Writing is Hard Work. So is Reviewing

    I hear a lot about bad writing these days.  Bad writing is what the surge in self-publishing has created.  Without gatekeepers, anyone can be a published author; anyone can throw his hat in the ring alongside Hemingway and Virginia Woolf.  Anyone can publish.  I won’t get into the trouble that self-publishing can cause […]

Review of Nostalgia, a novel by Dennis McFarland

  Dennis McFarland’s novel, Nostalgia, is an elegant, tortuous journey into the darkest corners of the human soul.  The year is 1864.  America is torn by its bloody Civil War.  Young Summerfield Hayes, of Brooklyn, New York, alone in the world with his older sister, Sarah, since the tragic death of their parents in an […]

Talking Yourself Through It

My good friend and writing colleague, Nina Lorraine, has been having a hard time lately.  She’s down in the dumps, uninspired, looking for a way forward.  My heart went out to her, and I tried to give her some words of advice, consolation, at the very least, a helping hand. Before I continue, I think […]

The Year in Review – A Look Back at 2013

          2013 was very good to me.  I brought out a new book, learned a lot about how to use social media, and finished my novel, What is Found, What is Lost, which will be published by She Writes Press late in 2014.  I had some individual short stories published, too.  […]

The Honest Writer: Is a self-published book as worthy as a traditionally published one?

  Recently, author Jonathan Franzen told The Guardian just what he thought of Amazon and what it’s done to both writers and book publishing.  Suffice it to say, he wasn’t flattering.  Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, is “decimating literary culture in favor of the yakkers and tweeters and braggers.”  Serious writers are being undermined, Franzen says.  […]

The Honest Writer: Nancy Hill’s “It Could Have Happened”

  It Could Have Happened, by Nancy Hill is a gorgeous collection of short stories, each inspired by equally gorgeous black and white photographs, taken by the author herself.  Consider these, as the book’s subtitle says, fairy-tales for grownups.  Love lost, love found, fortunes gained, fortunes lost, evil parents, evil children, women full of joy […]

The Honest Writer: “Shadowboxing,” a novel by Paul Sophia

      Paula Sophia’s novel, Shadowboxing, dares you to keep reading. This is a painful, tense, and authentic account of a young man’s struggle with sexual identity. Bill Guyles joins the Oklahoma City Police force after serving in Iraq. He has a girlfriend, albeit a particularly flaky one, who’s not interested in commitment and […]

Our Love Could Light The World reviewed by Dominique Bruno for Souvenir

        Reviewed by Dominique Bruno Anne Leigh Parrish’s Our Love Could Light The World introduces us to the Dugans, a family in Upstate New York who seem fated to permanent misfortune.  Mrs. Lavinia Dugan, who always assumes “the worst,” goes to work each day to support her five children and their dog Thaddeus. Her […]

Blue Jasmine

  Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, for all its brilliance and light, is essentially a remake of A Streetcar Named Desire (1951).  Each movie give us a beautiful, fragile woman who’s fallen on hard times through no fault of her own – but wait, and forgive the spoiler, Allen’s Jasmine does cause her own downfall by […]

The Honest Writer: Author Pam McGaffin

        Author Pam McCaffin offers some comments on her writing life, and her story, “Boundaries,” which recently appeared in Eclectica Magazine.  Below in her self-interview. Why do you write and what are your goals as an author? Goals? I have only one right now: Finish the novel. I’m about three quarters of […]