Category Archives: Essays

Trains, Brains, and Computers

When I teach my speculative fiction class (there’s a section this weekend, by the way!), I like to talk to the students about the most popular varieties of speculative poetry. A lot of speculative poetry is narrative, or works with … Continue reading Continue reading

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Writing a Recalcitrant Character

(This essay was posted 7 days early on my Patreon. Thank you to all my patrons!) I wrote this on a writers forum, about my current progress in writing my Tor.com novella, “Woman in the Tower Window.” It’s an interesting … Continue reading Continue reading

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Patreon content for January 2018

Patreon content for January has just been posted! $1 and above patrons can read a piece from my recent found poetry kick based on google searches for emotions–in this case, “anxiety.” $2 and above patrons get to see a sneak … Continue reading Continue reading

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Open-Hearted Generosity at the Surrey International Writers’ Conference

Last weekend, I went to the Surrey International Writers’ Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. I was honored to be there as a presenter, and I taught workshops on Breaking the Rules and Detail & Image. I also had two blue-pencil … Continue reading Continue reading

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How do you handle writer’s block?

There are a few different kinds of writer’s block. One kind is medical. If one of my chronic illnesses is flaring up, I may not be able to write. It’s hard to write through a migraine, for instance. It’s also … Continue reading Continue reading

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In Defense of “Slice of Life” Stories

When I was in college, I insisted that any poem worth its words would have a strong idea behind it–something it wanted to communicate to the reader. I still think that, but I’ve broadened my definition of what an idea … Continue reading Continue reading

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On Writing and Mortality

This essay originally appeared on the blog Big Other and was later reprinted on the SFWA website. I’ve rewritten it to make its points more sharply and eliminate repetition. The original version is still available on the other sites. It was originally … Continue reading Continue reading

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