Tag Archives: on writing

On the Bookshelf XXVIII


Black Moon by Kenneth Calhoun
Thoughtful and reminiscent of Matheson at his eerie finest, Black Moon is the story of apocalypse through mass insomnia. Basically: when 90% of the world’s population loses its ability to sleep, everything goes to hell. This is a stunner of a debut. I have my fingers crossed that it ends as well as it has begun.
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
My second time through. If you haven’t read this book, you are committing a crime deserving of punishment. (Sorry, it had to be said. You know it did.)
Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield
A grand, gritty, painstakingly detailed account of the Spartans at Thermopylae. Pressfield is an engaging tale-spinner, and I’m looking forward to rewatching Zach Snyder’s 300 when I’m finished, just to compare.
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
Next to Douglas Wilson’s Wordsmithy, there is no writing book I return to more frequently or with greater relish than this one. Regardless of what you think of his fiction, King is a great writer. We can – and should – learn much from what he’s written here.

What’s on your bookshelf right now?

The Pet Is Embarrassed

“One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you’re maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones. This is like dressing up a household pet in evening clothes. The pet is embarrassed and the person who committed this act of premeditated cuteness should be even more embarrassed.”

― Stephen King, On Writing