mural or composing a symphony. It takes knowledge, practice, education and gobs of experience. As Stephen King says so eloquently in his book, On Writing: "I don't believe writers can be made, either by circumstances …

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Favorite beginnings, endings, and the stuff between

I love to read and I am always drawn to beautiful writing. Most every book has something good about it, something that I can remark about. Those that don't, well, I generally don't finish reading them. But that's not often. Usually, like most savvy readers, I choose carefully, and once I get into a book, …

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Where CAIRNAERIE came from …

For Christmas some two decades ago, a good friend gave me a book. It was a popular novel at the time by a bestselling author. I read it over the holidays. I hated it. And I remember thinking, "I can do better." Driving home after visiting relatives that weekend, I saw a small sign—the name …

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A few words or more … about writing

Writing is a craft every bit as much as woodworking or painting or knitting. It requires one to learn the basic techniques and then move beyond to the nuances and subtleties. To begin to master the craft. Yet writing cannot be mastered, at least in the same way that woodworking or sewing might be mastered. …

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