Category Archives: The Populist’s Soapbox

All Those Books I Haven’t Read

It’s that time of year again: ‘best books of 2012’ lists are popping up on every blog, website, magazine, and newspaper I read. December, January, and February are months for reflections, compilations and awards, and yet for me they often … Continue reading

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Windmill Variations: In Defense of Message-Driven Fiction

I suspect inopportune literalism is the primary limiting factor in my confusion as to why good fiction must not, dare not, shall not contain a message. I read the books that others tell me are “good” and I see messages aplenty, and more often than not I see aggressive arguments for particular viewpoints. Scout may pretend to be unformed and open-minded, but “To Kill A Mockingbird” leaves no doubts about what the author believes are better (and lesser) moral conclusions through her voice. Continue reading

Posted in Community Voices, Storytelling and Community, The Populist's Soapbox, The Writer's Desk | Tagged | 3 Comments

Is Contemporary Literary Fiction any Fun?

I try to read a lot of contemporary literary fiction. Students in my creative writing classes know why. How, I often ask them, do you plan to enter a literary conversation if you haven’t been paying attention to that conversation? … Continue reading

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Fantasy and Reality

Tracy Hickman, a writer I greatly admire, wrote an interesting blog the other day about the new TV series Once Upon a Time. He gave a brief synopsis of the story that went like this: “It is about an Evil … Continue reading

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Best and Worst

We used to play a game at my house called Best Part of the Day (I know. We’re brilliant with titles, aren’t we?). It was where everyone went around the table and shared the best part of their day. Sometimes, … Continue reading

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Dear Author . . .

I spent a bit of time perusing the Dear Author for the romance category boards over on Amazon. It was hilarious . . . until it wasn’t. I’m in the process of editing one of my earlier manuscripts that I have … Continue reading

Posted in The Populist's Soapbox | 11 Comments