Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Give yourself permission to suck!

I don't generally do "advice for writers" on this blog because most good writing advice is common sense stuff that's been said a thousand times before and usually by people who are more entertaining about it than I am.  But recently on Facebook, somebody asked me about writer's block. 

I don't believe in a mysterious force that "blocks" anyone from writing, but I do believe we can be haunted by our own self-doubt, resulting in bad thoughts that keep us from writing.  I mean, if you're sitting there, typing away at your great American novel, and suddenly you're thinking, "Hey, this is a steaming pile of yak crap" then that's probably going to make you not write so much.  It is an understandable human urge to STOP producing yak crap.  Who wants to be responsible for that?  Yaks maybe.  Not authors.

So maybe you're thinking the solution is to get over it and somehow find some confidence that you really are a good writer and once you find this confidence, you can keep writing and joy will return to fill your heart with joy juice.

Welcome to WRONGTOWN.  Population: YOU!

The solution is to go ahead and be the shittiest writer you can be.  Oh, I don't mean you should go out of your way to write badly. You don't want to end up like Emerson LaSalle.  I simply mean to give yourself permission to be bad.  Just write, let the words come out.  They don't have to be good.  You can come back later and make them goodlier.  That you'll need to revise is hardly an industry secret, but few rookie writers have had it put to them exactly like this:  Go ahead and suck.  We won't call you on it.  We won't even know.  Call it draft zero.  So when you think, "Wow, I am sucking at light speed" don't sweat it.  You have permission.

Will this work for every writer all the time?  No.  Nothing does.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


When I was sixteen my high school history teacher took a group of students around the world.  I was one of them.  It was awesome.  I love to travel.

Anyway ...

A few years ago, for some reason, my son said he wanted to go around the world.  My wife said, "you have to be at least 10 years old to go around the world."  I have no idea how she came up with this number, and I suspect she was just putting him off, so she wouldn't have to tell him no.  I mean, 10 was a few years off and he'd forget by then, right?


The boy is nine now, and somehow, over the past few years, "you have to be ten to go around the world" has become "we will go around the world when you're ten."  I guess that's why he and his mother came home a few days ago with a stack of travel guides from the library.  The boy has gone through a stack of post-it notes, marking sights of interest.

And I guess that's why I was online yesterday investigating airfares and thinking what an itinerary might look like.

A tentative guess:  Fly in to Dublin.  Then to London, Paris, Milan, PADOVA!, Venice, Vienna, Prague, Warsaw and Moscow.  Airfare from Moscow to Hong Kong is surprisingly reasonable.  Then some kind of ship or boat or ferry or junk or something from Hong King to Japan and then fly home.

This will all change about 400 times as we price things, bargain hunt and get taken by whims into new directions.  Frankly, it might not happen at all.  But we're looking into it in a serious way.

And while my wife and I earn a reasonable living, we ain't rich folk.  We will be traveling coach and keeping our eyes open for deals.

Anyone out there with advice?  Let's hear it.  Ways to travel cheaply, useful websites, helpful travel books, must-see attractions, European rail travel info, you name it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


It's nice when one of my novels still gets SOME ATTENTION even though it's a few years old.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Coming soon ...


Click to make biggish.

Monday, January 7, 2013

New cover for THREE ON A LIGHT!

Celebrate by spending your monies HERE.

Thank you, JT Lindroos.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Happy 2013, everybody.  I hope it's a good year for you.

I'll be frank.  I have high hopes.  All the seeds for an amazing 2013 were planted in 2012. I'm stoked about my thriller STAY for Thomas Dunne books. 

I'm also very excited about the fantasy novel I'm writing.  I knew I wanted to write novels even when I was a kid, and the fantasy genre was my first love.  Now I've connected with a publisher who likes my idea and has given me the green light to write the thing.  Again, I'm pretty damn excited.

2013 will also see the debut of my first creator-owned comic book.

More on the above when I'm allowed to announce.

So, yeah.  I'm looking for 2013 to be good to me.  All fingers are crossed.

What about you?  Big hopes and expectations for 2013?