When nothing else matters

Hello. My name is Mary, and I am a recovering anthropologist. It’s been over 20 years since I worried about tenure, but I suppose I will always be an anthropologist. As Ray Bucko, my dearest Jesuit friend, once told me, “Having a Ph.D. is a permanent condition – like the Catholic priesthood. Or herpes.” Anthropologists … Read more…

Murder — in real life

“Tickets for the gunfight?”  That’s the question I heard over and over during the past few days. Spring break is the busiest two weeks in the Tombstone, Arizona, tourist season. I was signing copies of Doc while hundreds of people shuffled past the cash register, buying tickets to see the reenactment of the famous Gunfight … Read more…

Write-in Candidate

It’s getting ugly out there on the campaign trail, but I am determined to keep running for president, as long as no actual physical running is involved, because I love my country enough to write a blog essay about it. In a stunning act of political courage, I would like to go on record: I … Read more…

Writer Tech: quoting sources in historical fiction

Yesterday an email came in asking me a technical question about writing historical fiction about a real person. “My subject wrote an autobiography in the 1940s…. How does one handle first-person material without plagiarizing? If your subject recounts a conversation, can you paraphrase that conversation? If you rewrite the conversation with different words, are you … Read more…