Jay Lake – Glorious, strange, and too large for the world

Jay Lake, author, raconteur, human being

The title of this post is from Jay’s short story, The Stars Do Not Lie. I thought the words fitting.

I read yesterday on Twitter that Jay Lake died.

The weight with which the news hit surprised me. I didn’t know Jay, just brushed up against him here and there on his blog and Twitter. And that was enough. Unbeknownst to him, he played a large part in keeping me going when I first started writing.

Those daily updates of his writing progress, snippets of his works in progress, musings on the craft, and plenty of non-writing related stuff served as inspiration. He was someone who was willing to fearlessly hold his own line on hot-button issues, willing to call a spade a spade and willing to dive deeply into the human psyche — his own and in general.

Jay Lake's Debut Novel

From afar, he seemed like an admirable fellow with prodigious talent, a guidepost of sorts for this writer. He made me aspire to write more, to write better.

His posts on his journey over the last five years were raw and insightful and honest. He was willing to bring any and all along for the ride, baring his pain and joy. I’m going to miss seeing his stuff come through on my feed.

Jay lives on, to be sure, through everyone he has touched over the years and I can’t imagine he would have it any other way. Rage in Peace, Jay Lake.


06 2014

Washed Away

The lake-drowned resort town of Epecuen

The sky shark roams in silence and wonders what might have been.



05 2014

H.P. LOLcraft


Oddly enough, this might help me keep my sanity when I have no idea what the f*ck is going on.


04 2014

What Our Kids Read


I saw this post over at John Scalzi’s blog - An Anecdotal Observation, Relating to Robert Heinlein and the Youth of Today. It struck me not so much on the Heinlein topic but on the nature of sharing things we love with our kids.

There’s the joy when they enjoy something that’s dear to us.

Then there’s the disappointment when they just don’t go for it at all.

My eight-year-old daughter prefers to discover things in her own time and often leaves my recommendations unexplored.

All I can do is encourage her interests and make available the books and music and movies I think she’d enjoy. This way she can check them out on her terms.

Or not.

It’s pretty cool. She’s already showing me videos and music that she loves and I’ll continue to do the same. My biggest hope is that the dialogue continues as she grows and that it becomes an integral part of communicating and learning about each other.



03 2014

Connectivity: Tightening Your Story’s Weave

Bringing It Together

If you’ve ever read a story where everything is interconnected or what you thought were loose ends turned out to be anything but, you know of what I speak.

I wasn’t overly conscious of how this happens until I looked over previous drafts of stories I’d written and seen the transformation. Ah ha!

Now when I’m reading for pleasure, I find myself wondering more about the small things. Will this show up later? How does this character fit into the larger story? Or, I hope to hell this all comes together somehow.

Each revision your story should present opportunities for you to better tie aspects of your story to other parts.  Never mind the clunky sentence. Look over here! Examples!

  • Inserting a relationship between two characters that wasn’t initially there
  • A character having knowledge of a setting in the story in which another character is doing their thing
  • A character having a remembrance of the same event as the protagonist

Each of these examples, when done well, serve to provide more depth and cohesion. it’s like pulling the strings of a corset and watching everything come together. Not that I’ve ever worn a corset.


When the reader recognizes the connections, they’ll nod their head and love your story just a little more.

Bonus: I just finished taking my sweet-ass time getting through Jeff Vandermeer’s Wonderbook. As I was writing this post, his character circle came to mind. While I couldn’t find the finished version, there is a draft version that I think I like even better.

Check it:


02 2014