Writing Me

words are my life

A Bit of It All

writing from columns to screenplays

I write. Not a few pages here and there, but often thousands of words in a week. There have been times when I have written complete manuscripts, over 100 pages, in two weeks. I find that complete stories often come to mind, and I “see” these like films playing in my mind. The biggest challenge is writing to capture the story before my mind has moved ahead to the next project.

Shameless self-promotion.
Visit tameri.com for information about what I do as an editor and “ghost” for others.

I make no claim that my works are great. I am aware that many are mediocre and others don’t even reach mediocrity. But, I also believe that the more one writes, the better the works become. The key is to write and refine, to practice writing as a discipline and an art.

What I Write

I have tried to record the history of my writings. My online portfolio includes information on the following:

  • Scripts – Works for stage and screen.
  • Poetry – Most writers seem to at least dabble in poetry.
  • Stories – Both short stories and novels.
  • Essays – General observations about life, with a dry wit.
  • Non-Fiction – Columns, reporting, and technical writing.

My Philosophy as a Writer

I write to educate and to challenge, but I also seek to entertain readers and audiences. Students have assumed that because I have a doctorate in rhetoric that I must analyze my writing in some detail. The truth is, I write my drafts quickly, often 120 pages in a month. As with most writers I know, I write what I would want to read or watch. Only after the draft do I shift to the process of analyzing potential audiences. Generally, I make few alterations because I have no desire to be judged by any work I would not embrace as authentically “me.”

One Web page is too short to explore various concepts of “authorship” and “reading.” Anything posted here is an over-simplification of my views. Such is writing.

We can debate what “authentic” is, since people alter words based on situations and cultural norms. However, we still have traits that make it possible to know when we are trying too hard to appeal to an audience. My desire to write as naturally as possible.

While many academics in the humanities emphatically embrace the notion that the author is dead, or more curiously that all texts are a conversation, I resist these notions with the question: why write academic texts if they cannot accurate reflect your views or knowledge? The literally dead authors of the past are certainly not in conversations with readers — and they could not have anticipated cultural shifts spanning centuries. Yes, we impose our values and knowledge on ancient works, but that is far from a conversation; it is more akin to a lecture, with students debating the lesson amongst themselves in the absence of the speaker.

I know my meanings and intentions might be interpreted in unpredictable ways. That means it is my responsibility as a writer to be as clear and concise as possible when employing words. Perfection in a text is impossible, but that does not invalidate the aspiration to write what I mean. That is why I am interested in the rhetoric of fiction. How can a writer most effectively and accurately convey ideas?

Writing News

My monthly column on technology, Virtual Valley, appears in Visalia Direct, a free magazine distributed in Central California. The column was launched June 2006.
Women Say… premiered at Pittsburgh Fringe;
The Cat Lady received a public reading during “Third on Third” thanks to the Carnegie Screenwriters;
A New Death will premiere with Throughline Theatre Company; and
The Gospel Singer will premiere with The LAB Project.
Finally, writing under my own name… Under Development at Organic Theater Pittsburgh; The Gospel Singer readings during the Bricolage Production Company In The Raw series.

Writing to Learn

Without question, one reason I love to write is that writing leads to learning. The more I write, whether fiction or non-fiction, the more I have to research. A good writer has to know his or her topics because readers can tell when something is wrong.