Ceaseless Wonder

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Phil Advice


With the AUS/NZ release of my new novel a mere four weeks away, here’s a little insight into the wondering that produced the tale.

Exchange of Heart / Munro vs. the Coyote grew from two story seeds.


You See What I Did There?


AYSM - Cover With Quote 2

With Are You Seeing Me? having just hit the shelves in Australia, I’d like to share with you some insight into what inspired me to write the novel.

Anyone who’s spent any time with me knows I am Dad to a set of twins: one girl, one boy. My daughter is ‘neurotypical’, which is how people in the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) community sometimes refer to regular, everyday kids who do not have autism. She is amazing. She plays trumpet, creates short animated films and adores The Hunger Games. My son, who is three minutes younger than my daughter, is diagnosed with autism. He is amazing, too. He is awesome at Minecraft, swims like a champ and enjoys Pixar films. They will officially be teenagers in 2014.

Are You Seeing Me? is a gift to my daughter. She was due a book – my previous novel, Kindling, was a gift to my son. (By the way, all of my books are gifts for my beautiful
wife). When I first started considering what to write, I kept coming back to a message I held dear for my daughter: ‘You should never feel like you must be your brother’s keeper. Love him, as he loves you, but live your own life to the full.’


There’ll Always Be Fireflies



(Pic Source: luxirare.com)

The inspirational tale of Team Hoyt came past me again recently.  For those disinclined to click the link, it shares the incredible story of father, Dick, disabled son, Rick, and the thousand plus marathons / triathlons they have performed as one, dad towing and wheeling and pushing his paralyzed boy all the way.  Their thirty-five year odyssey is replete with details to make the heart swell and the eyes tear up, but this one provided particular pause for me:

With $5,000 in 1972 and a skilled group of engineers at Tufts University, an interactive computer was built for Rick. This computer consisted of a cursor being used to highlight every letter of the alphabet. Once the letter Rick wanted was highlighted, he was able to select it by just a simple tap with his head against a head piece attached to his wheelchair. When the computer was originally first brought home, Rick surprised everyone with his first words. Instead of saying, “Hi, Mom,” or “Hi, Dad,” Rick’s first “spoken” words were: “Go, Bruins!” The Boston Bruins were in the Stanley Cup finals that season. It was clear from that moment on, that Rick loved sports and followed the game just like anyone else. 

That pivotal moment of communication breakthrough must have been like a glorious dawn; the perennial night finally receding as the sun climbs over the horizon, never to set again on the Hoyt family.  I can only imagine how good it felt to see that light.

I can only imagine.


The Real Writer – A Do’s and Don’ts Guide #2

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Real writers don’t wait for the muse.

Waiting for inspiration doesn’t make you deep or interesting or cool.  And it doesn’t make you a writer.

It makes you a waiter.

And if you’re a waiter, you’re serving someone else or no one at all.  You’re certainly not serving yourself.