Late-blooming geniuses

Have you ever known a bonafide genius? Have you ever aspired to be one? I've been reading a book by Malcolm Gladwell—one of the most innovative writers I've ever come across. The book, What the Dog Saw, is a compilation of essays Gladwell wrote for the New Yorker. In one essay, he asks the question of whether prodigy is …

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How to outwit writer’s block …

Talk to any writer or read any number of writing blogs and you will likely find one universal fear: the dreaded phenomenon of writer's block — that moment when your brain goes blank and a great chasm opens up between your head and your fingers. Thankfully, I can say I never have writer's block. Never. …

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Sisyphus at the summit …

While lunching last week with a fellow writer, I was explaining how starting any project fills me with unspeakable fear. When asked to take on a writing assignment, I generally say "yes." Based on my 30-plus years of experience, I should be able to handle just about any writing assignment. Operative word: should. But as …

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How I learned not to procrastinate …

Once as a teenager, I was on a trip with my dad in Richmond, Virginia. I don't remember the circumstance, but I do remember the weather. It was raining so hard that people were escaping the deluge in the lobby of the John Marshall Hotel. Shaking his umbrella, a smiling gentleman said to me, "It's …

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How the many layers …

For every author, there comes that swallow-hard and grit-your-teeth moment when you open a review of your work. Recently, I was in touch with a reader/reviewer from Ireland who reviewed CAIRNAERIE. Looking over his list of reviewed books, I noticed something that I really liked. His reading choices, like mine, are highly eclectic — and …

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Letting down my cool …

A few years ago, I was eating dinner in Charlottesville, Virginia. We were celebrating a birthday at a very hoity-toity restaurant, the kind where you have to pretend you know French and where you'd better have extra cash stashed in your pocket. You know the kind. As I was ordering, out of the corner of …

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