My Favorite Book of 2015

(for my wife, a huge Paul Newman fan) One of my jobs as a writer is to read. A lot. I’ve set a goal in the past few years of reading at least one book per week (audio books count) Continue reading My Favorite Book of 2015

… One Giant Leap for an Author

Neo-Renaissance practitioners are always looking for new experiences, new insights, new knowledge, and pushing their own limits. As an aspiring polymath, some years ago I took up the creative endeavor of writing fiction, particularly the novel. At first, it was Continue reading … One Giant Leap for an Author

A Call for Beta Readers

http://www.clker.com/cliparts/5/2/8/0/12081853671253380741Selanit_Man_Reading_to_Cat.svg.hi.png All the experts seem to agree that the best way to find a beta reader for a nearly finished novel manuscript is to ask for interested volunteers. So here I am, asking for your help. My work in progress, Continue reading A Call for Beta Readers

On the Generosity and Community Spirit of Writers

I’ve been writing seriously, attempting to publish a book, for more than seven years. I am a piddlingly small fish in the big pond of humans who call themselves writers, authors, scribes, journalists, scribblers, or any other name for someone Continue reading On the Generosity and Community Spirit of Writers

Top Five Things I Learned at the 2015 UW-Madison Writers’ Institute

  Highlights: The recurring theme at the 2015 UWWI was the ever-changing publishing landscape. Quality is more important than ever. Writers must become business owners/entrepreneurs in order to hope to make a living. But a quality book is the keystone. Continue reading Top Five Things I Learned at the 2015 UW-Madison Writers’ Institute

Learning from Success with NaNoWriMo

Three years in a row! Hooray for me. Okay, enough celebrating. As a Neo-Renaissance man, I’m all about learning from life’s experiences, good and bad, successes and failures. The old saying is, “You learn more from failure than success.” But Continue reading Learning from Success with NaNoWriMo

The Key to a Successful Neo Renaissance Life

Renaissance people, or Polymaths, or whatever you call us, are skilled and/or knowledgeable in many areas.  We believe in lifelong learning, and are driven to excel in more than one area. But the core secret or fundamental trait of a Continue reading The Key to a Successful Neo Renaissance Life

Four Reasons I’m Scaling Back on Social Media

When it comes to working in the internet age, do you ever feel like this? Trying to be an expert in several different areas. Or do you ever feel like this? Trying to do everything at once and keep pace. Continue reading Four Reasons I’m Scaling Back on Social Media

Book Review–The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

A Pulitzer Prize winning novel deserves attention and discussion, no matter what the perceived quality, mostly because a winning novel is a subjective choice by a small jury who has a certain amount of influence in affecting modern literary taste Continue reading Book Review–The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Musing on Formal Education

  My wife and I attended her niece’s graduation from Grinnell College the other day. She’s a bright, charming, intelligent young woman who’s already been to China to teach English and is going back later this year for an 11-month Continue reading Musing on Formal Education