Archive for the ‘On Creativity’ Category

First off, wow, In the Biz was a hit. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and applauding Suzanne’s responses. I hope some of our new guests stick around. Café Lopez has a lot to share in the days/months/years ahead 🙂

A couple of days ago, I came across a little tidbit about one of my favorite books, William Faulkner’s A Light in August. To be fair, the source was Wikipedia, so there’s no telling how universal this opinion may be, but it drew my attention nevertheless:

Supposedly, one summer evening while sitting on a porch, [William Faulkner’s] wife remarked on the strange quality that light in the south has during the month of August. Faulkner rushed out of his chair to his manuscript, scratched out the original title, and penciled in Light in August. (But this is probably apocryphal given the huge symbolic role that both light and the month of August play in the novel.)

The first thing I did was look up the definition for apocryphal. My next act was to challenge the writer’s claim. You see, to me, the story sounds perfectly plausible. If there’s one thing that I think all writers can agree on, it’s that some most of our best ideas come from the unlikeliest of places. Don’t believe me? Then consider the origin of the title to The Dead Don’t Cry. (more…)


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Funny thing happened at the movies yesterday. We took the kids to see the new Shrek (recommended for anyone w/children), and somewhere around the half-way point the film turned into The Dead Don’t Cry (my book). Now, this lasted all of thirty seconds, max, but when I looked over to see my girlfriend’s reaction, her expression told me that she was thinking the same thing…holy crap, it’s Mark’s book. (more…)

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First off, let me thank everyone for their advice. I may not have won the contest, but the lessons I’ve learned in the process have been nothing short of inspiring. That said, I’ve come up with two new single sentence doozies. The first is my response to the “What’s your book about?” question, and the second is my new and improved logline. Hope you like!

The Dead Don’t Cry is about a ten year old girl who gets caught in the middle of an interplanetary crisis, and how she and her family come together to save two planets from the wrath of one man.

When a ten year old girl gets caught in the middle of an interplanetary crisis, it’s up to her to unite the two worlds before one man can destroy them all.

I wanted to incorporate key words like ‘wet-born’ and ‘Old Earth,’ but I don’t think the required brevity permits it. So, what do you think?


Hi, everyone, hope you’re enjoying this beautiful weekend (if you’re in North Jersey)! I finally got around to writing a one sentence answer to the dreaded question, “What’s your book about?” thanks to this terrific contest. I’m broadcasting it for some input.

“Worlds collide when an extraordinary girl determined to save her father wanders into an ancient wilderness embroiled in a life or death struggle against a legacy of tyranny.”

Do you like it? Is it too wordy, not wordy enough? Writing these are terribly difficult, so every bit of feedback helps!

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If you’ve ever spoken to someone who is passionate about running, you would know that their devotion can sometimes border on fanatical. I know, because I was once one of them. A runner. Not just any, I might add, but a long distance runner, all of whom I’d wager are in fact some kind of crazy. After all, who else would willingly submit herself to physical and mental exhaustion on a regular basis in the hopeless attempt to improve upon an unattainable level of perfection?

Oh right…you. (more…)

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I have a deep, dark secret that I’m going to share with you: I’ve watched many, many more movies than I’ve read books. The sacred rule is that writers must read – voraciously – and in so doing I’ve broken that rule. Often. More often than not, in fact. Which raises the obvious question: am I qualified to write? (more…)

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A couple of years ago, I did some free-lance work for a design company. Basic advertorial stuff. It paid well at the cost of being tortuously dull. As I was getting the details for the assignment, I somehow got sucked into a corporate brainstorming session for an unrelated project. To this day, my inner muse still resents the awkward, forced, and unnatural shenanigans that ensued.

The concept: come up with a T-Shirt friendly snappy catch phrase for a corporate sponsored outing.

The execution: Do so in one hour. In front of the boss. In stream of consciousness…No pressure. (more…)

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