It’s a Spider’s World: “Queen and Country”

Lesson one on writing a spider story: Never write a spider story. Don’t do it. It’s been done. Since mythological times. Spider women. Tangled webs we weave. Innate fears and phobias. The built-in burdens alone will wrap poor writer you in literary silk. See what happens with spider stories? The metaphors have started already. Lesson…… Continue reading It’s a Spider’s World: “Queen and Country”

I Have No Idea if There Were Communist Go-Go Parties (or, Balancing Research with Creative License)

I have written Communist go-go dancers. Not in a comedy, either. Technically, they were recruits among honors-level university students, but they broke into go-go dancing as the Party’s party night deepened and the drinks mounted. The setting was early ’70s Budapest, and the Happiest Barracks in the Iron Curtain reveled in its post-crackdown decay. Our…… Continue reading I Have No Idea if There Were Communist Go-Go Parties (or, Balancing Research with Creative License)

True Splat: Behind “La Tomatina”

There are rules to the Tomatina. In their great wisdom, the Spanish have come to publish guidelines for their annual by-the-thousands tomato fight. No whipping soaked tee-shirts as weapons, for one. No throwing shoes or anything of beanball substance. Just squished tomatoes. Those you can throw at anyone in sight. For one hour. It takes…… Continue reading True Splat: Behind “La Tomatina”

Old Time Religion: Behind “Let It Burn”

First, a numbness. A chill that says you shouldn’t have gone and bit in, that something wicked this way comes. The heat does not flood in, yet. It builds. The nose starts to run, and your voice catches. Your body knows only to sweat. Because it’s too late to run. With Nashville hot chicken, the…… Continue reading Old Time Religion: Behind “Let It Burn”

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