About Jim Stovall

Jim Stovall, a retired journalism prof, is now a novelist, self publisher, watercolorist, gardener, woodworker and beekeeper -- among others things.
Author Archive | Jim Stovall

A ‘day’ becomes a ‘date’; Poe’s rules for detective fiction; a little bit of Henry Fowler

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (4,140) on Friday, Dec. 8, 2017. Hi,  Last week’s question: Were there no Americans before 1776? An answer came in from newsletter reader and good friend Jane P: There were many Americans long before 1776, in the numerous Native American societies and groups across what became the […]

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Ambrose Bierce

Satirist and cynic Ambrose Bierce left his audience in the same way that Amelia Earhart did, only 25 years earlier. He disappeared, without a trace. And like Ms. Earhart, much has been made of that disappearance — investigations, speculation, rumors, stories and even movies. The results were the same. Nothing substantial was ever found. No clues, […]

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Jean Ritchie and the dulcimer revival — and much more; your pet peeves about English

This newsletter was sent to those on Jim’s email list (4,189) on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017.   Hi, Last week’s entry about America’s first published poet, Anne Bradstreet, brought this from one of our newsletter readers, Robin K., who has done a good bit of genealogical research on her family: I thought that name looked familiar – […]

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Jean Ritchie (watercolor 2017)

Jean Ritchie: 60-plus years of contributions to American music and culture

If you play the dulcimer, you owe Jean Ritchie a debt of thanks. If you have heard a dulcimer, seen one — or even know what one is, Jean Ritchie is the person responsible. Ritchie died in 2015 at the age of 92 (her birthday is Dec. 8, 1922), and she is known to many […]

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AnneBradstreet3

The Puritan woman who was America’s first published poet; another true crime podcast recommendation; expensive misspellings

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (4,228) on Friday, Nov. 24, 2017. Hi,  In America, we have just celebrated Thanksgiving Day with a big meal, maybe a football game or a nap, and (I hope) a thankful thought or two. I am, of course, thankful for all you readers to this newsletter. It’s […]

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Anne Bradstreet, Puritan wife and mother and America’s first published poet

Nay Masculines, you have thus taxt us long, But she, though dead, will vindicate our wrong, Let such as say our Sex is void of Reason, Know ‘tis a Slander now, but once was Treason. Those lines, written in Massachusetts Bay colony before 1650 and referring to Queen Elizabeth I, are a gentle but firm response […]

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More about true crime podcasts; Fowler’s English classic; and giveaways galore

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (4,261) on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017. Hi,  The county where I live, Blount (pronounced blunt) is home to a part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Smokies are beautiful any time of the year but especially so during the fall foliage season, which has […]

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Jeannie Rousseau, a diminutive spy and an extraordinary tale of courage

She was small, too small to be a danger to anyone.  And she was attractive, a good-time girl, maybe even a little flighty. Plus, she had a talent for getting people, particularly men, to talk to her. Those traits hid her steely courage, creativity, resourcefulness — and, maybe most importantly, a photographic memory. Jeannie Rousseau […]

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True crime podcasts; Amazon gift card giveaway ($200)

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (3,827) on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017.   Good afternoon from East Tennessee. I hope you’ve had a good week and are looking forward to a great weekend. Viewing tip: Click the display images link above if you haven’t done so already. Mystery lovers = Fans of true crime […]

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Another reader on free expression; Anger as temporary madness

This newsletter was sent to all those on Jim’s newsletter list (3,873) on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017. Hi,  Where did English come from? The origins of English are many and varied. If you don’t know much about it, there’s a great sub-five-minute video from Open Culture embedded at the top of the JPROF.com website. Gardening is a year-round activity: I spent […]

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