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Chatting with Friends in #MyWritingProcess Blog Hop

I love a good conversation among friends and that’s how #MyWritingProcess blog tour is shaping up. Many thanks to Nathan ‘Burgoine for his candid and insightful entry, for tagging me, and for being a kind, gracious, witty and talented friend. Did I mention talented? Very talented!

What am I working on?
After immersing myself in the Middle Ages in both The Mandrake Broom and A Slender Tether, I’ve most recently come back to the present (as much as any of us writers are ever actually in the physical moment – and when is that? At work?) And I’ve been trying to come up with another word for ‘work’ when it applies to writing so I don’t feel as if I’m constantly at work. Playing? Sounds silly. Crafting? Sounds like Play-do. You see my quandry…and how easily I’m distracted which is a difficult trait for a writer who has 100,000 words to stick into some semblance of order. Alright, back to the question. My new piece is a series of stories set over 40 years around a small lake in Northern Michigan, an eerie collection, I think. Love, detrayal, an explosion, family dynamics, a soldier gone mad, the exquisite (to me) landscape of pines and loons. At this point it’s called The Disappearing Andersons of Loon Lake, though my editors/publishers are mostly (and thankfully) responsible for the titles of my books. I’ve given each of the stories a different date in time because I realized that because of the profound impact of the cell phone, some of the plot lines couldn’t be modern. And though I’m told that story collections don’t sell (to which I point out that the Nobel Prize just went to a short story writer) I persevere.

And then, of course, as I shipped the collection out to my private editor, the Muse delivered  Read More 

Would You Want an Android Promoting You? Phillip K Dick's Head Lost

I’m struck by the recent book review of “How to Build an Android: The True Story of Philip K. Dick’s Robotic Resurrection” and I’ve been puzzling over some questions it raises for writers.

First, the facts. The book “explains how a team of researchers at the Univ. of Memphis collaborated in 2005 with an artist and robotics experts to create what was then the most sophisticated android anywhere, a replica of the head of science fiction writer Philip K. Dick” (science fiction author of Blade Runner etc.). The android’s face was sculpted with a skin-like polymer, his non-functioning body was draped in Dick’s clothing donated by the family, and his speech was assembled “through an immense database of Dick’s own words as expressed during his lifetime in books and interviews…Phil could spit out an accurate Dick answer to a specific question if it found a match.” Or he was programmed to improvise.

But here’s the part straight out of a Dick novel: his creator was taking the head to Google for a meeting  Read More