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Posts by accordingtohoyt

I’ve Got Rhythm

Actually I got rhythm but no music, because I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, or hear pitch since a great bit pneumonia at about 14. (Weirdly songs heard before then I can sing.)

Anyway, what on Earth does that have to do with writing.

Let me tell you.

You see, I came at writing fiction from poetry, which is a minor perversion, and yet has its advantages.

Only even I didn’t quite understand this except in a blind, instinctive way which meant that when I tried to think about it and do it by numbers (there’s always a time you do it by numbers because you’re sick/tired/worried about the baby) I messed it up. Read more


Writing is a lot like flying a plane.  If no one you know has ever flown a plane, and the entire concept is a little hazy, but you know that birds fly and there must be a way, and therefore you assemble a plane out of duct tape and bale wire.

Needless to say most such contraptions — and novels — never work. That’s because people writing them are writing because they-once-saw-something-like-that and think they can make it work. But that is not the point right now– the point is that there are things and ways to help you make your little novel — or plane — fly. And there are others who will only ensure that any lift you get is temporary, and that you crash and can never rise again. Read more

If It Was Good Enough For Shakespeare!

While I was trying to figure out where my file of reminders for today had gone, about 20 minutes ago (it’s now midnight) which tells you how my day went, I came across a ridiculous ditty I wrote some years ago (and if I remember my fans piled on and added verses) called “If it was good enough for Shakespeare, it is good enough for me.”

Now, I didn’t re-read it. If I remember it read like a drinking song, meaning it sounded like it was written while drunk. So, I won’t inflict it on you.  But the spirit of the thing is not a bad idea.

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The Dark Forest

Where do you go when you cross the dark forest?

Look, I know it’s no one’s fault but mine — where has the time since November 2018 gone? — but sometimes my income from indie publishing gets so low it’s not actually worth it to bother and I wonder why I do.

So, when the yard work calls, when the cats need cuddling, why would I persist?

Or in other words, why do I write?

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The Political Writer

There is a trope going around establishment science fiction where they prove again and again that we’re wrong when we say that “science fiction shouldn’t be political.”

They prove it conclusively, to their satisfaction, by demonstrating that science fiction has always been political, and therefore we’re not only wrong, we’re ignorant of the history of the field.  Then they take a victory lap to the acclaim of their sycophants.

There’s only one thing wrong with that: we NEVER said that.

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A Small Art

[UPDATE: because several of you protested that Crooked House by Agatha Christie was nothing like the Chinese Shawl by Patricia Wentworth (and you were right. Crooked house is a different plot) I realized that I’d gotten muddled due to the fact this author uses an Agatha Christie title and a different plot. Which btw diminishes the chances of its being in any way an “homage.”
The plot she uses is from Peril At End House ( which is the one that resembles Patricia Wentworth’s The Chinese Shawl. Mind you I THINK the solution is different and less fiendish in The Chinese Shawl.  Also having looked up the dates, The Chinese Shawl was published 11 years after Peril At End House. So it’s possible that Wentworth either was saying “sure, like that, but let’s twist it this way.” OR that she’d read it and simply didn’t remember. It’s not one of the more memorable Christies.)

Recently I borrowed a book called Crooked House because I was in a hurry, saw only the title,  and thought it was Crooked House by Agatha Christie.

Mind you, I think growing up I read that book about a million times, and I’ve probably read it three or four times since I got married. So, I know the book very well. I just wanted to re-read it on a day I wasn’t feeling well enough to do much of anything. But I accidentally borrowed the wrong book.

Which is okay, since the book I borrowed has the almost exact plot. (A minor deviation at the end where one of the guys is the woman’s accomplice, and the adaptations needed to the 21st century were all I saw.)

Now, this is not copyright infringement.

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You Dance When There’s Nothing

When I was 21, just before she got married, I took my best friend to watch Flash Dance. She liked it, but it made her sad and a little angry.  It wasn’t what I wanted to achieve. I was trying to tell her there was a path back to the person she used to be.

It’s probably funny that someone like me, the kid built on elephantine proportions (even when I was thin) and with two left feet to go with the two left hands was best friends with a fairy like creature, skinny, graceful, a slip of a thing with grey eyes and dark blond hair.

But it wasn’t funny, you see, because both of us had, for lack of a better word, vocations that consumed us.

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Leave Your Comfort Zone

Hey, you.  Yes, you over there, sitting slumped over your desk with your cup of coffee contemplating nothing much: what are you afraid of?

Sure, okay, right now we’re all afraid of unemployment, famine, and wondering what in hell kind of world we live in when people can take leave of their senses over … main stream media doom porn.

But that is a self-fixing problem. Either this will pass, or civilization is dead.

You know what’s not a self-fixing problem? Your writing. At least for most of us, as long as we’re alive it’s going to follow us like an inky leg shackle.  And if we refuse to write, it will just manifest in our dreams, driving us insane.

Okay, so may it’s just me. I mean the insane. And perhaps the follow me around.  But at any rate — will you stop digressing already? — I want to talk about writing, and in writing, your career, and your … for lack of a better term…. art, fear can be deadly. So, let’s talk.  What are you afraid of? Read more

Get Out of My Way

There is a chance that the light at the end of the tunnel won’t be an oncoming train.

Look, it’s not that I hate change. Depends on the change and what it is. But I hate change that messes with my writing routine. Why?

Well, because if it were possible, I’d simply upload the story from the brain to the computer, with no intermediate stage.

But that’s not possible. So, once I’ve established a routine, I want the routine to stay the same.  I don’t know how many of you are like me…. Read more


Okay, guys, I get it. Most of us suck at business. If we were good at business, we’d be working in an office somewhere. Except we wouldn’t, of course, because everyone is working from their living rooms, and I suspect “everyone who can will work from their living rooms” for a long, long time.

But the difference between a mediocre career in…. well, anything, but yes, in writing too, is how professional you are.   When you see someone who can’t write half as well as you do raking in the dough? Professionalism. (Yes, there are inexplicable ones that you know it’s not professionalism. But some people also win the lottery.  However if that’s your plan for making a living, you’re doing it wrong.) Read more