JCF TV #2: The Most Important Muscle in a Writer’s Body

Introducing JCF TV

Okay, maybe it’s not actually TV. But our culture tends to call anything with videos “TV”, just like we generically call paper tissues Kleenex and going out for a soft drink “getting a Coke.” That’s right, it’s my YouTube Channel (another linguistic pilferage from broadcast). Either way, it’s still not an actual Television Broadcast station, [...]

Now Selling At A Target Near You

For years, nay, decades, I’ve wanted what I’ve called a pair of writer’s gloves. Basically a pair of gloves without the fingertips to roughly the first joint of the finger, I also referred to them as “chimney sweep gloves” because that’s what Dick Van Dyke wore in Mary Poppins. Years ago – we’re talking the [...]

The Literary Spouse

Every writer has, or ought to have, a more or less special first reader. For me it is my wife. My wife is the first person to see every article I write for The Economist and every draft of my book manuscript. (I don't show her my blog posts or emails, obviously, which may explain [...]

Slowly I Turn…

So just to catch up on what I’m doing, I am currently working on the this year’s play for our Vacation Bible School program – a knights of the round table themed epic called The Secret of the Castle Omi La. I don’t think it’s going to be as big a scale as everyone expects [...]

The Pen

There’s one thing that every writer needs to have in his or her arsenal of tools: a pen. No, I’m not talking about those three-for-a-buck Bic Stics. I’m talking about a nice pen. A really nice pen. One that requires more than the usual pittance of an investment to get, but makes up for the [...]

The Reading Party, or, If You Can’t Stand the Heat, Don’t Become a Writer

It never ceases to amaze me. Just when I think I should shutter the doors on this online journal, something comes along that I realize I haven’t written about, and the blog goes on for another few weeks. My wife and I hosted the reading party for A Father Christmas last night. I brought in [...]

From the Front Lines

I’ve long thought it might be fun to teach a Creative Writing class. But after reading Tod Goldberg’s experiences, I’m not so sure. And now I’m remembering what kind of student I was in Creative Writing. Ugh. I’ll start drafting letters of apology to my instructors today. (Hat tip to Pete for the link) Listening:If [...]

The Return of the Thing

January 26th – before the darkest month began – that was the last time I worked on A Father Christmas. I don’t know, maybe next year I’ll experiment and plan to not do anything in February – not even blogging – and see what happens. On the other hand, perhaps not. It might be the [...]

The Handy-Dandy Pre-Submission Manuscript Checklist

Speaking of information that I passed onto my friend for his new novel, I also sent him a checklist of things that, when applied to a submission, make it the most professional looking manuscript possible. I’ve been accumulating these little nuggets over the years. They’re based a little on manuscripts I’ve seen by others, moreso [...]


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