my writing

photo by Biswarup Ganguly

An excerpt from my work in progress, The Death of Arthur. (A sequel to The Light of the Grail, which I’ll probably be self-publishing some time soon after I self-publish Joan, my novelization of the life of Joan of Arc.)

In this passage, Elaine, the daughter of King Pelles of Carbonek, describes to her servant Brisen her visit in disguise to her homeland, where she finds her father incapacitated and the land made barren as suggested by rumors that had reached her in the kingdom of Arthur.


A poem for the 4th. (The day Thomas Jefferson died, in 1826, on the 50th birthday of the nation.)

The Pull

Bodies of every size falling
at the same rate, no one
more or less anxious
to achieve the finality
of ground, all
equally compliant
or ineffectively resistant
to gravity’s
slippery slope.

First, read this courageous comment on the bombing and shooting in Norway.

We had our own “Oslo moment” here in the U.S., of course: the 9/11 attacks. In the aftermath, there was a lot of talk about tightening national security even at the cost of compromising our freedoms. A point that was often made in defense of more, and more extreme, measures was that no matter how strong our security was already, the terrorists would only need to find one crack in the wall, and they’d be in again.

Around this time, I was working on my still in-progress YA novel on the death of Arthur, a sequel to my novel on the Quest for the Holy Grail, and these debates found their way into the following scene, which takes place after Arthur’s victory over the Ten Kings. I offer it now in order to join my voice, in however small a way, to that of “Ola”, the commenter linked to above. (more…)

A few months ago, after I submitted my YA Joan of Arc novelization to yet another publisher and was feeling like I was moving into a wait-and-see phase concerning all my YA novels, I decided to turn my attention to picture book texts. I had already written a few over the years, but they needed a lot of work, and so I plunged into that, and wrote a few new ones, too. After a burst of activity that surprised me a little, I had seven completed texts, which I’m currently submitting to agents. (more…)

To see all my Lord of the Rings songs on one page, go to:

I just learned that today is International Pi Day and thought I’d share this poem I wrote a while back: (more…)

Or: “How the Internet has expanded what it means to be published.”

About a week ago, I read a piece by Andrew Leonard, one of my favorite columnists, about Clarence Thomas’ crazy solo dissent in the recent Supreme Court decision on corporate political spending. (Along the theme of this post: I say “columnist” though you could also call him a blogger.  However, what is a blog that exists as part of a larger publication but a column?) I’d long been aware that Thomas often stood alone on issues brought before the court, and realized that now was the time to finally write about it. (more…)

About a year ago, I attended a Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conference where Yolanda LeRoy, an editor with Charlesbridge Publishing, gave a very entertaining talk about the good and bad picture book manuscripts they get in their slush pile.  At one point, she mentioned a classically bad picture book element they often saw: “anthropomorphic alliterative animals”. (more…)