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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