A slavish attention to grammar is over-rated.

There, I said it, and I’m not taking it back. Hang on to your wigs a sec, slavish grammarians. You get your props in a bit. First I’d like to talk to these other good folks about style. About effect.

About the humble sentence.

Oh, they write tomes on precise grammar or on compelling plots, and they’ll tell you to polish your prose, to omit unnecessary words, to avoid ending sentences with prepositions or you’ll have Strunk & White to truck with. Sure. But how about what polishes a sentence? The guts, I mean.

First principles: Continue reading Subjectivism

A Play in One Scene: Glory on the Hashtag


JOHN GERMAINE, a play-by-play announcer

HAMISH MacFLAGON, a color analyst and former world champion

PETER CHERSKY, a Russian championship contender

EMILIANA, a Brazilian championship contender

various officials and audience members


The Scene

JOHN:           This is it, the match we’ve waited for all year! Welcome, everybody, to beautiful Dubai and the WFTTT World Tic-Tac-Toe Championships. Glad you could join us. I’m John Germaine, and with me as always is legend of the three-by-three Hamish MacFlagon.

HAMISH:       Noughts and crosses, Johnnie! Noughts and crosses do not get any better!

JOHN:          Hoo boy! It does not. It’s all come down to this, Hamish. Two contrasting styles going for the trophy today, Russian ice versus Brazilian fire.

HAMISH:       Aye, we got a belter of a match ahead. A real belter. They go about the hashtag in their own way, but both can put three squares together.

JOHN:            Russian Pyeter Chersky was Continue reading A Play in One Scene: Glory on the Hashtag

Killin’ (Nashville) It?

Last week the wonderful folks at Killer Nashville did me the honor of running my blog post on short story writing.  It’d mean a lot if you check it out.

And, if you’re a lover of crime/mystery fiction, a writer who wants a long weekend of improving craft how-tos, or just a reading buff, check out this October’s conference. In the past, they’ve had some excellent sessions free to the public.

In other news, I’ll be speaking on short story writing next month in Birmingham (Sat 2/7) and Wetumpka (Sun 2/8) and again back home in March, at the SinC Middle Tennessee meeting, 3/10/15, 6pm, BookManBookWoman.