Wherein We Learn a Prodigal Son is Not Always Well-Received

After I finished Where You Once Belonged, I thought I was finished with it.  Slightly dissatisfied with the ending, I packed the book up to pass it along to a friend.  Several hours later I found myself thinking about the characters and wondering, as I so often do with books I am engrossed in, what the […]

Mick Kinney: A Song in His Heart and a Pencil in His Hand, Part 3

Parts 1 and 2 introduced musical omnivore Mick Kinney as a songwriter, but this final post will look briefly at the poetry of his songs. Mick credits the Gershwins, Hoagy Carmichael, Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, and clever wordsmiths like Kinky Friedman and Mose Allison as his musical mentors. Clever wordsmiths? That brings us back to […]

Trolling for Treasure in Foreign Lands

If reading has been as natural to you as breathing during your life, then you might have acquired an e-reader along the way.  It occurred to me recently, as my husband prepared for a short stay in Afghanistan, that e-readers have changed the elusive challenge of book finding in foreign countries.  The benefit is that […]

Mick Kinney: A Song in His Heart and a Pencil in His Hand, Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, I introduced you to Mick Kinney, a musical omnivore, and discussed his songwriting, which finds sources in a variety of genres. Part 2 analyzes one song. Mick’s song “Spare Us the Verse,” from Secret Songbook, illustrates the music hall style, while it also comments on the history of songwriting […]

Confessions of a Closet FF Writer: Part 3

“Fanfiction is what literature might look like if it were reinvented from scratch after a nuclear apocalypse by a band of brilliant pop-culture junkies trapped in a sealed bunker. They don’t do it for money. That’s not what it’s about. The writers write it and put it up online just for the satisfaction. They’re fans, […]

Mick Kinney: A Song in His Heart and a Pencil in His Hand, Part 1

What do Homer, the scop of Beowulf, Bob Dylan, and John Lennon have in common with Mick Kinney? That’s right, they’re all singer songwriters. Wait, you say.  First, The Iliad, The Odyssey, and Beowulf are great epic poems, not songs. Their authors are poets, not songwriters.  Except…in the olden days, literature was an oral tradition.  Homer […]

Confessions of a Closet FF Writer: Part 2

If you recall, my last posting defined what Fan Fiction is and what writing FF entails. Now that you’ve entered this strange new world, there are a few things you should know about Fan Fiction land. First: FF encourages everyone, of any skill level, to have a go at writing. No one actively criticizes another […]