Behind me is my old guitar. I've written about it before. But today, as I sit at the desk in the shed, I am reading an online article about another guitar, Bob Dylan's famous, or infamous, electric now on display at the American Writers Museum in Chicago. It is the one he played at the … Continue reading First, It Was the Music
The shed has been cold these last few days, but the space heater softens the bite. It takes some time to get the place warmed up. Trudge out in the snow, step inside the chill, turn on the heater. I head back to the house, make coffee, and wait. At the kitchen counter is a … Continue reading Walking and the Art of Writing
What makes someone a writer? When do you have the right to call yourself one? When you're published? When you finally finish the manuscript? When you get paid for something you've written? When someone else writes about your writing, i.e. a review? When Amazon says so? When Goodreads says so? Being a writer is not … Continue reading Are You a Writer?
Jonathan Franzen is a talented writer. No question. But, Jonathan, you are not the keeper of the rules of writing. And in fact, I'm proud to say at one time or another, writing here in the shed, I have broken every single one of your "10 Rules for the Novelist." Franzen recently issued his ten … Continue reading Screw the Rules
Sometimes I prop open the door to the shed, just a little, to allow cool air to circulate or to give Sam, my dog, easy access. For now, Sam is playing in the yard and I am at the desk. Most of the time when I'm working here, the door is closed. Today, however, I allow … Continue reading Sharing the Shed
I keep a guitar in the writer shed. It's the oldest of my two acoustics, a Yamaha I bought in the early 1970s with money I made from selling newspapers when I was in high school. The nicks and scratches, and the worn wood near the pick guard are tiny reminders of all the places … Continue reading If I Owned a Bookstore
During a break from writing in the shed, purely for fun, I Google "being a famous writer." Here is what comes up: How To Be a Famous Writer in Ten Easy Steps. This is the actual the title of the post, as if "fame" is as simple as planting a flower garden or losing five … Continue reading How Not To Be a Famous Writer