Monthly Archives: April 2016

Writers and writing 4/23/16


There are a lot of people who would like to write a few things, learn a few things, but true writers are rare and they are not getting a lot of help.

Writers who want to move into the lands of imagination learn by reading other writers rather than in seminars or creative writing classes.


At any rate, the magic words ‘Once Upon A Time’ still send people into a state of hypnosis, the construction of a magic realm where unaccountable things happen.



When action occurs, your sentences must grow shorter and shorter. No interior monologues or memories flashing back while the action is going on. It looks ridiculous. It doesn’t make your character ‘layered’ or ‘deep’ or anything of the sort.

Read books which have dealt with the above problems (or sections of books) and learn from the old writers.  Two recommendations; the chapters dealing with the invasion of Atlanta in Gone With The Wind and the escape from Paris in Tale Of Two Cities.




The Texas Book Festival April; 1/2 2016

Harper Collins put me up at the Mansion Del Rio, right on the riverwalk, where I could walk to the festival at the Central Library.  I didn’t used to like the new Central Library but I changed my feeble mind. Some of the architectural gimmicks are not gimmicky but actually nice. Met Nancy Cook Monroe and her husband Mike Monroe at the cocktail party and then went out to dinner with them, we talked and talked, I had such a good time with them! I have known Nancy since King William days and Mike is a sportswriter on the Rivard Report.




The children’s part of the book festival was held over at the Southwest school of arts and crafts, which is in the old Ursuline Girls’ Academy, I think the buildings are about 1870’s, the stained glass is still there in the old chapel, it was beautiful.


And the bird (pigeon) fountain…



Kids kids everywhere. I have no idea what that little girl in yellow has on her head.

And below that, a children’s activity area where kids could build something from sort of huge tinkertoys but the dads got so caught up in it, the kids just  sat around and watched them.



Below is the courtyard. A beautiful place.


And here I am nattering away about something to John Kerr, another historical fiction author, and that’s Javier Martinez on the other side, a good talk was had by all. No pictures from the Bulverde Library event but it was fun. Saw Jim LaValle-Havelin, he surprised me when he introduced me by reading from Rum and Karma-Kola, he loves it! Good Lord, such a long time ago that I wrote it.


And then drove home and fell into Animal Planet here on the Ranchito. Glad to be home. Saw Evelyn as she was driving out, talked to her about moldy round bale, she said she and Pat were coming back Thursday and they would help me burn it — it ought to be burnt. But I went ahead and did it myself because I was worrying so much about one of the horses inadvertently eating some of it, which as Evelyn said would kill them dead.


Don’t want anything to happen to my beautiful Buck horse. The donkey? Mehhh…

Just kidding.