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OUT TAKES ...bits and pieces of story, research, and process

WRITING NOW AND THEN

Waiting for the Call

A new old entry! Sweet memory. September 22, 1997. The interview in question is about Cloud Mountain, published the previous spring. The novel-in-waiting is Flash House, then in the earliest stages of gestation. Disaster will indeed strike in the course of writing this novel, and it won't see publication for another five long hard years. Sigh.

I'm expecting a call from a radio interviewer this morning, to discuss the novel I published last spring, publicized last summer, and have half forgotten in the wind-up for the new novel I'm trying to start writing. This is the twilight zone period in writing.  Read More 
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WHAT'S IN A TITLE?

NOW HERE'S A BITTERSWEET ENTRY FROM September 26, 1997, WHEN I WAS STILL A GOOD 3 YEARS FROM A SOLID FULL-LENGTH DRAFT OF MY THIRD NOVEL...WHICH WOULD BE TITLED "FLASH HOUSE" IN THE END -- BUT ONLY AT THE VERY END! WHAT MAKES THESE MUSINGS BITTERSWEET IS THAT I HAVE YET TO GET ANOTHER NOVEL TO LIFT-OFF -- SO I LOOK BACK WITH SOME NOSTALGIA TO THE QUEST FOR THIS NOVEL'S TITLE!

I need a title for my new book. In the usual, and probably ultimate, way of things I would find this title upon reflection and rereading of a finished manuscript.  Read More 
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Research Rapture

I WROTE THIS ON October 22, 1997, WHILE WORKING ON MY LAST NOVEL, FLASH HOUSE. PERHAPS THIS ENTRY EXPLAINS WHY I HAVE NOT PRODUCED ANOTHER RESEARCH-BASED NOVEL SINCE?

A couple of years ago I heard Oakley Hall, writer and director of the Squaw Valley Writers' Conference, talk about "research rapture," that great black hole that looms over the writing process and too often swallows both writer and work. I knew precisely what he meant.  Read More 
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