The Female. . .Male? Article on Writing REAL Female Protagonists 

Gender-swapping is a useful exercise in a literature or writing class: when we picture classic male leads as women (or girls), it can help reveal society’s prejudices, and our own.

K.M. Weiland demonstrates, however, that writing effective and genuine leading ladies is a different matter completely.

Enjoy, and write all the words!


A place from which to speak

This is not a blog (yet) so much as a place from which to speak:  comments made to other blogs, a location where I can be found.  At the moment I’d like to use this page simply to say “Hello” to a select few who may visit.


When occasionally I find something to say here, I’m hoping for quality over quantity–not daily updates, not writing tips, but rather topics peripherally-related to writing that have engaged me for a few decades, and maybe will interest one of you.

I’m a researcher and a writer, in that order. I left graduate school a couple dozen years ago, but that was only ever the public version; in actuality the independent scholar never stops.  When folks tell me I should write more I protest:  But I’m still learning new things.

The notion of needing a specific field for research is an arbitrary tool–“you must choose a major”, “you must have a job title”. Those who have been curious for a few decades know that all so-called “fields” blend into one another.  What’s that ridiculous phrase, jack of all trades, master of none? Try me. There’s a much more solid aphorism:  you can’t see the forest for the trees. Well, no one appreciates a forest like I do. I’ve studied/taught ancient civ and the spectrum of creative writing, but also English Renaissance modes of historiography in drama and Anglo-Saxon riddles. I can make my studies of anthropology relate to my hobby of family genealogy.

I love language. I’m fascinated by the symbols scratched on a page that we give meaning. I love the way words come together to create something that wasn’t there before. I studied writing, then literature, then discovered that writings conveying history were a linguistic art form of their own.

Dissecting modes of historiography has informed my current fiction writing, because I believe this is a model for the kinds of critical thinking sorely lacking today.  But it’s also a way to appreciate poetic expression wherever it pops up — often in the most unlikely of places.  Literacy can be practiced on the classics, or utilized in reading political ads or blogs like this one.

We’re all telling our stories all the time. We may as well make them good ones.