The intimacy of artwork: How art helps creators know a subject on a new level

For the artist, so much of the creative process involves focus, and focus often fosters appreciation. Perhaps that’s why artists love so deeply. There’s an intensity and intimacy to analyzing a subject through an artist’s lens. It magnifies our awareness and knowing a subject.

Pandemic and fiction: Handling a plot in a post-2020 world

The calendar is one of those pesky little details that matters in fiction. If a writer says Christmas Day is on a Friday, then New Year’s Eve better fall on a Thursday. Or if a full moon occurs in one scene, it better not be a clear moonless night the next week. Otherwise, a readerContinue reading “Pandemic and fiction: Handling a plot in a post-2020 world”

The legend of La Befana, the Christmas Witch

When it comes to holidays with a good witch story, the natural one to come to mind is Halloween. But it turns out Christmas has a famous witch, too. Magic and lore have a long camaraderie with the Christmas season. In the centuries before electricity, the shortened hours of daylight and cold weather drove peopleContinue reading “The legend of La Befana, the Christmas Witch”

The (literal) nature of research

Writing fiction requires authors to ferret out a lot of facts. On the surface, it seems like a paradox. Massive swaths of the story are pure fabrication straight from the author’s imagination. Why would a writer – particularly a fantasy writer like me – need to delve into research? Ah, because the devil – asContinue reading “The (literal) nature of research”

Which came first: The writer or the witch?

All of my life, I’ve been a daydreamer. I’ve never been sure if I pass more of my hours navigating real life or wandering my imagination. That’s why Halloween always has been near and dear to my heart. It’s one of the rare days in the U.S. when we merge our daily routines with ourContinue reading “Which came first: The writer or the witch?”

How COVID-19 changed my perspective on being an introvert

It doesn’t take new acquaintances long to learn two things about me: I’m an introvert, and I’m a homebody. When stay-at-home orders first were issued at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, my life didn’t change much. I couldn’t go to the movie theater anymore, and I had to wear a maskContinue reading “How COVID-19 changed my perspective on being an introvert”