Gratuitous Poetry

Margaret Atwood cut her writing teeth on poetry and it shows in her novel, The Blind Assassin, perhaps too much. Her phrases are carefully constructed, a virtue in any writer, but Atwood’s choices often stand out as slightly too clever, … Continue reading

Show Business for Writers

I spent a week in New York City attending a conference on how to pitch a novel to an agent or editor. Selling fiction is the least appealing part of the writing adventure. I write because I enjoy the thrill … Continue reading

From Genre to Literary Reading

This is a great book to help someone who wants to upgrade their reading fare from genre to literary fiction. It teaches you how to pay attention to meta-textual details such as themes, symbols, voice, diction, and story structure. Attention … Continue reading

Literary Fiction: Not for the Timid

Looking through my NBT (Next Big Thing) list, I find dozens of attractive ideas for a new novel. I notice many of them would fall into the category of “speculative fiction,” which I believe is mostly realism, but with some … Continue reading

Saterstrom – The Pink Institution

Impressions of Horror Saterstrom, Selah (2004). The Pink Institution. St. Paul, MN: Coffee House Press. This experimental novel features four generations of Mississippi females from 1940 to the early 2000’s. They are shown in a set of impressions, poems, quotations … Continue reading