But, Why?

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God was lonely, I’m guessing. Wanted company.

He built smart computers that did everything right except stop loneliness.

He drank a whole pot of coffee and made computers with free will that looked vaguely like us because they were us.

His loneliness went away.

But free will brought murder.

God said, “Hey!” and the murdering stopped. Men and women shook with fear.

And loneliness returned.

We were gone. God had ruined us.

Now he had a choice. Stop talking and hide, or end free will forever.

He looked at the stars. They said, “It’s big out here.”

No. Not really. He would get rid of free will, then.

He raised his hand high but before it fell… he fell in love.

With us and our half smiles. The telegraphed humor. Our romance with bad words that make us so sure we’re cool. And all the darling little cars we leave everywhere.

So he went off to hide and think.

While he was away someone said, “There is no free will.”

With that, everyone vanished.

Everyone but God.

He couldn’t sleep because he’d downed that whole pot of coffee.

And he could still see my wife’s hopeful eyes when the kids were young.

Will they come back? Can they?

The stars didn’t answer. They didn’t seem to know.

M. Talmage Moorehead

This is kind of mundane, but…

My in-progress experimental style novel, Hapa Girl DNA starts here. It’s sort of a “hapa” (Hawaiian for “half”) thing itself, a hybrid of fiction and non-fiction. I’m ignoring a ton of “good fiction writing” rules, but I like to question all dogmas in all fields. I’m testing to find out which fiction writing rules matter and which don’t.

If you would like to read my e-book on fiction writing and be notified when each of my novels is done (possibly before the next ice age) join my list here. (No spam or sharing of your info. I haven’t written to my list yet – in over a year. My bad, but I’ll get to it eventually.)

By the way, if you feel like it, please email your best weird friend about this blog (www.storiform.com). Thanks, I appreciate your generous help!

Talmage


I Bailed On My Medical Practice

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Honestly, I was never cut out to be a pathologist.

It’s true that I have a strong eye for pattern recognition of rare tumors. And I’ve got enough OCD-ishness to avoid most of the million tiny and galactic mistakes that haunt pathologists without OCD traits.

But I lack the bluster for the job.

It turns out that bluster, the gift of feeling and sounding 100% certain when you’re only 99, is the key to tolerating a profession where people’s lives are in your hands.

And that gift of pseudo-certainty makes surgeons and colleagues think you’re good, even if you’re not.

The people who thought I was an outstanding general pathologist were the few pathologists who consulted with me on most of their own tough cases. Plus maybe every cytotechnologist I ever worked with.

And my wife and kids who are completely unbiased.

When the stress from outside work escalated and combined with on-the-job stress, I reached critical mass inside. I was done. Cooked.

It was a Thursday night.

On Friday I walked into work and told them this would be my last day as a pathologist.

That was June 27, 2014, about a month ago. Since then, I’ve learned a few things.

When I’m not smothered by life-and-death stress, the world shines for me.

Sitcoms are funny. I’m still shocked.

Nobody dies if I’m an imperfect human.

The scowl wasn’t permanent. My daughter said my eyes look younger now.

The other day I caught myself smiling at a tree in our backyard. Do normal people do that?

I no longer have to open fresh colons, remove the feces by hand and hunt for invisible lymph nodes for an hour breathing toxic fumes.

The last 26 years of practice are over. The 13 years of prep and training are history.

My goal is to become an indie writer before the neurons fly south.

I didn’t quit pathology so I could write full-time. I’m not that brave.

I quit because I couldn’t go on.

But I love to write. More than anything.

And like you, my human flaws qualify me for this job.

M. Talmage Moorehead

If you’re interested in intelligent design, weird artifacts, genetics and psychology from the perspective of a nineteen-year-old “Hapa Girl,” my in-progress novel may be a fun read. The protagonist, Johanna, is a genius geneticist with a younger brother who struggles with depression. Her evolving story starts here.

It’s an experiment called, Hapa Girl DNA, a tightrope of fiction and nonfiction. “Hapa” is the Hawaiian term for “half.” Johanna is half Japanese and half Jewish. In “writing” her own novel as she lives it, she ignores some big fiction rules, partly because she’s allergic to dogma and partly because she’d rather enjoy the “writing” experience than worry about material success.

But the “rules” are essential knowledge to anyone crazy enough to break them.

If you’re a fiction writer or just curious, you could download my free e-book on fiction writing, the second to last chapter of which gives my specific take on many of the dogmatic rules of fiction writing. Downloading that 19,000 word pdf file will place you on my list of interested people who will be politely notified when my traditional version of this novel is done – possibly before the next ice age. (No spam or sharing of your email address. I haven’t written to my list yet and it’s been over a year.)

Next time you’re writing emails, if you think of it, please send my blog address (www.storiform.com) to an open-minded, highly intelligent and beautiful friend of yours. Thanks. I appreciate it. They might not, but you never know. 🙂

Talmage


Forgiveness

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Not long ago in a dream I was visited by a beautiful girl who was my girlfriend for two months during my junior year of high school. At the time, I was a “too-religious” loner and she was a popular senior who, for some strange reason, saw something special in me, sought me out and told me about it. She talked to me like an equal. Though we never kissed (it was against academy rules) we became an item. When we broke up, it was because of poor communication on my part.

I’ve always deeply regretted that.

I’m not a Christian fundamentalist anymore, but I’ve always blamed myself for turning her away from the religion we held in common at the time. I was the most religious boy she’d ever met, and I broke up with her for no apparent reason. That probably convinced her that the religion was bogus.

When she left our strict faith she ventured too far in the opposite direction. I’ve heard that fundamentalists tend to do that if they leave.

Years later when I was doing my final year of pathology residency, she came in on a slab at the coroner’s office on the last day of my forensics elective. There was no visible cause of death. She was still young and beautiful.

I try not to blame myself, but it’s no use.

She and I never talked things over. I never even intended to break up with her. She misunderstood what I was saying and said, “You should go before I cry.” And like a fool I turned and walked out the door of the chemistry building and never had a real conversation with her again.

In my dream I said to her, “Thank you so much for coming to see me.” I told her how much I still appreciate the kindness and the loving attention she’d given me all those years ago when I was young, away from home, self-isolated and alone. How she looked beyond the sincere but plastic wall of religion I’d built around myself, and she’d managed to find something attractive in me.

I tried to tell her that I never meant to break up with her, but she didn’t seem to hear those words.

Of course, at about this point in the dream I realized she wasn’t real. She would vanish in a few seconds, as people always do when I notice that I’m dreaming.

So I just looked at her face and tried to keep her there. I told her that she looked so beautiful and so young. She hadn’t aged. I confided that she seemed so completely real, and she vanished.

I woke up in a dark room. Why didn’t I talk things over with her back in high school when she was alive? When she still held that strict belief system that would have kept her out of trouble!

My son, the psychologist in training, has told me since his high school years, “If you don’t talk, Dad, people will assume the worst.”

I know that now.

To be understood you’ve got to open your mouth and talk. Especially when there’s a misunderstanding.

Be careful of silence… saying nothing until it’s too late.

But I wonder, is it ever too late?

Maybe time is not linear. Maybe the Universe never loses information – as the physicists say.

Maybe she heard me in that dream.

Maybe she understood and forgave me.

M. Talmage Moorehead

By the way, this story is literally true.

If you’re interested in intelligent design, weird artifacts, genetics and psychology from the perspective of a nineteen-year-old “Hapa Girl,” my in-progress novel may be a fun read. The protagonist, Johanna, is a genius geneticist with a younger brother who struggles with depression, though you wouldn’t know it to meet him. Her evolving story starts here.

It’s an experiment called, Hapa Girl DNA, and is a hybrid itself – a tightrope crossing of fiction and non-fiction. “Hapa” is the Hawaiian term for “half.” Johanna is half Japanese and half Jewish. In writing her novel, she and I ignore some important fiction-writing rules, partly because we like to test dogmas and partly because it’s fun to try new things.

But the “rules” are essential knowledge to anyone crazy enough to either break them or follow them mindlessly.

So you could download my e-book on fiction writing, the second to last chapter of which gives my current opinions on many of the dogmatic rules of fiction writing. Downloading that 10,000 word file will place you on my short list of people who will be politely notified when my traditional novel is done – possibly before the next ice age. (No spam or sharing of your info. I haven’t sent an email to my list yet. It’s been over a year.)

Next time you’re writing emails, if you think of it, please tell your best and hopefully weirdest friend about my blog (www.storiform.com). Thanks! I appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Talmage


How to Prove Darwinism to the FDA

DNA

You and I stumble into this Universe from a another place where the laws of physics are entirely different. We’re scientists who live for billions of years.

You see Earth and suspect that her life forms’ DNA code was written by a phenomenon called “survival of the fittest.”

I challenge your theory because I’m a scientist. You respect my challenge because you’re a scientist.

We set up a standard scientific study, a blinded, controlledrandomizedprospective, duplicable experiment to settle the dispute. No problem…

1. We randomly select a significant number of planets containing DNA-based life. A few hundred thousand will give us decent statistics we hope.

2. We ask unbiased robots to document the current DNA code of every species on every test planet while we’re not looking.

3. We set up cameras everywhere to document which species are surviving, when and why.

4. We have our robots decode all the DNA so we will later know exactly what each gene does in each life form.

5. We do a thorough search for intelligent DNA code writers – such as humans – and exclude their planets from the study because they would tarnish our data.

6. We put a barrier around each test planet that selectively keeps out extraneous DNA and DNA code writers (but nothing else).

7. We blind the study to make it objective by never looking at any of the data until it’s all gathered by unbiased robots.

8. We locate a few hundred thousand control planets in which the DNA-based life forms do NOT compete for survival. Fortunately we find another Universe where these conditions exist, and our robots set up an identical situation there.

9. We wait 13.8 billion years and have the robots collect the data and analyze it statistically. They also look at what happened on the control planets.

10. They give us a p-value that tells us what the probability is that the changes in the DNA were merely caused by chance.

11. If that number is low enough, we can be at least 95% sure that there is a positive correlation between: (A) any new DNA code that showed up and (B) the “survival of the fittest.”

12. Assuming there is a positive correlation as Darwin predicted, the correlation does not prove that A was caused by B. To prove that we must…

13. Have unbiased artificial intelligences review and interpret all the video, correlate it to the DNA changes in time context, and see if things demonstrate a cause-and-effect relationship.

14. If the DNA changes are appropriate to the survival behavior seen on the 13.8 billion years of video, we publish findings which strongly suggest a causal relationship between B (survival of the fittest) and A (new DNA code). Our paper states that more research must be done to confirm our results.

16. If other scientists come here and are able to duplicate our results several times, then we have come as close as statistics allow to proving scientifically that Darwin was correct and the survival of the fittest does indeed write complex reams of new DNA code in this particular Universe.

Next, since you and I have seen strange things before, we go looking outside of space and time for the intelligent mind that designed the laws of physics for this remarkably clever Universe that writes its own DNA code.  We locate a busy, intelligent-looking being and are about to interrupt when we hear a booming voice say, “Let There Be Light.”

Why does this matter to me?

See the post before this one: “Love, Lies and Opposable Thumbs.”

M. Talmage Moorehead

If you’re interested in intelligent design, weird artifacts, genetics and psychology from the perspective of a nineteen-year-old “Hapa Girl,” my in-progress novel may be a fun read. The protagonist, Johanna, is a genius geneticist with a younger brother who struggles with depression, though you wouldn’t know it to meet him. Her evolving story starts here.

It’s an experiment called, Hapa Girl DNA, and is a hybrid itself – a tightrope crossing of fiction and non-fiction. “Hapa” is the Hawaiian term for “half.” Johanna is half Japanese and half Jewish. In writing her novel, she and I ignore some important fiction-writing rules, partly because we like to test dogmas and partly because it’s fun to try new things.

But the “rules” are essential knowledge to anyone crazy enough to either break them or follow them mindlessly.

So you could download my e-book on fiction writing, the second to last chapter of which gives my current opinions on many of the dogmatic rules of fiction writing. Downloading that 10,000 word file will place you on my short list of people who will be politely notified when my traditional novel is done – possibly before the next ice age. (No spam or sharing of your info. I haven’t sent an email to my list yet. It’s been over a year.)

Next time you’re writing emails, if you think of it, please tell your best and hopefully weirdest friend about my blog (www.storiform.com). Thanks! I appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Talmage


Love, Lies and Opposable Thumbs

I wrote this in a comment:

“Love is impossible without trust. Trust has been undermined by the popular notion that honesty is optional. Honesty is impossible in a paradigm where there is no right and wrong, only amoral species competing for survival with no advantage attributed to honesty. We need to figure out who we are and why our survival depends on honesty, trust and love.”

What I meant was…

We’ve been sold snake-oil science: The notion that we’re nothing but animals with big brains doesn’t impress me.

This belief is death to a species capable of destroying worlds, because it will promote dishonesty which leads to distrust which leads to hatred and ultimately to self-annihilation via H-bombs or predatory genetic engineering.

Everything we read is baptized in the “scientific” dogma that a mindless thing called “survival of the fittest” writes DNA code, the complexity of which we’re only now beginning to catch a mind-boggling glimpse of.

Evolution is taught to children and doctors as “infallible” rather than what it is: an uncontrolled, unblinded, non-randomized and speculative interpretation of weak retrospective data that hasn’t been given a thorough statistical analysis because one isn’t possible – the very sort of weak study design that medical journals would reject as dangerous – if anyone were so naive as to submit such a study, which I can’t imagine.

Everyone believes the evolutionary tale unless they’re part of a fundamentalist religious group with other beliefs.

Either way, our species is heading for extinction because we have made it “normal” to lie to each other.

In commercials, only the sales matter, not the truth.

In our courts, winning trumps integrity.

In politics, winning means infinitely more than honesty because the other side is so clearly evil, dumb and dangerous – no matter which side you’re on.

In our personal lives our circle of empathy narrows, justifying lies to those outside of it.

In the back of our minds we allow lies because we’re told from kindergarten that we’re just animals with big brains trying to survive. All animals tell lies with their body language. We lie with our tongues.

And since we lie, we forget how to trust and how to remain steadfastly trustworthy come what may.

When we lose the capacity for trust, we lose the capacity for love. You can’t really love people you distrust. You can’t even know who they are, deep down.

With love off the table, we expand our acceptance of hatred, grudge holding and revenge. Predators become heroes.

If we didn’t have opposable thumbs and weren’t able to blow humanity into tiny bits with a small fraction of our nuclear arsenal, it wouldn’t be such a big deal. We could blend with the deceitful but balanced ecosystems of animal behavior that dominate this planet. Camo is in their DNA. Sneaking, hiding and devouring prey are on page one of Earth’s user manual.

That’s what’s so confusing to us.

If we were only ten orders of magnitude stupider, we could survive, living as the hairless apes of soft science.

But we’re too clever with the technology of killing. So the fading of honesty, trust and love are preparing us to push the button on ourselves. Look at Russia. This is not religious talk. This is secular logic that refuses to swallow Darwin’s evolution without chewing.

Thoroughly!

In order to survive, our species needs to push all cultures toward honesty. Big brains self-destruct without it.

Honesty will resurrect trust and trustworthiness, setting the stage for love, logic and reason… and a rational treatment of sociopathic predators who need enlightened mental health care rather than election to congress.

M. Talmage Moorehead

If you’re interested in intelligent design, weird artifacts, genetics and psychology from the perspective of a nineteen-year-old “Hapa Girl,” my in-progress novel may be a fun read. The protagonist, Johanna, is a genius geneticist with a younger brother who struggles with depression, though you wouldn’t know it to meet him. Her evolving story starts here.

It’s an experiment called, Hapa Girl DNA, and is a hybrid itself – a tightrope crossing of fiction and non-fiction. “Hapa” is the Hawaiian term for “half.” Johanna is half Japanese and half Jewish. In writing her novel, she and I ignore some important fiction-writing rules, partly because we like to test dogmas and partly because it’s fun to try new things.

But the “rules” are essential knowledge to anyone crazy enough to either break them or follow them mindlessly.

So you could download my e-book on fiction writing, the second to last chapter of which gives my current opinions on many of the dogmatic rules of fiction writing. Downloading that brief 19,000 word document will place you on my short list of people who will be politely notified when my traditional novel is done – possibly before the next ice age. (No spam or sharing of your info. I haven’t sent an email to my list yet. It’s been over a year.)

Next time you’re writing emails, if you think of it, please tell your best and hopefully weirdest friend about my blog (www.storiform.com). Thanks! I appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Talmage


Viewpoint Writing is Certified Organic

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The first fiction I read as an adult was Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I was drawn in by a mysterious guy, Phaedrus, whom the viewpoint character kept veiled in his faulty memory. (Incidentally, this is different from an author playing games and holding back information that the VP character knows.) As the book jumped from story to philosophy and back, a bit more of Phaedrus emerged, making me finish the book before I learned the disturbing truth about who he was. I felt kind of sick.

Even so, I loved the book, especially the philosophical sections.

A few years later when I was learning to write fiction I ran into a “viewpoint” discussion and remembered how the author of Zen had used a strictly limited viewpoint to suck me in and string me along.

The opposite of a strictly limited viewpoint is an “omniscient” viewpoint. The terms have evolved over the years, but even in omniscient (all-knowing) viewpoint, the authorities who still think they run things don’t want us “head hopping.”

“Head hopping” is moving the viewpoint from one character’s head to another’s within the same scene. The dividing lines between scenes can be vague sometimes, but to illustrate, here’s an example of head hopping:

Oinkie-Jim settled back on the couch with a chill in him. I’ll shoot it if it gets out of the box. The front door burst open with a bang.

Blake carried in a greasy car battery and eased it down on the lid to keep the critter inside. Then he scratched his head. These cats got teeth up in there. It’s sitting in a flimsy cardboard box.

Louise was on the phone looking out at the moon, admitting she and Jim was in a pretty swell place back in Baton Rouge. Not big, but… A gun went off and Jim shouted bloody murder like he’d shot his own self again. That poor dumb man. She laughed but stopped. What if he shot his self dead this time?

OK, now here’s roughly the same scene, limited to one viewpoint character, rather than hopping from one head to another.

Oinkie-Jim settled back on the couch with a chill in him. I’ll shoot it if it gets out. He stroked the handle of his gun as Blake stumbled in, lugging a dirty car battery. What the? Blake set the battery on top of the box before there was time to stop him. The lid caved in and the battery landed on the cougar’s head, setting him off but good. The cat came out claws and teeth but Oinkie, nobody’s fool, pulled his pistol like he’d planned, and ba-bam! Shot his own self. This time in the left foot.

To make things worse, Louise was laughing her stupid college-girl head off in the kitchen. But Oinkie had to be nice. Somebody was going to drive him to the ER and it weren’t going to be Blake. Not that moron.

There are two points. First, “head hopping” versus staying in one character’s head or point of view. I hope I made the difference clear in those two version of that scene.

Second, the way some writers use viewpoint, it’s as if the VP character were literally writing the story. In this case, I’m pretending that the VP character, Oinkie-Jim, is literally doing the writing. It’s as if there’s no infallible hack involved, just Oinkie whose English ain’t so good. This means that I can’t be blamed for the grammar unless it becomes distracting and takes the reader’s attention off the story…. which probably happened here in retrospect.

When you let the VP character “write” the story, there can be an interesting effect that’s a lot of fun to write, and also a pleasure to read if it’s done well. But you have to be careful not to get carried away like I just did. A great example of this technique is the best-seller, The Fault In Our Stars, which I talk about here and here, as well as in the e-book I’m working on, Writing Meaningful Page-Turners.

Limiting yourself to one viewpoint character is a little like a straitjacket when you first learn to do it. At least it was for me. Even after it becomes a habit, it limits your plotting, especially if you stick to one POV character for the whole story.  But it’s also a lot like real life because it makes everything subjective and linear.

Head-hopping, and even a legitimate omniscient viewpoint to some extent, can distance the reader from the raw emotion of the main character, allowing objectivity to murder the magic.

But omniscient viewpoint gives you huge plotting freedom, among other advantages. To bridge the gap, many novels start with an omniscient perspective in the early going, then switch to limited viewpoint. This was done well in the Potter series, which I discussed in, Writing Meaningful Page-Turners.

M. Talmage Moorehead

If you’re interested in intelligent design, weird artifacts, genetics and psychology from the perspective of a nineteen-year-old “Hapa Girl,” my in-progress novel may be a fun read. The protagonist, Johanna, is a genius geneticist with a younger brother who struggles with depression, though you wouldn’t know it to meet him. Her evolving story starts here.

It’s an experiment called, Hapa Girl DNA, and is a hybrid itself – a tightrope crossing of fiction and non-fiction. “Hapa” is the Hawaiian term for “half.” Johanna is half Japanese and half Jewish. In writing her novel, she and I ignore some important fiction-writing rules, partly because we like to test dogmas and partly because it’s fun to try new things.

But the “rules” are essential knowledge to anyone crazy enough to either break them or follow them mindlessly.

So you could download my e-book on fiction writing, the second to last chapter of which gives my current opinions on many of the dogmatic rules of fiction writing. Downloading that 19,000 word pdf will place you on my short list of people who will be politely notified when my traditional novel is done – possibly before the next ice age. (No spam or sharing of your info. I haven’t sent an email to my list yet. It’s been over a year.)

Next time you’re writing emails, if you think of it, please tell someone beautiful and intelligent about my blog (www.storiform.com). Thanks! I appreciate your help and thoughtfulness.

Talmage


Writing Fast is Interesting and Fun

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Seventeen days ago I quit medicine. I was a pathologist. I didn’t quit to become a writer, there were other reasons. But I’ve always loved writing, so I’m going to do it full-time now.

That means I have to start thinking differently.

If I’m going to make it as an indie writer I’ll have to write a ton of books. Realizing this is an important step ahead for me. I have to change my writing habits to have a snowball’s chance.

An indie writer must be prolific because each book is unlikely, statistically speaking, to bring big sales. An indie book is, however, likely to bring in a steady stream of sales for a long time.

So if you’ve got fifty novels each bringing in a modest steady income, you’ve got a nice business. If you’ve got only one or two, not so much.

That means you either have to write very fast or very long. Both seem to be viable.

One prolific indie writer says he doesn’t write fast, he just writes for prolonged hours each day. I already do that and it doesn’t work for me because I edit obsessively and take too many breaks.

Another prolific indie writer says she writes only five hours a day, five days a week, but at the blistering rate of 10,000 words per day. She explains how she does it in a blog which I’ll link to at the bottom. It’s an amazing article.

The main thing she does is a brief dream walk through the scenes she’s about to write.

I’ve tried it. I take a tablet of paper and force myself to see the scene in my head as I create it for the first time. I take sketchy notes by hand on a pad and then start writing, referring to the notes occasionally.

Notice that we’re not talking about the familiar (arguably optional) detailed outline done days or months in advance of the writing.

This remarkably efficient author is talking about spending at least five minutes at the beginning of each writing session to create (visualize) the next little part of your story in your head (some dialogue is included) while you jot down notes by hand on paper.

To me, doing the preview in the same sitting as the writing session seems to be the key. And it really works. It’s fast, tiring and fun!

Obviously you have to note the time you begin and end each portion of a session if you take breaks like I do. For me, that’s tough to remember. I take a lot of breaks because I have Halo, my dog, here demanding attention at random intervals.

My fastest writing so far has been 3,562 words in 5 hours and 55 minutes. It took me basically all day to do that, though, with all my breaks. I didn’t realize I take this many breaks until I started timing myself!

Like everybody who’s a little old school, I was concerned that the quality of my writing might suffer if I pushed my speed. So far it seems OK. In fact, my storytelling (as opposed to wordsmithing) has improved, probably because I now weigh the options at every little turn, listing several and picking the best. Before adopting this preview approach, I always went with whatever popped into my wee little head – on minor twists, anyway. (Update 5/15/15: The fast approach, in retrospect, led me away from the detailed emotional connection with Johanna – my protagonist – and all the minute important things that bring her alive for me as the writer. As a result, I left this version of the story and began searching to connect with Johanna in the first-person story that’s posted here. I talked about this in detail at the end of chapter 9 of Hapa Girl DNA, here. All in all, I think the technique of a dream walk prior to writing is potentially quite helpful to plotting, but writing at a breakneck pace tends to disconnect me from the viewpoint character, so I need a balance. I need to minimize editing during first drafts to move ahead faster, but I must go slowly enough to see and feel the little details of past present and future character emotion. William Greenleaf is the brilliant author and book doctor who helped me come to this realization. I highly recommend him! You don’t have to wait until your first draft is finished to ask for his help.)

Here’s the prolific author’s article. Rachel Aaron writes 10,000 words in an average five-hour session, and does it five days a week: http://www.sfwa.org/2011/12/guest-post-how-i-went-from-writing-2000-words-a-day-to-10000-words-a-day/

Wow. I’ll have what she’s having.

By the way, I’m back to using my real name on my blogs again. The identity theft scare that made me use a pen name (Talmage Eastland) seems to have blown over without materializing. Maybe it was a false alarm.

Take care,

Morrill Talmage Moorehead, MD

If you’re interested in intelligent design, weird artifacts, genetics and psychology from the perspective of a nineteen-year-old “Hapa Girl,” my in-progress novel may be a fun read. The protagonist, Johanna, is a genius geneticist with a younger brother who struggles with depression, though you wouldn’t know it to meet him. Her evolving story starts here.

It’s an experiment called, Hapa Girl DNA, and is a hybrid itself – a tightrope crossing of fiction and non-fiction. “Hapa” is the Hawaiian term for “half.” Johanna is half Japanese and half Jewish. In writing her novel, she and I ignore some important fiction-writing rules, partly because we like to test dogmas and partly because it’s fun to try new things.

But the “rules” are essential knowledge to anyone crazy enough to either break them or follow them mindlessly.

So you could download my e-book on fiction writing, the second to last chapter of which gives my current opinions on many of the dogmatic rules of fiction writing. Downloading that 19,000 word pdf will place you on my short list of people who will be politely notified when my traditional novel is done – possibly before the next ice age. (No spam or sharing of your info. I haven’t sent an email to my list yet. It’s been over a year.)

Next time you’re writing emails, if you think of it, please tell your best and hopefully weirdest friend about my blog (www.storiform.com). Thanks! I appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Talmage