Monday, July 29, 2013


Good news here at the Black Lizard Lounge.  I finished the final draft of my second novel, Last Puffs.  I'm really happy with the way the revisions turned out, and I think it's going to be a fine and successful book. 
I suppose I should wait for the print edition but I'm eager to acknowledge those who helped me on my way, so here goes: 
Thanks to those who helped me express my thoughts in fiction:  to Janet Burroway who showed me how to reveal the emotional tide beneath the waves on the surface, to Charles Baxter, who taught me about subtext, and to Stephen Koch who gave me a revision plan.  To Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and James M. Cain three men who sure knew how to write, for their lessons about pulp and noir.  To Jim Mathews who taught me to write a page turner, and to Con Lehane for guiding me through the final revision.   

I’d also like to thank the readers whose feedback keeps me on track.  Writing is a solitary profession, and unless someone tells you what they think about your work, you could be like Col. Kurtz in Apocalypse Now, out in the jungle, writing without any decent restraint, totally beyond the pale of any acceptable human conduct.  Or English lit.  So for reading,  a thank you to editor Tim Holland, who gave me ideas and showed me opportunities to do more; thanks to California verisimilitude and anachronism specialists John Covell and Kathryn Carter, and to fellow writers SiriChateaubriand, Christina Kovac-Loebach, Jenn Stroud Rossman, Mary Edelson, Arlene MacLeod, and Devika Mehra, whose interest and kindness have kept me from being terminated.     

Most of all, thanks to my wife, Anastasia, who happily allows me long hours in my writer’s garret, the Black Lizard Lounge, and suffers my desires and the time it takes me to write, knowing it makes me happy.  I love you, Tasia.