Cliff Jumping with Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

  Author Kurt Vonnegut Jr. in New York City in 1979. (AP Photo/Marty Reichenthal)

Author Kurt Vonnegut Jr. in New York City in 1979. (AP Photo/Marty Reichenthal)

I find quotes from established writers intriguing. So, for a few weeks or so, I'd like to provide a quote and then rattle on about it, as if I were still in front of a class at the college. This one is from Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.:  "We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down." There's a lot of truth to that, at least to me. One can't develop wings unless one takes that jump, just like baby birds getting kicked out of the nest. In other words, sit down and get to writing, and if you're writing and stuck, keep writing and see what happens.

I'm there right now, on Chapter 18 of my fourth Thomas O'Shea novel (#3 will be out shortly and you'll be among the first to know) and I'm stuck, but I'm not writing. What's next? How's it going to turn out? Which ending do I choose?

So I sit and sit and think about it. What should I do? Right. Get back to writing and see what develops. Follow my own advice to other writers. Follow Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.'s advice. One word after another. Then another, then . . .