I started telling and writing outlandish stories when I was a boy. It took me a while to get back to it. I thought I should do something more serious than that. But I’m mostly coming around now.
One of my favorites–one of my son’s favorites, anyway–is about a giant called “Oubadouba.” His backside, I told my son, is the size of Texas. But, in the weird scale that belongs peculiarly to outlandish stories, this giant lived for many years among the Rocky Mountains. Eventually he migrated to Siberia, where he now lives. With his Snow Bride. (You see, I have no restraint.)
Some days, you’ll see my serious streak coming through. I hope you won’t be offended. It’s an old habit, and it comes from reading a lot of serious literature and talking to people about serious stuff. So, yes, I do care about things like Art, and the Craft of Writing, and the Folk Tale Tradition. I’ve been known to unleash grandiloquent opinions on such topics. You can join the rest of the world and ignore that part. But if I tried to restrain myself, it would go against my nature.
If you’ve made it this far down the page, then you probably won’t mind a little Writing Statement. This is something I crafted in one of my more serious moods. You’ve been warned.
My writing has been described, by editors and readers, as “beautiful” and “vivid.” I’ve never shaken the habit of hearing what I read in my head. As a result, I write with an ear for how my words will sound in yours. I’d rather touch you emotionally, with beauty or hardship or humor or grit, than dazzle you with verbal gymnastics. I’m fascinated by many things, some of them contradictory: the pleasant, homey beauty of the outdoors, the shiny edges of scientific research, the turbulent emotions of human beings. And I gravitate toward powerless people, who always turn out to have a few resources up their sleeves. Kind of like me.