Today’s post can be found at http://magicalwords.net, the group blog on the business and craft of writing fantasy that I maintain with fellow authors Faith Hunter, Misty Massey, A.J. Hartley, Stuart Jaffe, and Edmund Schubert, among others. The post is called “Descriptive Passages, Part I: Setting” and it deals with writing description and knowing how much to include in a given section of a book or story. I hope you enjoy it.

A Tough Age

January 27, 2011

I don’t know if it’s any harder being a teenager now than it was when I was 15 or 16.  I think in some ways the struggles of adolescence are constant, untouched by changing trends or advances in technology.  In other ways I do think that today’s kids have things harder (and maybe easier, too).

All I know for certain is that being the parent of a teen is infinitely harder than being a teen.

My fifteen year-old is hurting tonight, and beyond telling her that I love her, there really isn’t much I can do about it.  Nothing I faced when I was 15 is tougher than that.

A Magical Words Anniversary

January 24, 2011

Today’s post can be found at http://magicalwords.net, the group blog on the business and craft of writing fantasy that I maintain with fellow authors Faith Hunter, Misty Massey, A.J. Hartley, Stuart Jaffe, and Edmund Schubert, among others. The post is called “Magical Words at Three Years!” and it celebrates the third anniversary of the founding of Magical Words. I hope you’ll stop by and help us mark the occasion.

A New Post About Ideas

January 21, 2011

Today’s post can be found at http://www.sfnovelists.com, the group blog on speculative fiction that I maintain along with a group of over one hundred published authors of fantasy and science fiction.  The post is called “A New Idea,” and it’s about the mysterious origins of writing ideas.  I hope you enjoy it.

A Pensive Post

January 19, 2011

Is there ever a time when things aren’t rushed, when a thousand different tasks, commitments, projects, and such aren’t clamoring for our attention?  I mean, yeah, okay — vacation.  But I’m not sure that counts.  This isn’t even a particularly crazed time, but it feels like I’ve got too many things to do and not enough hours in the day.

Does reaching middle age mean that carefree is a relic of our past?  Or was carefree an illusion born of ignorance?  It seems sometimes that life careens from one crisis to another — work, health, family, kids, back to work, once more to family.  I find myself longing for “normal,” only to realize that I wouldn’t know “normal” if it walked up to me and smacked me in the forehead.  Maybe “normal” is an illusion, too.

Not an especially uplifting post, I know.  And I apologize for that.  But I felt that I wanted to post — I’m trying to post more often this year, and so far am doing a not-so-good-job of it — and this is what was on my mind.

My mood?  Not sad, but definitely pensive.

Today’s post can be found at http://magicalwords.net, the group blog on the business and craft of writing fantasy that I maintain with fellow authors Faith Hunter, Misty Massey, A.J. Hartley, Stuart Jaffe, and Edmund Schubert, among others. The post is called “More Writing Exercises!” and it’s about the writing exercises I’ve been doing with my students during a recent teaching stint. I hope you enjoy it.

I’ll be signing books tomorrow at the Coffee County Manchester Public Library on Hillsboro Blvd in Manchester, Tennessee.  10:00 am to 2:00 pm.  If you’re in the area, stop by and say hello!

Tales From the Ur-Bar!

January 11, 2011

AFTER HOURS:  TALES FROM THE UR-BAR, edited by Joshua Palmatier and Patricia BrayD.B. Jackson, my new pseudonym, has “his” first story coming out this March in an anthology edited by Joshua Palmatier and Patricia Bray.  The anthology is called AFTER HOURS:  TALES FROM THE UR-BAR, and the story is called “The Tavern Fire.”  Like the Thieftaker series, which will be published by Tor in 2012, this D.B. Jackson story is set in pre-Revolutionary Boston.

The anthology now has a website:  http://www.sff.net/people/benjamintate/afterhours/afterhours.html and I hope you’ll visit and check it out.  It also has a Facebook page, so if you’re on Facebook, please “like” it.

Today’s post can be found at http://magicalwords.net, the group blog on the business and craft of writing fantasy that I maintain with fellow authors Faith Hunter, Misty Massey, A.J. Hartley, Stuart Jaffe, and Edmund Schubert, among others. The post is called “the ABCs of Character Development,” and it’s about a mnemonic I use when creating characters. I hope you enjoy it.

Tragedy in Arizona

January 8, 2011

Another shooting.  More people dead and maimed and emotionally traumatized.  And for what?  Yes, the Constitution says we should all be allowed to own guns.  It also says, in its original form, that slavery is legal and that those held as chattel under the plantation system should only be counted as three-fifths of a person.  The Founding Fathers didn’t always get it right.

And for the record, Arizona has just about the most permissive gun laws in the country.  So much for the idea that if everyone is allowed to carry a concealed weapon, if a potential shooter thinks that the people around him might be packing heat, he’ll be less likely to resort to violence.  That’s another fallacy brought to us by the NRA.

Six people are dead, including a Federal judge and a nine year-old girl.  Another dozen are wounded, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.  How many more acts of random gun violence will it take to convince people that saturating our society with firearms doesn’t make us safer?

I’m not one for the little mood emoticons, but today I’m sad.  And I’m angry.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,673 other followers