I think there are any number of images I could have used for what has happened to my Call of the Siren since the fall.

An airplane nose-diving into the ocean …

a car on fire …

an empty cup …

a bare tree in the dead of winter …

an opera singer coughing and gasping …

… but I decided that the best image is the old familiar image of a tumbleweed rolling in the desert.

Maybe I’m giving myself more credit than I deserve.  I haven’t even had the energy to blow a tumbleweed through this site in the past few months.  The energy of revising a novel — along with family, day job and life in general — have kept me plenty busy.

In the meantime, though, I continue to watch — with considerable envy — as my friends across the WP-o-sphere provide you with wonderful reflections and beautiful long forms of writing.

I’ve added their links below because … if you’re not already visiting them, you should.  You won’t find tumbleweeds there, but gardens full of fantastic vegetation firmly rooted in the soil.

Enjoy my beloved friends.


The wonderful novelist (and friend) Kai Maristed regularly reflects on literary and culture through the lens of life in Paris.  Every entry is a miniature tour de force: they’ll inspire you to always write your best.

Jil’s reflections are varied, funny, insightful, and pretty darn helpful (her take on Donna Tartt made me decide to read Goldfinch after all).  Always worth a peek. (Her tribute to Eco was spot on.)

Like the others in this short list, Janet offers thoughtful meditations on life and art as she muses on the questions and priorities in her own life.  In the end, she’ll get you musing on yours, too.

Words can’t properly express what is happening here.  Linda Leinen has crafted an incredible number of thoughtful, fully realized essays at this blog, and reading each one will take at least two coffee breaks to finish … and is time well spent.

This blogger’s voice delivers just the right bit of irony when I’m feeling too full of myself.  She delivers superb interpretations of the writing life, the publishing market, and why books are so important that always make my day.


I’ve had the pleasure of strolling around Dublin; and Arran’s blog has kept that memory fresh as yesterday.  His blog explores his home’s past and present with ample images that will make you yearn for a plane ticket.

A.R. Williams is creating an amazing trilogy of novels about the dystopian future (and considering the political climate in our country right now, it doesn’t feel too far away) as well as giving us incisive snapshots of the writing life.  No other way to say it: she kicks ass.

Whenever their latest post arrives in my inbox, I can’t wait to step through the doorway (sorry, couldn’t help the pun).  Rebecca Lovatt, Shane Jardine and company give me a better understanding of the writers I know and a fresh introduction to the ones I don’t.



Lily Wight: http://lilywight.com

Lily handles the sorts of books and art I used to devour at the Times — sci fi, gothic, Star Wars … you name it, it’s here.

Standing Ovation, Seatedhttps://artmoscow.wordpress.com

Moscow’s ruminations on art are … well …. artful.

Zezee With Bookshttps://zezeewithbooks.wordpress.com

We need more sites like this one, which offer solid review work that the mainstream press is failing (miserably) to do!




  1. Thanks for the shout out, Nick! It’s a struggle to keep all the rubber chickens in the air, isn’t it? I hope to see more of you than a solitary tumbleweed somewhere down the road. 😀

  2. You’re very kind to add me to your list. Thank you. Just know you’re on my list and I’ve missed hearing from you. Hope you feel…well heathly, strong, and powerful soon!


  3. The pleasure is all mine, Janet. Your continuing dialogue about writing and soul keeps inspiring me. I’m sorry I just haven’t been engaged enough lately. So nice to hear from you!

  4. I’ll echo the above. It’s both nice to see you, and very nice to receive a mention. And I brought you a present. I can guarantee that, whenever you need a lift, viewing this short, independent film called Tumbleweed! will make you laugh, stimulate creativity, and encourage perseverance. Honestly! Since I’ve found it, I watch it regularly — maybe even once a month. It always cheers me up, and clears the mental palate.

  5. Thank you for the shout out! I was surprised to see it because I opened the links first and then read the blurb beneath. It’s hard to juggle all our responsibilities sometimes. I also took a short break because life became busy.

  6. My pleasure. I really enjoy what you do on your blog. And I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who sometimes struggles with the juggling! Glad you’re also back at your blog.

  7. How cool are you? Plenty. Your blog is stratospherically stupendous. Thank you for your posts and your kind words. I am a faithful reader, my friend.
    Of glass and books

  8. You are more than welcome, OG&B. Lately I’ve been too wrapped up with other things to fill the blog with any quality content … and then I realized I could just point people in your direction!

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