A Recent Interview on My Approach to Creativity

A Recent Interview on My Approach to Creativity

I recently had the opportunity to answer a set of questions from Jeff Leisawitz, the author of ‘Not F*ing Around: The No Bullsh*t Guide for Getting Your Creative Dreams Off the Ground.’ We went over some great topics, like how I define my creative mission, how I’ve learned from success (and failure) and even how art and creativity can help to heal and grow. Swing on over and check it out.

NaNoWriMo 2016? Time For Something Completely Different

NaNoWriMo 2016? Time For Something Completely Different

A few months back I had an idea for a new novel, one I was calling “the most depressing book ever.” I’d named it Happier, Forgotten and I planned on cranking through it this November as a kind of NaNoWriMo followup to my last novel, A Confession. As it turns out, I’ve completely changed my mind. One of the biggest issues I’ve had as a writer is that I’m also a dad … and of everything I’ve written, not a single one is appropriate for my kids to read. I have three boys,…

The First Draft of ‘The Unfortunate Expiration of One Mr. David S. Sparks’ is Complete!

The First Draft of ‘The Unfortunate Expiration of One Mr. David S. Sparks’ is Complete!

About eight years ago, in November of 2008, I started my first attempt at NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I failed miserably, only putting down a few thousand words … but those few thousand words were the start of something … something that stuck around in my head for years while I tried to figure the whole story out.  Over the last year or two I’ve been back at the story, getting those ideas down to paper – trying to get the entire complicated thing into one story that made sense….

Writing the Story vs. Writing Well

Writing the Story vs. Writing Well

Last month marked my first time taking part in Camp NaNoWrimo. I set a goal to write 35,000 words in my current work-in-progress, but failed pretty miserably – coming in at about 10,000 words total written through the month. Part of it could be blamed on the fact that it’s summer, and there are responsibilities and vacations etc, but even when I did sit down to write, I tended to write considerably less than I had planned to in those sessions. Now, a few weeks into August, I’m back at it…

The Excitement of a New Story Idea

The Excitement of a New Story Idea

As a writer, one of my biggest challenges is keeping my thoughts straight – and determining what story idea works, and which ones don’t. Like most writers, I keep a notebook (or several notebooks) on me, jotting down ideas that come before they have a chance to go. Whether it be in the middle of the night, after a drive (I try not to ever take notes while I’m driving), or smack-dab in the middle of a conversation, putting these thoughts down on paper holds them in permanence so that they…

Every Writer Needs a Typewriter

Every Writer Needs a Typewriter

As writers, most of us perform our craft on computers these days – and have pretty much since household computers became commonplace. Due to the simplicity of being able to save and protect your work, to go back and make edits, to easily format your prose, and the modern conveniences of spell-check and grammar check, the choice to write at a computer is a simple one to make. That said, I strongly recommend anyone interested in writing to get themselves a working typewriter. In my writing space, my typewriter lives…

Reconnaissance on Roosevelt: Photos from a Writing Research Trip to Chicago

Reconnaissance on Roosevelt: Photos from a Writing Research Trip to Chicago

As I prepare to write the next section of my new novel, I’m finding myself needing to do quite a bit of additional location research. I mentioned the other day that I was in Chicago to get a better idea of the setting for this next part, and while I was down there I took quite a bunch of photos. My main character is going to be basically traveling from the Shedd Aquarium to the near west side of Chicago, via Roosevelt – on foot. I’d already spent some time on Google…

About that Bukowski Comparison …

About that Bukowski Comparison …

If you’ve read the back cover description of A Confession, you’ve probably noticed there’s a comparison there between my writing and Bukowski. Now, I know a few Bukowski fans, and before I raise their ire, I want to clarify something: I’ve never read Bukowski. So, you might already dismiss me as some sort of hack or fake (hack because how could you not read Bukowski??? … fake because how can you claim to write like him????). I don’t particularly care in either case – but I do want to explain a bit. That part on…