I’m a writer who blogs about writing, reading, teaching, research, publishing, marketing, and more.

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  • The F Words: Framing Device

    In literature, a framing device is a story that surrounds another story. That is, a novel begins with a story, and that story is interrupted by another story, told to completion. And after the inner story ends, the novel returns to the starting story and finishes that. Some examples of frame stories are Joseph Conrad’s…

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  • My Writing Life: 11

    During the period from 2016 through 2020, I did more self-publishing, though not at the same rate as I had done in the first five years. In the first half of the decade I published nine books. In the second half, I published six books: three originals, and three compilations of already printed materials. 2016I…

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  • The F Words: The Freedom of Silence

    For many writers, possibly most, the second chapter of a book is a big problem. One of the main reasons for this problem is that writers spend an inordinate amount of time perfecting their first chapters, this in order to grab an editor’s attention and make a sale. After all that energy and rewriting, one…

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  • My Writing Life: 10

    The 2010s were a new and very different time for me as a writer, in three important ways. First, I dipped my toes into the world of self-publishing . . . and then I jumped into the enterprise head-first. Because I’ve blogged about most of my self-published books before, I won’t dwell on them. But…

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  • The F Words: Anglo-Saxon Origins

    When I see high school students raising protest signs and chanting in support of their teachers, as in the strike (earlier this year) by the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, I’m heartened. And when I see that the student chants are poetic in form (We ain’t shy./We ain’t timid./We are angry./We are livid.) I’m more than…

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  • My Writing Life: 9

    When the new century arrived, I was busy working on children’s books, both fiction and workbooks. The fiction consisted of two early readers, Waltur Buys a Pig in a Poke (Houghton, 2005) and Waltur Paints Himself into a Corner (Houghton, 2006). Early readers, as I’ve written about before in “Early Readers: A Short Phase,” are…

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