Saturday, January 14, 2017

Ten albums that influenced me as a teenager. What are yours?

Ten albums that had a profound effect on me as a teenager. One album only, per artist.

KISS - Alive II
Queen - News of the World
Prince and the Revolution - Purple Rain
DEVO - Freedom of Choice
Kansas - Point of No Return
The Fixx - Reach the Beach
The Police - Synchronicity
Yaz - Upstairs at Eric's
Pink Floyd - The Wall
David Bowie - Let's Dance

What are yours?

Sunday, January 08, 2017

[Proust Questionnaire] My answers – version 2017

From Vanity Fair:

"The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in a parlor game popularized (though not devised) by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature. Here is the basic Proust Questionnaire.

Here are my answers to the Proust Questionnaire:


What is your idea of perfect happiness? Living in a cozy cabin at the edge of a lake, far away from most of humanity. Think about the book or movie 'Secret Window' and you'll get the picture.

What is your most marked characteristic? My eclectic, yet sometimes unpredictable, nature

What do you consider your greatest achievement? Continuing to survive despite an array of effed-up events, starting at about age 10. My psychiatrist expressed surprise that I wasn't a raging alcoholic or drug addict after all the events I've lived through (which most people DO NOT know about).

What is your greatest fear? Knowing I'm going to die before it happens. I'd rather go to sleep and not wake up. I don't want to be on an airplane, for instance, and KNOW it's gonna crash and I'm gonna die. I'd rather NOT know when I'm getting ready to bite the big one.

What historical figure do you most identify with? Mary Shelley.

Which living person do you most admire? Stephen King.

Who are your heroes in real life? Creative people – writers, artists, musicians, etc. People who continue to pursue their artistic passions past the point of childhood when society and authoritarians urge you to abandon your 'dreams.'

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Indecisiveness.

What is the trait you most deplore in others? Cruelty.

What is your favorite journey? The one where serendipity shows up regularly.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Detachment. I want to be hands-on in life and to feel what it's like to live in an all-encompassing way.

Which word or phrases do you most overuse? F*ck. The more people dislike the word, the more I use it.

What is your greatest regret? Getting married too early, at age 20.

What is your current state of mind? Curmudgeonly.

If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be? That some members would accept me as I am and not how they want me to be to suit their egos and wishes.

What is your most treasured possession? My mind.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Being prevented from living a life where one can follow his or her passions and earn a livable wage by doing so.

Where would you like to live? The highlands of Scotland.

What is your favorite occupation? Writing, especially when I can spend time working on my OWN books and creative projects.

What is the quality you most like in a man? Sensitivity.

What is the quality you most like in a woman? Lack of two-faced cattiness. Things that seem to afflict 90% of the females I've ever known.

What are your favorite names? Peter & Alexandra.

What is your motto? Smile and nod at your naysayers, then do whatever the hell you planned to do anyway.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

[Upcoming Book Release] Bring Your Fiction To Life by Karen S. Wiesner

This is my friend and longtime colleague's newest book coming out in June from Writer's Digest Books. You can pre-order it NOW, though! So excited to get a copy of this one and review it. The cover is GORGEOUS! I know Karen Wiesner is thrilled about its release.

From Karen S. Wiesner:

Cover reveal for BRING YOUR FICTION TO LIFE: Crafting Three-Dimensional Stories with Depth and Complexity. The thought process behind this final design, according to my editor: "The cover, using the visual element of overgrown plants, focuses on the "life" aspect of the title and fiction. The type treatment is also also more organic, with "life" in a much more "fun" font, and "fiction" being nice and bold. The plants also subtly suggest the depth and complexity that is mentioned in the subtitle, as they overlap each other and the white circle. This gives it a three-dimensional type aspect. All of the different plant images also create a nice layering effect. All of these concepts are mentioned in the book, and represented subtly in this beautiful, warm cover." I love it. I think it's beautiful, but not in an overly feminine way.I can't wait to see what they do on the inside. My last book for Writer's Digest Books, WRITING THE FICTION SERIES, was truly the most beautiful writing reference book I've ever seen, inside and out. This one may top it in the end.

Exciting news! My June 23, 2017 writing reference, BRING YOUR FICTION TO LIFE: Crafting Three-Dimensional Stories with Depth and Complexity, to be published by Writer's Digest Books, is now available for pre-order from

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Booking clients for 2017

I'm filling out my work calendar for 2017, so if you need writing or editing, get with me right away and let me know when you'll need my services so I can block out an area for you.

Send an e-mail to to book in advance! Thanks ;-).