Creative torches: some people give off sparks.

Creativity is a flame. I’ve often told people, and experienced myself, the way that flame can be fanned and strengthened by some people and damped and stifled by others. Keeping the flame alive is something every artist has to do, and it’s so much easier when...

Reluctant crime writer.

How did this happen to me? I’m studying Forensics for Dummies with a pack of Post-its. I’m cutting up a chicken in the kitchen with a butcher knife as “research” for a paragraph on dismemberment, leaning in close to listen to the wet thunk and gristly snick of the...

The paths not taken.

I'm doing research, reading a book on how to become an FBI agent. It's dry, pedantic, and yet just reading about the application process, the screening, even the colors and symbolism of the logo, tugs at something within me. A competitive spark, and a patriotic one....

Complex emotions.

“Our agency agreement is terminated.” Those words are the period on the end of a three-year sentence: one year to get the agent, one year to work on Blood Orchids to her satisfaction, one year to try to sell it. This last year was the hardest one, as I...

The gift of insomnia

Last night I had insomnia. This is not all that unusual; as a ‘thinker’ I am unduly burdened by brain processing, and I’d been knocked out all last week by a cold and resulting cold medicine, and last night was the first time I went to bed without chemical help. Even...

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