Category: Writing and Editing

I finish a play…and sing of Saskatchewan

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been writing a play, tentatively titled The Piano Bench: A Love Story with Evening and Ghosts. Today I finished the draft script, which I’ll be passing on the fine folks at Regina Lyric Musical Theatre, which I hope will be staging the play (with me directing it) this fall. Since it’s …

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Two songs from The Dragonslayer

Many years ago I took it into my head to turn a short story of mine, “The Dragonslayer, “into one-act stage musical, intended for high schools. In brief, it was about a teenager who was a whiz at killing dragons when playing Dungeons & Dragons, who gets called into an alternate world to deal with …

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Why books are better than the movies made from them

My 11-year-old daughter Alice and I, during a before-school stop in a coffee shop this morning, were discussing books that have been made into movies: specifically The Hunger Games, which won several People’s Choice Awards last night. “Why are the books always so much better than the movies?” asked Alice. A question for the ages. …

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My introduction to science fiction for non-SF audiences

I’ve occasionally been called on to talk to various groups—teachers, librarians, others—about science fiction. It’s an interesting challenge, since you can’t be sure that your audience knows the first thing about the topic. I start, of course, by establishing my bona fides: talking about my own writing and publications. Then I go on to say …

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You got fantasy in my reality!

The latest installment in my “The Space-Time Continuum” column on science fiction and fantasy that appears in Freelance, the newsletter of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild; inspired, as you will see, by a panel I attended at the World Fantasy Convention in Toronto. There are, broadly speaking, three kinds of fantasy tales. There is the kind …

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The tangled tale of how my YA fantasy Spirit Singer was born, died, and is being resurrected

Let’s step into the wayback machine, and set it for the turn of the century… In that long-ago time, ebooks were in their infancy. There were dedicated ebook-reading devices, but practically nobody had them. (Although I did: a Hiebook. Read a lot of David Weber on it through Baen’s free ebook library.) There were ebook …

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Things my editor told me

I think I’ve mentioned—though no more than a gazillion times or so, so you might have missed it—that my next book to be published by DAW will be Masks, first book in a trilogy (and hopefully series) that will continue with Shadows and Faces. Earlier today I spent a couple of hours on the phone …

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I’m writing a play…and using this song

So, I’m writing this play. Its working title is The Piano Bench: A Love Story with Music and Ghosts. If all goes well it might even make it on stage late next year. Why? Well, therein lies a blog post. The house in which I live has been in my wife’s family since 1939. (It …

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The next big thing

I don’t very often follow up on things I’ve been “tagged” with in the online world, but I was tagged twice for “The Next Big Thing,” both times by writers from Australia, and that seems somehow karmically important. So… The way this is supposed to work is that if you get tagged you answer10 questions, …

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Pondering perfection in an imperfect post

Here’s a rather metaphysical question for you: why do we strive for perfection? Cold logic tells us that perfection is impossible. As a writer, I know perfectly (sorry) well that I will never in my life write something perfect. In fact, I know logically that it’s impossible to even define what a perfect piece of …

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Kingdom in Shadows, by Alice Willett, age 11

My daughter likes to write, too. Here’s a recent piece, illustrated by the author. Kingdom in Shadows By Alice Willett The Kingdom of Averendel was dying. One girl looked out of her window, the rain drizzling outside. The girl was crying. Her little sister came in with a letter. The girl turned, wiping tears from …

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TSR, Gygax, D&D & me

TSR. Gygax. The names may mean nothing to you, but to me, they were once words of power, for TSR (Tactical Studies Rules Inc.) published Dungeon & Dragons…and Gary Gygax, who cofounded the company in 1973 with childhood friend Don Kaye, created that seminal fantasy role-playing game, along with Dave Arneson. Now comes news that …

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