Live-remote classes for writers with novels-in-progress
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.
Podcast: The Rocky Mountain Writer
October 16, 2018 § Leave a comment
What a pleasure it was to spend part of a recent afternoon having this wide-ranging conversation with Colorado novelist Mark Stevens on The Rocky Mountain Writer podcast.
We discussed many topics of interest to writers and readers, including A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing, travel and fiction, Ecuadorian volcanoes, Venezuela’s Orinoco basin, Eastern Cuba, fiction vs autobiography, the importance of place in fiction, dropping acid and pushing the bounds of objective reality, interiority and loneliness, The Grateful Dead and the Eleusinian Mysteries, fly fishing as metaphor, Ursula K. LeGuin, William Golding’s The Inheritors, Newport MFA & the Cuba Writers Program, and a recap of a talk I gave on “The Essentials of Voice” at RMFW’s Colorado Gold conference in September, 2018.
Listen to the entire podcast here. Mark also did a wonderful followup print interview here, in which we talked about life experience as a point of departure for fiction, the deep sources of story ideas, more on why I think dreams and hallucinations shouldn’t be off-limits for fiction writers, place-based writing as a response to environmental crisis, the challenge of endings, some of my favorite writers, and more. Enjoy!
Collection is a Finalist for the American Fiction Awards
July 28, 2018 § 2 Comments
Honored, humbled, and very pleased to note that A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing has been named a finalist in the short story category of the 2018 American Fiction Awards! The book also made the 2018 Eric Hoffer Book Awards Grand Prize Short List and was a finalist in the short story category for 2017 International Book Awards. Earlier versions were shortlisted for the New Rivers Press Many Voices Project, the Autumn House Press Fiction Prize, and the Lewis-Clark Press Discovery Award.
Links for ordering the book in paperback, digital, or first edition hardcover here. Coming soon: audio version!
New piece on rule-breaking for writers up at GrubWrites
March 28, 2018 § Leave a comment
“There’s an unwritten rule that dreams have no place in fiction. Perhaps you’re aware of it. No? Then maybe you haven’t taken enough workshops. It’s pretty high on the list of fiction-writing no-nos.”
Click here to read my thoughts on why fictional dreams AREN’T actually forbidden, and other thoughts on why breaking the rules is an essential skill for writers . . .
Two new reviews for A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing
February 17, 2018 § Leave a comment
Great to see these two recent reviews of A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing. (If you’re interested, I’ve collected excerpts from all known reviews so far here, along with links.)
The first is from Big Sky Journal, a “high-end, general interest magazine that captures the full range of culture and lifestyle in the Northern Rockies,” in a feature called “Reading the West”:
“Weed’s stories . . . have their roots in the relationships between men and boys, and between men and nature, and they are colored by his long experience as a travel and adventure writer . . . His characters are fishermen, mountaineers, and teenagers all on a quest for self-discovery. From the title page to the last page, this is a book of gems.”
And the second is from Pleiades, a literary journal dedicated to “literature in context.” I’m particularly fond of the way the reviewer, Susan Sugai, sees the stories as a kind of antidote to the distractions of modern social technology:
“Unlike fake news and misinformation found in Twitter feeds and Facebook posts, Weed’s short stories draw us away from the blue light of device screens. Under the blue skies and dark waters of A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing, readers can feel pain, empathy, and purpose bubbling out from the sharp-detailed mental images.” — Pleiades
A conversation about writing with James Scott of TK Podcast
August 29, 2017 § Leave a comment
Really enjoyed my conversation with James Scott on the latest episode of his terrific series of literary conversations known as the TK Podcast. James is a bestselling novelist (The Kept) and an excellent interviewer, with a real knack for asking questions about writing and life that lead to interesting places.
We talked about travel, the writing life, the binary nature of solitude, National Geographic, short fiction, how to sequence stories in a short fiction collection, the Cuba Writers Program, Ingmar Bergman, drug writing, Green Writers Press, Denis Johnson, The Grateful Dead, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, Paul Bowles, and much, much more. Highly recommended if you’re a writer and/or a fan of literary podcasts! Here’s the link.
New Hampshire Public Radio interview
August 4, 2017 § Leave a comment
What a pleasure to travel up to Concord recently for an interview with NHPR’s All Things Considered host Peter Biello about nature, fiction, Rome, teaching, and A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing. Peter is a writer himself, in addition to being a very fine interviewer and radio personality, and we had a lot to talk about.
Click here to listen to a podcast of the seven and a half minute interview. I think you’ll enjoy it!
New Cuba/writing essay up at Cleaver
June 2, 2017 § Leave a comment
“The blackout was a revelation. It happened at around eight PM, in Trinidad, Cuba, on one of those moonless tropical nights that fall so suddenly you barely notice the dusk. This was several years ago—before the loosening of travel regulations that occurred under President Obama—and the number of American tourists remained small . . . At the time of the occurrence described in this essay, I was traveling to the country with cultural tourism groups at least half a dozen times a year.”
Click here to read the full essay.
Two new craft articles out . . . and a translation to Italian
May 12, 2017 § Leave a comment
“Classic Omniscience Revisited: Lessons for the Modern Novelist in Thackeray’s Vanity Fair.” Empty Mirror.
“Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Fiction Writer in the Modern Age? A Quiz.” Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers
“A caccia del fantasma de Hemingway All’Avana,” Edizioni Sur (translated by Martina Ricciardi). (Originally “Chasing Hemingway’s Ghost in Havana,” The Millions.)
New interview up at Fiction Writers Review
May 8, 2017 § Leave a comment
Really enjoyed this wide-ranging conversation with the perceptive Art Hutchinson at Fiction Writers Review. We discussed, among other things, extreme sports, the supernatural, foreign and historical settings, pushing the boundaries of conscious perception, and why the inner landscape is something fiction can do better than any other art. Read the whole interview here!