Paying tribute to Civil War nurses, like Maureen, during Women’s History Month

Last Saturday, I took part in a Women’s History Month event at the Boonsboro Library. While my two fellow panelists are real historians—John Banks writes a great Civil War blog, and Emilie Amt is a professor of history at Hood College—I was invited because of DIVIDED LOYALTIES. The program was organized by Smoketown-Antietam Hospital Project. It…

A writer walks into a bar…

  And orders up a short story. And then another. True story! Where was I? Cafe Zoetrope in San Francisco. This flatiron shaped building near Chinatown and North Beach is owned by Francis Ford Coppola. I am drawn to it like the proverbial moth to a flame. It started as a newspaper office. Great filmmakers…

Read: Ron Base’s “Dame”

It’s fun, don’t you think, to read a book set in a place where you are. I walked through the Fort Myers (Florida) airport the other day and saw an author standing at a table trying to sell books to people in a hurry. As an author, I immediately felt empathy for him. I had to…

Inspiration: Collected Letters

  Sometimes, writing feels like this, a thousand letters (and not all of them familiar) come piling down on top of me. I can be driving down the Beltway, walking through the produce aisle, running on the treadmill. A thousand thoughts pile up on me, letters, words, sentences, paragraphs, Stories. It’s a miracle. Does it…

Still so much to learn

While I focus most of my attention on better language, better structure and better story, sometimes I have to focus on the business of books. When you have a book out there—or will soon—you have to be ready to sell, sell, sell. In the course of my studies, I’ve learned a smidge about some new…