Paul Swearingen

Now retired after 34 years of teaching English, Spanish, and journalism in public, private, and government schools. Hobbies: DX'ing (Google it!), gardening, collecting a lot of crap that now fills my house (I bet I have older computers than anyone who has better sense!).

The “Flavia de Luce” mystery series, by Alan Bradley (book review)

Imagine, if you will, an eleven-year-old girl who loves chemistry and Gladys, her battered bicycle, and always seems to be the first to find dead bodies in a series of novels with such titles as The Sweetness At the Bottom Of the Pie, The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag, A Red Herring Without Mustard, […]


The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (Book Review)

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is the first of a series of three crime novels that Stieg Larsson completed before his death of a massive heart attack at age 50. It is a “phenomenon” novel and runaway best-seller in spite of some serious flaws: it starts with a prologue which does not involve the […]


What is your preferred point of view?

I’ve always had a problem with separating my characters from myself when I’m writing fiction, and so more of my main characters have been female than male and the POV third-person limited. Makes the POV less connected to me that way. Nevertheless, I did experiment with writing one novel in first person from a male’s […]


W. Someset Maugham has been credited with stating “Write what you know.” He also has been quoted as say, “There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately no one knows what they are.” Sounds as if he might have had his good days and bad days in the creative process, too. And not only […]


Salt (Flash Fiction)

He slowly crawled out of his tent and looked around, shielding his eyes against the glare of the sun. For at least a mile in any direction, right up to the foothills that surrounded the plain, he could see nothing but sharp-edged salt formations that he knew would lacerate his bare feet and break his […]