Archive for October, 2009


Sunday, October 25th, 2009

Your local writers group has already used you…”ha-ha, made you join didn’t we?” So why not use it – to the fullest?¬† It’s not just a place to socialize, it’s a way to glom onto the tools and techniques that will improve anything you write.

I don’t care how far along you are in the craft of writing, there are lessons to be learned and relearned. No one’s writing is that sanctified that it can’t benefit from your local group’s collective critical eye. (more…)


Sunday, October 18th, 2009

Simple…the key word here is FEEDBACK.

You can sit in your room for hours, days, hammering away at a novel, article, or short story on your typewriter or computer keyboard (hopefully, you are using a computer!..) and acquire a major case of literary blindness.

By that, I mean you are zeroed in so tightly on the task at hand that you lose the ability to stand back and view just what it is that you have finally hammered out. When fresh eyes hit your pages (that may look dandy to you) something else ALWAYS happens: those new eyes see something other than what you felt you put on the page. Maybe it’s punctuation; possibly a detail or two don’t make sense – like dates or technical references; perhaps you’ve overpopulated your novel or story with extraneous characters that are muddying up your plot; your sentence structure may lack clarity; maybe your overarching STRUCTURE is muddy, sections cobbled together, scenes indistinct – or, even more disastrous, the basic premise of your novel, article, or short story just doesn’t make sense to the majority of the group. Tough stuff to face, eh?… (more…)


Sunday, October 4th, 2009

Last post, I promised we’d discuss my personal reactions to the psychiatric community regarding PTSD. I’ll cite two experiences: one from my childhood; the second from an attempted visit to a regional Veterans’ Hospital.

I’m the first to admit that, in my teens, I began to have emotional problems – a delayed result from a traumatic accident to my feet as a three year old and the experience of subsequent multiple surgeries. My parents sent me to a respected¬† psychiatrist in a neighboring city. The shrink listened an hour to my problems, then asked: “…Have you ever considered it may be your parents who are the real problem?” – and with this advice sent me packing. What’s a confused sixteen year old boy to make of that analysis? (more…)


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