About Jim Stovall

Jim Stovall, (JPROF.com) a retired journalism prof, is now a novelist, self-publisher, watercolorist, gardener, woodworker, and beekeeper -- among other things. Subscribe to his weekly newsletter at http://www.jprof.com .
Author Archive | Jim Stovall

Susan Glaspell, a forgotten feminist writer, and Lawrence Block, successful and prolific: newsletter, January 15, 2021

  A common saying among woodworkers – one you have probably heard – is “measure twice, cut once.” That saying counsels us to be careful. But there is another saying that is less well-known and maybe just as important: “Let the tools do the work.” What that saying tells us is that sometimes we can […]

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Benjamin West and his iconic painting, Dickens on the police, and the surprising author of The Queen’s Gambit: newsletter, January 8, 2021

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,480) on Friday, January 8, 2021. Many people, with good reason, are not fans of January and February. Those months are part of the “bleak midwinter,” which features colder temperatures, shorter days, and a dearth of vegetation.  For the landscape artist (I confess to occupy in a […]

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Reader on a bench

Happy New Year, a great female Restoration writer, journalism drives through Crazytown, and more 2020 review: newsletter, January 1, 2021

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,480) on Friday, January 1, 2021.   Happy new year. During this time of year, we often hear the word “resolutions,” and we may be encouraged to “make resolutions.” Possibly like many of you, I have found that making resolutions is frustrating and ultimately unproductive. […]

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Edward Hoch, grand master for the mystery short story

When you talk about the Agatha Christies and the Ross McDonalds of the world — the great mystery and detective fiction writers of the 20th century — you probably don’t think of Edward W. Hoch (pronounced Hoke). That’s too bad because his fiction should be listed among the pantheon of the greats. The problem with […]

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Hoch’s Ladies

Throughout Edward Hoch’s long and prolific writing career as a mystery short story writer, he developed many recurring main characters, as we noted in last week’s newsletter. Most of these characters were male. A few, however – three to be exact – were female, and they are worth noting in and of themselves. In fact, […]

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Aphra Behn: a marginalized voice restored

She is thought to have been the first woman to make her living purely by writing. But that one fact — whether or not it is actually true — does not do justice to the person or to the work of Aphra Behn. Behn lived from 1640 to 1689, a time known as the Restoration […]

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Charles Dickens and his manipulation of the language

Few writers in the history of English literature are as read, recognized, and quoted as Charles Dickens. He gave us our more most recognized secular Christmas story, A Christmas Carol, one that we cannot escape during the Christmas season. Dickens planted indelibly in our brains characters such as Martin Chuzzlewit and David Copperfield. The dialogue he […]

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Playing the cello

Dickens manipulates, we review, and readers react: Merry Christmas: newsletter, December 25, 2020

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,480) on Friday, December 25, 2020.   Merry Christmas. Part of the genius of the Christmas story is that it is about a baby. There is something about a baby that calls forth the depth and the best of our Humanity. Human babies are the […]

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More pages from the sketchbooks

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I had two sketchbooks in 2020 in which I was practicing caricatures. You have been seeing pages from the first sketchbook for the past couple of weeks. Here are a few pages from the second one:

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Graham Greene, the BBC, and the death of John le Carré, plus more sketchbook pages: newsletter, December 18, 2020

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,4xx) on Friday, December 18, 2020.     With the death of John le Carré (see below) last weekend, my thoughts immediately turned back to the last couple of newsletters where I profiled Erskine Childers. In two different parts of the 20th century, these two writers did pretty […]

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The controversies of the BBC

Americans who watch a lot of British television shows (and they would include me) are sometimes awestruck by the fact of the British Broadcasting Corporation, commonly known as the BBC. The programs that we see coming from the BBC are interesting, thoughtful, and well-produced and often make American programming look shallow and superficial. Why, we […]

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Graham Greene goes inside his novels

In Graham Greene’s 1951 novel The End Of The Affair, one of the three main characters, the narrator, is a novelist who lives in the Clapham section of London (as Greene did). The novel is told non-sequentially and takes place both before and after World War II. Green’s novelist has had an affair with the wife […]

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Vietnam Voices – Managing the war

Episode Summary Timothy Lomperis served in military intelligence in Vietnam. Lt. Lomperis served two tours in Vietnam, beginning in March 1972. His initial position was as an intelligence analyst. He saw first-hand during briefs the tensions between the Army and the Air Force over the conduct of the war. He subsequently served in a variety […]

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What they are saying about John le Carré

With the publication of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold in 1963, John le Carré redirected the genre of espionage fiction away from the fanciful world of James Bond to the moral grayness of people such as Alec Leamas and ultimately George Smiley. And while James Bond was lots of fun, George Smiley […]

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Vietnam Voices – Building roads in Vietnam

Episode Summary As a member of the Army’s Corps of Engineers, Richard Chandler built roads while in Vietnam in 1971 and 1972. Some of those roads were the basis for today’s interstate system in Vietnam.   Episode Notes Richard Chandler was a captain in the Army Corp of Engineers, serving in Vietnam from October 1971 […]

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Rebecca Harding Davis and the beginnings of American realism

If you know anything about journalism history, you probably know the name Richard Harding Davis. He was a reporter in the early 20th century known for his coverage of the Spanish-American Wa, the Boer War, and the beginnings of World War I. He was also one of the most handsome men of his day. His […]

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Vietnam Voices – On the deck of a carrier

Episode Summary Robert Jones was an electronics technician for the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Intrepid during the Navy’s Rolling Thunder campaign in 1968. He volunteered for flight deck duty because “that’s where the action was.”   Episode Notes Robert Jones was a petty officer, first class, serving in an air attack squadron aboard the […]

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Vietnam Voices – Peace Corps with a rifle

Episode Summary Most of the armed servicemen in Vietnam were in non-combat roles. One was Buddy Mitchell, who found himself in the “Peace Corps with a gun.”   Episode Notes Horace “Buddy” Mitchelll served in Vietnam June 1969 to June 1970  in the First Air Cavalry.    He was an artillery sergeant in the Fire […]

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More pages from the caricature sketchbooks (part 2)

More pages from the sketchbooks As promised last week, I am showing you some of the pages from my caricatures sketchbooks in these December newsletters. You can see the pages displayed last week here.  

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A look inside my caricature sketchbooks (part 1)

Most artists (and people like me who are working at it) keep a sketchbook. It’s a place where they can try out ideas that they may have to bring to fruition on a canvas or a piece of watercolor paper. As such, sketchbooks are not generally considered things for public viewing. A lot of what […]

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