Sir Perceval is most traditionally the hero of the grail quest, although in some versions the hero is Sir Galahad, and according to a certain Heinrich von dem Türlin the hero is Sir Gawain.  Heroes come, heroes go, but the grail is always the grail.  Except when it isn’t.  But when it is, it’s always […]

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The quest for the grail is an extended metaphor.  The grail itself (graal in Middle English) is nothing.  Okay, it’s a shallow serving dish. The story of the quest for the grail is not about finding a shallow serving dish.  If it’s about finding anything, it’s about finding one’s self. The usual hero of the […]

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The 17th already?  And only the second blog entry for the month.  Caramba.  What a lackadaisical blogger I am. It was easier to stay on top of this when I was driving truck.  Hunkered down in the sleeper cab, parked in some diesel- and urine-redolent truckstop, it was pretty easy to find the time to […]

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That’s what a potential customer, her eye on the title, asked the other day.  She was not, she warned me, religious. No, I assured her.  Not a religious book at all.  It’s based, in fact, on one of the stories surrounding King Arthur and his famous Table. Usually the religious question comes up only once […]

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That’s twenty-eight thousand, seven hundred and seven words, and that’s what the first draft of part one of the new novel has come to. It’s a relief to be able to say the draft is done, as it was moving really slowly there towards the end as the threads of the story were winding in […]

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It is now five days, I see, since my last entry. I’d like to say that that’s because I’ve been hard at work on the new novel, but the truth is that I’ve been distracted by another assignment. The good news is that I may have an agent for Desert. I’ve been sending it out […]

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In the past week I’ve gotten two virtually identical comments from readers of The Great American Desert: Beautiful writing, but where’s the plot? I may have it engraved on my headstone. What do people want anyway? An adventure story? There are lots of true adventure stories out there. There are history books, too, and biographies. […]

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Fictional characters are not the reliable servants people sometimes take them for. Not real characters, anyway. Not ones in character-based fiction. With the other kind, plot-based, they tend to get short-changed. They’re pushed around sometimes like chess pieces. But real characters need to walk around for a while, say and do and think about things […]

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