September 9, 2021 § Leave a comment
A cynic might say something like “always the bridesmaid, never the bride,” but I’ve never been a cynic and I’m pleased to report these recent honors:
Semi-Finalist, 2021 Leapfrog Press Global Fiction Prize, for a novel, THE HAVANA STANDARD
Finalist, 2021 Southern Humanities Review Editors Chapbook Prize, for a novelette, AMONG THE MONOLITHS
Honorable Mention, 2021 Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition (Mainstream/Literary), for a short story, VIRGIN OF THE APOCALYPSE
Honorable Mention, 2021 Cisco Writing Club, Annual Summer Writing Contest (Short Stories), for a short story, SKIN MONKEYS
None of these works has been published yet. My obvious hope is they will be, as a new novel and, for the shorter work, in publications that I will note here and then in the form of a new short fiction collection. Stay tuned!
March 17, 2021 § Leave a comment
While winning is always preferred, I’m pleased and honored to have received this recognition from Ireland-based Fish Publishing, which holds an international competition for their prestigious yearly short fiction anthology. You can see the list and read about this year’s excellent winners here.
I’ve been finding short stories to be a refreshing form to work in during the breaks between novel drafts. This one is based on some research I did on Charles Darwin’s experiences in Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. It was titled “The Origin” when I submitted it; it’s now, tentatively, “The Tawny-Green Steppe.”
Here’s a photo of yours truly in Torres del Paine, one of the landscapes that served as inspiration for the story:
September 3, 2020 § Leave a comment
|I’m thrilled to announce the impending release of a new audiobook of Will Poole’s Island—narrated by yours truly! It turns out that recording an audiobook is an exacting, time consuming process—but also a surprisingly enjoyable one. This slightly whimsical fish-eye photo taken by producer and sound engineer Reggie Martell in the spare room of my Vermont house that he converted into a sound studio doesn’t really do justice to how rewarding it was to re-immerse myself in that first published novel, a book that will always hold a special place in my heart.|
|Years had passed since I’d last revisited Will Poole’s Island; there were moments when I felt like I was reading it for the first time. And I’m pleased to report, in my humble opinion, that the story holds up well, offering a rewarding temporary escape from the tense stretch of history we’re currently living. This is especially so thanks to Reggie’s professional expertise and the hauntingly beautiful original musical interludes composed by the talented ETC Kid.|
|The audiobook and Kindle e-book are set to be released on September 15, with a new edition of the paperback to follow in Spring ’21. If your interest is piqued, I encourage you to ORDER THE AUDIOBOOK NOW from Audible or the vendor of your choice. You’ll have my sincere gratitude. And I know you’ll enjoy listening to the novel!|
|The last time I was in Havana was January, 2020, but it feels like fifty years ago! Very much looking forward to getting back next year. Care to join me?|
|As a place to visit Cuba is as interesting as ever, perhaps even more so given the effectiveness of the response to COVID-19. Unlike certain other countries in the world, the country has been used its excellent medical system and organizing capacity to good effect, keeping new cases of the pandemic limited. In fact my Cuban friends are constantly checking in to express their worries about how we’re all doing up north in the U.S.—which says quite a bit about the situations in our respective countries.|
|Depending on how things go, the next year or so looks to be an opportune time to revisit this fascinating country that I know and love so well.|
|I’m considering putting together two or three small-group trips to Cuba, dates TBD, in winter/spring 2021, late fall 2021, and/or winter/spring 2022.|
|I’m also available to set up custom independent trips if you have a small group of family or friends that want to go. If either of these options is of more than casual interest to you, please send me a note with any thoughts on what your interests are in terms of trip content, and if there is a best time frame for you.|
|I’ll keep a careful list and update you specifically as I hear from people and actual trip dates begin to take shape. You can also bookmark this page, on which I keep an updated list of upcoming writing workshops, travel programs, talks, readings, and other events.|
|Meanwhile, I hope you are holding up well, staying safe and healthy, and managing to enjoy life in all its varied moments! Please don’t hesitate to send me a note if you’d like to touch base in a more personal way. |
August 18, 2020 § 4 Comments
Had a lot of fun writing this essay now up at CRAFT Literary: “Practicing the Ecstatic: On the Value of Escapist Fiction in the Internet Age.”
“Novel-writing is another kind of work that demands a sustained and often grueling daily practice. While scribbling or typing is less explicitly physical than dance or carpentry, ecstatic transportation is a defining characteristic of fiction as an art form.” Read the full essay here.
This isn’t my first time around with CRAFT, a nicely produced, very well edited publication dedicated to, well, the craft of writing, both fiction and CNF. You can check out all their stuff here.
June 11, 2020 § Leave a comment
Very much enjoyed this conversation with my talented Newport MFA faculty colleague, novelist and memoirist Danielle Trussoni, which you can sample or enjoy in its entirety here. We discuss Danielle’s wildly entertaining new novel, The Ancestor, writing, genealogical research, escapist fiction in a time of pandemic, fiction vs memoir, and much more. Part of the Literary Cocktail Hour series sponsored by the Brattleboro Literary Festival. A conversation I won’t soon forget!
Will Poole’s Island featured in video wiki: “7 Captivating Historical Novels Full Of Intricate Detail”
May 26, 2020 § 2 Comments
The video wiki has been published by the California technology company Ezvid Inc. It’s kind of a cool concept: “Ezvid Wiki evolved from the message board surrounding Ezvid For Windows, first released in 2010. In those years it has grown from a small user-generated forum into the largest and most comprehensive video wiki on the planet, providing useful, unbiased information and actionable guidance to hundreds of millions of users around the world, in thousands of knowledge categories.”
March 20, 2020 § Leave a comment
Working on a novel? Not too late to join me for these live-remote classes, part of Grub Street’s acclaimed Novel Revision Series!
March 21, 2020. Genre, Concept, Premise, Theme – in which we’ll come up with answers to an essential question: What’s your novel-in-progress “about”?
April 18, 2020. Dramatic Structure & Narrative Drive – in which we’ll explore the hidden structures common to all good novels and the secrets to creating a page-turning read.
Keep tabs on all my upcoming classes and events here.
February 8, 2020 § Leave a comment
“A vibrating current of electricity dwells just behind everything in nature and the encounter with the painting, like the encounter with the trout, links you to that current, if only for a fleeting instant. A connection is made between you and something larger. Something important and true. Winslow Homer knew this. Eric Aho knows it too.”
Wrote this essay for the catalog accompanying an exhibition of my good friend Eric Aho’s recent work at the Tayloe Piggott Gallery in Jackson, Wyoming. Very happy to share it here. If you haven’t seen Eric’s work, well you really should.
January 23, 2020 § Leave a comment
Pleased to note that I’ve been named to a list of “250 Writers and Poets of Excellence” at Brilliant Light Publishing, a new literary organization whose admirable mission is to “promote the work of poets and writers from the New England community who illuminate the inner and outer states of our natural and cultural environment.”
Honored to be included on this list along with many other New England writers whose work I admire. Click here or on the logo above to visit Brilliant Light and support their noble mission!
January 3, 2020 § 2 Comments
Actually, I very much enjoyed this recent televised conversation with Rick Cochran of Cape Cod Writers Center’s “Books and the World” program about fiction as an antidote to loneliness, setting as transportation, novels vs stories, travel and writing, what’s on the drawing board for me, and much more. The interview is slightly over 27 minutes long.