True Stories

by Ed Davis on November 17, 2015

Recently I wrote a short memoir, unusual for me, since I’ve written fiction and poetry almost exclusively for going on four decades; plus, it’s a sort of confession with real stakes:  if I ever showed it to my childhood best friend, recently diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, I thought it might hurt him, maybe a lot. Yet I was driven, having hung on for half a century to the story of my friend who, humiliated by a bully before witnesses, afterward hid indoors for an entire summer. And another boy (me) who, along with his peers, assassinated that boy’s character … Read the full article

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Messy Inefficiency: Writing a Novel

by Ed Davis on October 23, 2015

A Mystery 

“Good,” my wife said. “Now you’re free to write the real book.”

I’d just described an interview in which I’d received information that would require an entire re-envisioning of my latest novel-in-progress’s plot—a rewrite that might require another year to produce a second draft. She then asked me why I hadn’t conducted the interview before writing my first draft? A really good question which should’ve been easy to answer but wasn’t—and got me thinking about my messily inefficient novel-writing process.


While I did significant research on hydraulic fracturing and learning disorders, both of which play … Read the full article

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Meli’s Way: A Review

September 10, 2015
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Finding Her Moral Compass

Several years ago when I was contemplating writing a young adult novel myself, I read widely in the genre but found nothing like Meredith Sue Willis’s new young adult novel Meli’s Way. I think it’s a masterpiece:  a profound exploration of the technology-driven, terrorist-threatened, family-fragmented world in which young people today come of age.

The book is an up-to-this-moment contemporary depiction of a young high school student in New York City finding her way with very little guidance (but a lot of love) from her single parent mom with a mysterious past. It’s fast-paced with meaningful … Read the full article

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Lit News: Lewisburg, CCC Reading & New Poetry Market

August 11, 2015

Lewisburg (WV) Lit Fest 

Would you believe it if I told you that a tiny West Virginia town with a population around 4,000 had Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help, as the keynote speaker at their fourth annual Lit-Fest last weekend, August 7-8, 2015?

Me, either—but there she stood in all her Mississippi splendor before an excited packed house in little Lewisburg’s Carnegie Hall. Stockett was very funny:  “What do you say to your best childhood friend when he begs you for the movie rights to your best-selling novel?” (Pause.) “Hell, no!” But she did give him the … Read the full article

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Antioch Writers’ Workshop Returns!

July 8, 2015

Invest in Yourself

Beginning this Saturday, July 11, 2015, the Antioch Writer’s Workshop (AWW) begins and continues through Friday, July 17. Including all genres—fiction, nonfiction and poetry— the workshop in Yellow Springs accommodates all levels, from beginner to professional. However, I believe it’s most useful to those who’ve been writing at least for a year or two, meaning they have work-in-progress to share, along with many questions needing answers, such as “How do I move to the next level?” or “How do I get published?”

Options Abound

By going to the workshop’s website, you’ll see that participants have options … Read the full article

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Honoring the Glen: A Concert & Art Show

June 12, 2015
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Sacred Space

For so many in the Miami Valley, Glen Helen in Yellow Springs is one of the area’s best nature destinations if not a sacred site. For me, it’s both; some days I need an aerobic walk; on others, I need to wander, dream and write poetry. But I always feel Helen’s healing power.

On Saturday, June 27, 2015, Honoring the Glen:  A concert and Art Show (and fundraiser for the Glen) will be co-hosted by Antioch University Midwest and Tecumseh Land Trust, beginning with an art show and simultaneous kids’ activity from 5-6:45 p.m. Attendees will also … Read the full article

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Editing 102: Ownership

May 26, 2015

May 26, 2015

To truly benefit from someone’s critiquing/editing of your fiction, you need to be extremely open and receptive but not to the point where you lose ownership of your writing. But, you ask, how can you make sure you’ve not ceded ownership to another person, even unconsciously?

Using your innate writerly instincts for what does/doesn’t work in a story, try hard to develop greater intuition: inner voices that suggest you’re on- or off-track. After a while, you should be able to do this not only as you’re revising your fiction but even as you write!

As you listen … Read the full article

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Editing 101: What Editors (Should) Do

May 4, 2015


May 3, 2015

*After I’d edited one of her essays, a new writer-friend asked me what a good editor does, giving me a chance to reflect on a skill I’ve picked up over the past forty years, one which I take for granted but shouldn’t. The e-mail below excerpts a correspondence I had several months back with her, which she’s kindly allowing me to share.

Dear Barbara:

I think it’s time I answered your wonderful e-mail of a couple weeks ago. I’ve thought a lot about what I need to say—and what you might need to hear about what … Read the full article

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Derailed by Diagnosis

April 23, 2015

April 23, 2015

“The biopsy showed that out of twelve samples of your prostate, two of them tested positive for cancer.” As ready as I thought I was to hear this news imparted by the soft-spoken urologist, I still took a hit, despite what I’d always told myself: why should I escape the serious health issues so many friends and family members have suffered?

Nothing like getting a cancer diagnosis in the middle of your book tour to knock you for a loop. Even Israel Jones might be tempted to lay down his guitar and sleep for a few months.… Read the full article

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Busting Out at Barnes & Noble

March 23, 2015
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We Did It! 

The Miami Valley’s literary community did it again! My wife counted 45 people attending my reading at the Beavercreek (Ohio) Barnes & Noble last Saturday, March 21. Just as you did for Cyndi Pauwels last September, you supported me—and, therefore, all local authors—by coming out in force to show one of the last remaining big bookstores that you care about literature and you vote! (By buying books.)

Like a Field of Sunflowers . . . 

Thank you so much—my heart was warmed by your enthusiastic presence as you gathered by the front window … Read the full article

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