Month: August 2017

  • The Art of War

    Sun Tzu is the name given to the author of the military treatise The Art of War. No one knows when the book was written or whether Sun Tzu is its true author. The name in the book is Sun Wu. He was a general and military advisor active during the Spring and Autumn period…

  • Labels and Charlottesville

    last week I ran into an article by Lan Samantha Chang entitled Writers, Protect Your Inner Life. Sam’s day job is director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. When school’s out, she gives writing workshops in Paris (2014) and Napa (2016). At Napa, Sam gave a craft lecture on the interior life. She gave us a…

  • McTyeire School for Girls

    The tricky thing about writing historical fiction is getting the details right. Were there ballpoint pens in Shanghai in 1937? (Yes.) Or plastic chopsticks in 1954? (No.) The average reader might not care but mine would. They already know something about China or they want to delve deeper. My readers want a story that feels…

  • Wanderlust

    I like to wander. To travel without any clear sense of a destination. I call myself a wanderer in my new Instagram account. The photos there all come from a recent trip to Germany. Hence the title of this blog post. Originally coined in German during the 19th century, wanderlust means an urge, an impulse,…