Looking Backward and Forward

Here I am at the end of another year. I have been in this position many times, looking back over the past twelve months, wondering where the time went and whether I had accomplished anything as a writer, only to find the fruits of my labors in scrap piles and aborted notebooks instead of before the world. But this year something happened. I started a blog, participated in the Mormon Lit Blitz and placed among the semi-finalists, published my Hmong-themed short story “Cocked” as an ebook, saw my short story “Moving On” published by Dialogue: a Journal of Mormon Thought, and finished a very rough draft of my wife’s memoir that I’m helping her write for my National Novel Writing Month (#NaNoWriMo) entry. I look forward to the new year. I hope to continue pursuing my goals as a writer of fiction that explores the human condition. Continue reading “Looking Backward and Forward”

It’s Finally Happened!

I’m pleased to announce that after numerous drafts my short story “Moving On” finally found a home in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. The link to the table of contents of the fall 2014 issue is here (scroll down a little). My story is on page 107. Please read and let me know what you think.

In other news, I’m going to try to get back to blogging here soon. I still have two or three book reviews in the hopper I’m working on. I’m also working on another short story, my novel, and my wife’s memoir. Fun times.

Oh yeah, and NANOWRIMO is right around the corner … Shall I “fail again, fail better”?

Read, write, execute!

Photo credit: Gratisography

Review: Seize the Day

Seize the Day
Seize the Day by Saul Bellow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Anymore, I read novels to learn how authors handle narrative structure and pace, characterization, and point of view. Saul Bellow’s Seize the Day is an excellent course of study in these elements of novel writing.

The novel follows a day in the life of Tommy Wilhelm Adler, a middle-aged man who is one of the most down-on-his-luck characters I’ve ever read about in Literature. As a young man, under the spell of a shyster talent agent and against the advice of his parents, he went off to Hollywood with aspirations to be a big star. Several years later he returns home to New York, his biggest claim to fame being an extra on a set. He marries, has two children, and settles into a life as a traveling salesman for a corporation. His initial failure in Hollywood gnaws at him Continue reading “Review: Seize the Day”

“White Roses” for #SaturdayScenes

This May, I submitted three entries of 1,000 words or less each to the Mormon Lit Blitz. I’ve already talked about each story I submitted in my blog post about the Lit Blitz at the end of May, so you may read about them there. By the first couple of weeks in June, the results were in. My “Riffs on Korihor’s Testimony” earned a spot among the 24 semi-finalists, but didn’t make it among the top twelve. However, there is talk that the editors may put together an e-book of all 24 semi-finalists. That would be great. There were many worthy writers among them.

But today is about “White Roses,” one of my entries that didn’t make the cut. The situation is one that’s difficult to handle in 1,000 words, so it may undergo some revision in the future. But I do think it has its strengths. Read it and let me know what you think?

White Roses

Corry was waiting at the kitchen table when Lot entered from the garage. She’d had an hour to process what she’d just learned about him. She’d also had her mom come get the two children.

She didn’t greet him. She just watched as he removed his wingtips and then put his slippers on. He still looked flawless, even after a day of managing his clients’ wealth. Continue reading ““White Roses” for #SaturdayScenes”