Social Media Silence

One thought guided me during 15 years of Internet consulting work: If you don’t have anything useful to say, DON’T SAY ANYTHING.


Evidence of the wisdom of that often-ignored advice can be found across the landscape these days.

So the silence emanating from this Web site recently was intentional. I was working on a lot of things, but there was no progress to report … so I didn’t say anything.

I now have two announcements:

  1. I sent the edited and proofed manuscript of my Viet Nam memoir to the designer this week. has created covers and interior designs for more than 3,000 published works. I’m excited to see the design concepts they come up with for HOTEL CONSTELLATION: Notes from America’s Secret War in Laos. I should have them in two weeks, and I’ll be asking for input.
  2. I expect to release the self-published HOTEL CONSTELLATION on January 30, 2018, the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive in Viet Nam. My book isn’t about Tet, but Tet changed everything about the war in Indochina, and I think it’s appropriate.

Now that I’ve progressed to this point, I’ll be posting more frequently. Because I have something to say (at last).

Hemingway on Writing

This quotation from Ernest Hemingway’s interview with the Paris Review in its Spring 1958 issue struck a chord:

 It is hard enough to write books and stories without being asked to explain them as well.


Things I Wish I had Known


Florence Osmund

Florence Osmund wrote a wonderful piece for The Book Designer blog back in July entitled “Four Truths and Four Myths That Every New Novelist Should Know.”

I might still have tried this fiction-writing thing if I had known this, but maybe not.

We’ll never know.

I hope some new writer will.



Priorities: Writing vs. Social Media

An old reporter once told me about writing a newspaper column (a primitive version of a blog). It’s like being married and having a mistress. You no more finish with one and you have start immediately over with the other.

Typewriter keys

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Writing fiction and staying in touch on social media (blogging, for instance) represents that kind of unending challenge. I note that a number of published authors I follow online face the same dilemma.

I figure I can either write fiction or keep up with social media, but not both.

So I’ve been converting The Passenger into a graphic novel and rewriting (for the umpteenth time) Black Orchid Demon and Return of the Black Orchid Spider. And I have a backlog of stories that need some editing attention as well.

Next week, I’m heading into v. 6 of Black Orchid Demon to incorporate six pages of feedback I received from a tough editor I hired to critique my work.

So I’ll be sticking with the wife (fiction) and neglecting the mistress (social media).

But do keep in touch. I do email all the time. (No handy sexual reference available unless you believe in puns.)