Good Memories of 2010, Day 4: MR. SHIVERS

By the time the number nineteen crossed the Missouri state line the sun had crawled low in the sky and afternoon was fading into evening. The train had built up a wild head of steam over the last few miles. As Tennessee fell behind it began picking up speed, the wheels chanting and chuckling, the fields blurring into jaundice-yellow streaks by the track. A fresh gout of black smoke unfurled from the train’s crown and folded back to clutch the cars like a great black cloak.

I met Robert Jackson Bennett briefly at SIBA (Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance) in September 2009. When I did my signing for Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom, he was signing at the next table, and we chatted briefly (I recall telling him his title was cool) and exchanged inscribed copies of our books.

Here’s his inscription:

Know what? When I finally picked the book up months later, I did enjoy it. A hell of a lot. Continue reading

INSOMNIA by Stephen King (capsule review)

Insomnia Insomnia by Stephen King

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
Far from King’s best. It was an engaging enough story, with some creative (if cartoonish) elements, but if ever there was a book crying out for the Reader’s Digest Condensed Book treatment (which is something I generally despise), it was this one. Nearly 800 pages used to tell a story that really should have been told in 300-400 at most. Way too much incidental detail, too much authorial wool-gathering.

View all my reviews.


As I near the publication of my first book, Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom, people are already asking about what’s next. What’s next is another Doc Wilde adventure, which I’m working on now, though not with the white hot intensity with which I do my best work, at least not yet.

I need to be obsessively committed to a writing project or it’ll take forever to finish. And here it is, October. Which means there’s something else to consider.


If you don’t know about it, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. I believe this is its tenth year. Its purpose is to encourage folks to write their asses off in November with the goal of having a 50,000 novel at the other end. You’re supposed to just write write write every day to meet your word count, without stressing over how good it is or if you’re choosing the right word or any self-editing. Editing will come in after November, when you can revisit the raw material you’ve produced and polish it up.

I’ve never taken part in NaNoWriMo, but always been interested and had decided to do it this year. I’m usually a relentless polisher of my stuff as I write, but when I let myself go and write just to write, I’m usually pleased with the results. I wrote Frogs of Doom that way deliberately, trying for that manic production push the pulp writers used, and it resulted in my first book sale. I’m thinking I need to make speedy, non-meticulous writing a habit.

My twelve year old son is going to be taking part in the NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program, and is really excited about it. It’s going to be a great activity we can do together, intensely, for a month. I’m looking forward to it too.

If you’re interested in finding out more, go to There are forums and widgets and all sorts of support material there, all aimed at motivating writers and allowing an online community to form. I’m gonna be there under the username outlawmoon. Maybe I’ll see you there.