Everyday is #WritingWednesday


Soon I will be a full-time writer which, frankly, scares the crap out of me. As I phase out, over the next few months, my time as a professor, I will be face to face with what I always wanted to be, 


 I was going to be, and now 


 be; that is, a writer. Not a part-time dalliance, not a self-absorbed "hobby," not anything else but one of those odd people identified as - a "writer." No excuses. Time to produce. So be it.

Gordon B. Hinckley said, "All writers should be put in a box and thrown in the sea." He might be right, but I will not be thwarted.  I will have to learn to say so long to procrastination, excuse-making, and most of my time on Facebook. I will have to produce. I will have to be a bit selfish with my time. I will have to be disciplined! A novel, and then another. Maybe a short story. A new novel.

I have no expectations of best-sellers, movie contracts, interviews on TV, ever-aware of Flannery O'Connor's quote about expecting too much which produces a softness that can lead to bitterness. I will write, revise, edit, and send off my work. Then I'll start something new. How weird is that?

I will develop a thick skin.

I will be disciplined. I will put in the research. I will seek critique from honest people I respect.

But to be honest, I'm not so sure I can avoid what the tremendous author, James Lee Burke, calls "corrosive self-doubt" that afflicts all writers of all genres. That's the ugly thing that can intimidate.

I'll keep you posted, dear reader, as I gradually ease into my new life as a writer. Shall I purchase a beret?

Facing Up To Facebook

Facebook is cool. It has been a fine thing for me to keep in touch with friends I had in elementary school and since. It has information, beautiful photos, enticing recipes, even inspiring postings. But it has other things. (Slow drumbeat in the background.)

It has opportunities that leave me wondering about, well, why would anyone want to go there? For example, something like this shows up: "Fifteen microscopic pictures of body parts that will make you sick to your stomach!" Yeah, can't wait to check that out. Or, "Ten horrifying secrets of your favorite movie star!" How can they be secrets if they're on Facebook? I'm sure my fetid imagination does not want to go there, either. If the lead-in is a fat John Travolta (not one of my favorites, by the way), shirtless, I'm moving on. Plenty of ick out there without hunting it down. Or "Look at what happens when a naked biker runs head-on into a bridge abutment!" Really? I know accidents on the interstate might make you slow down for a quick look, but that's something you run into driving home from work. But to SEEK OUT! awful things is beyond me. Finally, have you clicked on this?: "Watch man eat live tarantulas!"

No. Thanks.

Time to enjoy photos of puppies and ducklings, blind dogs being led by dogs that can see, and recipes of gooey casseroles.



Asshole. Shit. Fuck. These words do not offend me; after all, I’ve been around a long time and in a lot of places, including the military. To be offended means I have to take offense, and I don’t. I pray these first three words of my blog do not offend you, dear reader. But they do indicate what I call the coarsening of America. English is the language with the largest lexicon in the world, so why not take the time to come up with a better way of expressing strong feelings? I know those first three words of this blog are used for emphasis. While it works, it saddens me to see them used so often, especially in the social media. In literature, I understand. In movies, I’m not so sure. But when I go to Facebook those words are all over the place. See for yourself.

That’s not to say I’ve never used such strong Anglo-Saxonisms myself. But I do rarely, and only in my private, personal life, when no one is around. At specific times. Such as when I see a snake. By surprise.

Instead of writing, “Fuck you, England, you assholes are full of shit,” this Irish guy wrote “A Modest Proposal.” And isn’t that better?