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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It was supposed to be the end of the world on 10/21, according to California end-times prophet Harold Camping. The previously-scheduled end of the world was last May or thereabouts, and the event was kind of a washout. Including this recent one, that’s four times now that ol’ Hal has been wrong. You gotta admire […]

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Getting this last load to California has turned out to be a disaster more than anything else. My delivery was early yesterday and my next pickup is not until early tomorrow, so all told I will have spent almost three solid days sitting around in this relative hellhole. Then it’s off to Texas. Oh, joy. […]

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You know how in that ground-breaking work of narrative fiction called The Great American Desert there’s all that talk about how the Piasa Bird has been moved, over the years, to various places up and down the river? Well, the peregrinations fowl has flown again. Not only that, but this time she’s been painted right […]

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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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Some time ago I noted how cute it would have been to have set The Great American Desert in the part of Illinois known as Little Egypt, but that I wasn’t so foolish to write about a place I don’t know.  In a local color novel, which Desert certainly is to some extent, using an […]

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One of the toughest things that people ask me on a regular basis is what The Great American Desert is about.  It’s a rather densely-packed ball of wax, so actually there are lots of answers I could give, none of which unfortunately are especially concise.  This is one of the reasons why I ask my […]

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