…then keep growing. When you’re big enough, bust out and take charge.
In the acknowledgments to Semiosis, I wrote: “I owe thanks to Gregory Frost, whose writing exercise about a special kind of wall led to this novel.” That exercise took place in 1996 at the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Workshop, which I attended. As one of the instructors, Greg assigned several exercises over his week … Continue reading Imagine a wall…
As you may know, the novels Semiosis and Interference are set on a distant planet and feature a small animal called a fippokat. The fippokat is based on my sister-in-law’s imaginary childhood animal. This year, for Christmas, I commissioned a friend who is a fiber artist to create a fippokat for her as a gift. … Continue reading For Christmas: a fippokat
I’m trying to convince my tiny tree, a Gingko biloba, that winter has come, and I’m not having much success. I grew this sapling from a seed I gathered in the fall of 2019 from a tree in the park next to my home. I kept the seed refrigerated over the winter and planted it … Continue reading It’s winter, dammit!
The Elements of Eloquence: How to Turn the Perfect English Phrase by Mark Forsyth My rating: 5 of 5 stars Although I’ve been writing professionally for 48 years, there’s always more to learn about writing. That’s why I read this book: to learn the “secrets of the perfect turn of phrase.”Author Mark Forsyth opens the … Continue reading Goodreads review: “Elements of Eloquence”
Pinkstink dung moss On the imaginary planet of Pax, there’s a plant that disguises itself as poop. On Earth, plants do that too, as I mentioned in an earlier blog post. Earth also has poop moss. It looks like moss. It gets its name because it grows on poop. Specifically, it grows on dung in … Continue reading Poop moss. Yes, that’s a thing
A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine My rating: 4 of 5 stars This novel won the Hugo, and it involved space opera and poetry, so I thought I’d like it. I did.The novels starts a little slow – though not boring – and builds up to a fine climax. The main character arrives as … Continue reading What you don’t remember can kill you
I'll be chatting with members of the Madrid Writer's Club. I was a member when I lived in Spain. You're welcome to join us!
The time had come. Photo by Sue Burke For some plants, the angle of the sun tells them what season it is. Others rely on the temperature. In any case, in autumn, deciduous trees drop their leaves to prepare for winter. When the time comes, trees cut off the flow of nutrients to their leaves, … Continue reading Leaves fall down
Some animals — in particular certain butterflies, moths, and caterpillars — have big fake eye spots. Their purpose is to scare off predators. Do they work? I can speak from personal experience. I was about four years old, playing in a neighbor’s yard, when a caterpillar fell out of a tree and onto my hand. … Continue reading “It had mean eyes!”