Welcome to My Mind

OmnibrainI call this blog my Omniblog, because it collects all my blog posts from here, there, and everywhere. I guess I just have too many interests — they won’t all fit on a single blog. So I have blogs about reading, blogs about writing, blogs about editing and self-publishing, a blog about praying, and there are other blogs I would create if I had the time (natural remedies, for instance — someday I want to write the book on simple, natural remedies that everyone should know about).

I hope not to create any more blogs, so it’s possible that some of the things that don’t fit into my existing blogs (or someone else’s — I’m happy to write guest posts for others) will show up here. But for the most part the Omniblog will feature re-posted content from other places on the Web. If a post interests you, why not follow the link back to the original blog and explore? There’s no telling what you might find.

Mr. Tracey is Falling in Love

  Can Mr. Tracey keep Miss Darcy out of this messy murder business? It may already be too late. Gilbert Tracey may be falling in love. Just a little bit. I’m not sure yet, and he himself remains entirely in the dark about his incipient crush on the young lady down the street. I’m hoping for his sake that it’s just a crush and not true love, because she is destined to crush his amorous …

Why Re-Tell Old Stories?

Today I want to talk a bit more about why I’m re-writing someone else’s story. The fact is, for centuries — millennia, even — this is the way storytellers learned their craft. They retold stories that had already been told many times. Why? Because the stories themselves were sound — they had survived the test of time — so the writer could concentrate on the telling of the story, not the plot. And, in doing …

Getting to Know You: Appropriating the Story

When I decided to take on the challenge of re-writing another author’s story, one that was well-received in its own day (more later about why I decided to try this crazy experiment),  I knew that I needed to find a story that I could make my own, without have to completely re-imagine it. I needed a story that would not simply appeal to readers today, but one that would appeal to me — enough to …

NaNoWriMo Report: Success so far

So many novels begun this month — how many will be completed? Yesterday National Novel Writing Month began and, for the first time in several years, I am a “competitor.” My writing project for the month is You Know What — my twice-told tale, which I’m calling (for the moment) Mr. Tracey Investigates. I missed the starting gun, however, so I didn’t begin my race to 50,000 words until this morning. However, I have completed …

An Experiment in Story(re)telling

The Bard pondering where he’ll find the plot for his next twice-told tale. Shakespeare pinched stories from wherever he could find them — Gesta Danorum, the Decameron, Holinshed’s Chronicles, Plautus’s Lives, Sydney’s Arcadia, even his contemporary poets and playwrights — but no one ever called him unoriginal. That’s why I feel completely justified in an experiment I’m undertaking, which I call Twice-Told Tales. Originality is not all it’s cracked up to be During NaNoWriMo, I’ll …

Writing Like You Want to Be Read

One of the hardest things for many writers to grapple with, in my experience, is to shift their mindset from thinking of their book as a creation that expresses their artistic vision to thinking of it as a product that people will want to buy. Novels: From Creation to Product For fiction writers, this shift needs to occur after the first good, solid draft, the draft where all the plot points are in place and …

What do Catholic writers write?

Faith, fiction, memoir, devotional writing, all represented at our July 2017 meeting. What do Catholic writers write? A better question might be, “What don’t Catholic writers write?” Not just the inspirational, devotional, or spiritual kinds of writing you might expect! Murder, anyone? How about close encounters with extra-terrestrials? Memoirs about demonic oppression or personal tragedy? Science, political philosophy, child-rearing, ethics. Children’s books, humorous short stories, tales of mystery, madness, and mayhem. You see, being a …

Next meeting: July 11

You may have noticed that Independence Day falls on the first Tuesday of July this year. We don’t want to make you choose between celebrating our national holiday and enjoying the camaraderie and critiquing skills of fellow writers, so this month we will meet on the second Tuesday, July 11. Not our usual day, but our usual time and place (Here are the details of time and place). Hope we see you there! And don’t …