A man walked into a bar. “Writing a novel is easy, right?”  he asked. “I have this story I want to write. Tell me where to start?” Okay, maybe it wasn’t a bar, but a table at a book fair. I gave him the advice I heard from someone once.  “The beginning is easy. What comes next is hard,” I said. “Huh,” he said. “First, you need to get a license. Do you have one?” “I had no idea,” he said. “Where do I get one.” “The Department of Creative Writing,” I told him. “Each state capital has one, or province if you live in Canada. You have to pass a test. The written part is the hardest,” I added. “I had no idea,” he said again, starting to sound repetitious. I’m sure he didn’t get my joke about the written part. OK, the conversation didn’t go exactly like that. Still, we’ve all had one close to that. We’ve been asked where we get our ideas. Is it hard? How long does it take to write a novel? I did have a woman tell me she would like to write but didn’t have an imagination. I would be…

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A SCARY STORY: when imagination becomes reality

A Scary story about reality and imagination, or what does a Texas sheriff and The CleanSweep Conspiracy have in common? Okay, writers just make stuff up, right? We use our imagination, sometimes straying into some rather unique cerebral neighborhoods. I’ll admit there are times I like to paraphrase that Las Vegas adage, what happens in my imagination stays in my imagination. I do understand there is often a bleeding between fantasy and reality. I don’t worry so much about reality bleeding into imagination, but when it’s the other way around . . . I think we have enough on our hands dealing with the real. It’s when we have to deal with someone’s imagination it gets scary for me. It seems to happen a lot during this current U.S. presidential campaign. But I digress from my original thought for this blog. I began my notes for The CleanSweep Conspiracy almost ten years ago. I read and heard all the speculation about the rioting that took place in Toronto during the 2010 G20 conference. Millions went into security, hoping to prevent rioting that occurred in previous G20 conferences in other cities. Intense police presence and citizens needing identity cards to go…

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