Wednesday, September 7, 2016

How I Write—In Case Anyone Is Interested!

Sometimes people ask me about my “writing process.” I’m not sure I have one. I have no requirements about tools or time or place: I can write on a keyboard or a notepad—or even on a barroom beer mat. I can write anywhere—at a desk, a cafĂ© table, in bed, on a park bench, on sand at a beach—and at any time of day or night.

Two things I can say about what writing is for me: first, it’s a process of recording. The ancients believed that the were given their art by divinities, by muses for whom they were simply translators or elements of transmission to a human realm. I completely understand this idea. When I write, I don’t know where the stuff comes from. It surely doesn’t come from me! The words, the images, the characters, the stories—none of this is mine. It all comes into my brain from somewhere, from out of nowhere. It’s like a movie playing in my mind, and it’s up to my hands to get it onto the screen or the page.

Apollo and the Muses

Second, writing is a craft, like basket weaving. Once the ideas start coming, it’s a matter of using the right words, the best words, les mots justes, to render my vision as accurately as possible. If I’ve succeeded, the reader experiences exactly what I experienced when the thoughts came into my head.

I hope you’ll enjoy my book, Listening to Ian Magick, which is due out this fall.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Introduction to a Talk I Delivered Last Summer in Wales

As I continue to work on my Tudor-era historical novel, I thought I'd post the introductory paragraph of a lecture I delivered last summer in Wales at a conference titled "Representing the Tudors." I'll be releasing the lecture soon as an ebook.

How Issues of Infertility, Illness, and Injury Affect Representations of the Characters in the Showtime TV Series The Tudors

In April 2007 the British-Irish-Canadian television show The Tudors made its debut, and a year later it was referred to as the series that “viewers are eating up” (Gates, 2008). The Showtime series was enormously popular, and this popularity has continued via DVD, Blu-Ray, and streaming. As a USA Today writer observed in an article about the series during its final season, “The 16th-century English king and his Tudor clan are never going away” (Puente, 2010). The Tudors, both as a TV series and as historical figures, have a universal appeal for twenty-first-century audiences. In assessing this popularity, one perhaps thinks first of the themes of love, sex, war, and violence inherent in the series; or of the visual charm of costuming, architecture, and interior design; or possibly of the compelling nature of palace politics and intrigues. But while such representations of the Tudor era are entertaining, one may still wonder what universal elements of the human condition in The Tudors are the sparks that ignite its fire in the imaginations of twenty-first-century audiences. The answer is that problems of infertility, illness, and injury, as well as the characters’ reactions to these, are a large part of what creates the drama of The Tudors; audiences relate to these concerns because such situations create their own human dramas, and taken together these issues are a major common element between twenty-first-century viewers and the characters of The Tudors.

Friday, April 8, 2016


Okay, I haven't written a blog entry in, like, forever.

So this is to tell everyone that, inspired by last summer's 100-day trip to Britain, I'm completely changing direction.

My new work-in-progress is a Tudor-era historical novel that takes place at the court of Henry VIII.

Right now the novel is about 2/3 complete, and I'll tell you more about it here as I move forward.

Thanks for reading this, everyone!