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

Complete sentences vs. fragments

A little coherence and evidence of intellectual activity from the presidential candidates — is that too much to ask? David Ignatius, columnist for the Washington Post, noted the following about this week’s presidential debate in Nashville: Is it “presidential” to speak in clear sentences that have a beginning, a middle and an end? If so, […]

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A century too soon for Cubs fans

rating: 4 of 5 stars Now that fans of the Chicago Cubs have been put out of their impending misery (you didn’t really think the Cubs were going to the Series, did you?), they can retire for the winter with this book and wish they had been born about 100 years earlier. When the Cubs […]

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Writing the Amazon-ready review

Rule No. 1 in writing an Amazon review: Be honest. Rule No. 2: Keep it short. Lunch conversation with my good friend Cyn Mobley the other day turned toward our writing group and the things the group could do to help each other promote our books. She asked me to come up with a list […]

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Social networking, news and the journalism curriculum

ifNews organizations are creating a “clean, well-lighted place” for news consumers. The New York Times has rolled out for public view its new social networking system. It’s called Times People. The Wall Street Journal has done the same thing for its subscribers. It’s called Journal Community. For some time now, I have been arguing that […]

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Alabama vs. Georgia: The ’62 game had an important legal impact

Part of the origin of the “public figure” in libel law began with the 1962 Alabama-Georgia football game and the legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. The game between Alabama and Georgia tonight on ESPN calls to mind a game between the same two teams 46 years ago that had an important impact — not on […]

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The Writing Wright: now available on Amazon

Tom Clancy, Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain and Satchel Paige — they were all writers (of sorts). And they have all made it into this first volume of The Writing Wright. The Writing Wright is now available on Amazon. If you are fascinated by writers and writing, The Writing Wright offers a box of chocolates you […]

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The Writing Wright: now available on Amazon

Tom Clancy, Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain and Satchel Paige — they were all writers (of sorts). And they have all made it into this first volume of The Writing Wright. The Writing Wright is now available on Amazon. If you are fascinated by writers and writing, The Writing Wright offers a box of chocolates you […]

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The Writing Wright’s fan page on Facebook

Just created a fan page for The Writing Wright on Facebook. The Writing Wright is a book of essays, quotations and snippets about writing, the language, journalism and the writing life. The book is illustrated with the author’s pen and ink drawings. Doing the fan page once wasn’t too hard. I’m sure when I do […]

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The Writing Wright’s fan page on Facebook

Just created a fan page for The Writing Wright on Facebook. Doing it once wasn’t too hard. I’m sure when I do it again, it will be even simpler. I loaded a few of the drawings that are in the book into the first photo album, and I’m going to take some screen shots of […]

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Where’s Sarah? Wall Street elbows her out

• Sarah Palin is no longer the focus of the rabid attention of the news media herd. Why is that? Interesting that only a couple of weeks ago, the news media were 24/7 about Sarah Palin, the fighting hockey mom who could stare down the Ruskies. But the last few days all we have heard […]

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Connelly scores big with The Lincoln Lawyer

The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly Rating: 5 of 5 stars This is one of the best books that I have read in the past few years. From the very first page, the reader can identify with Mickey, the protagonist, and what he has to go through to maintain his ambulance-chasing law practice and make […]

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Child fails to live up to his own high standards

Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child I was disappointed with this book — not up to the usual Lee Child/Jack Reacher standards. Reacher and his pals seem to wander around the landscape without much of a clue as to what is happening to them or what has happened to their dead friends — or […]

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Blogging the course – what’s fair?

This one hits disturbingly close to home. A New York University student has written a scathing report about her current course “Reporting Gen Y” and has included criticisms of the professor. The student said the prof was not up to speed on social media and podcasting and taught the course with an outdated mindset. It […]

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Palin, her emails, her hacker: No secrets`

The theft of Sarah Palin’s “private” emails from her Yahoo account this week flared into a potentially fascinating but short-lived story of the presidential campaign. Apparently, there is little within the emails that gives us new insight into the Republican vice presidential candidate. What is far more interesting — and instructive — are the stories […]

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Destroy the Palin emails? It ain’t gonna happen

I pretty much agree with Steve Outing’s take on the Sarah Palin email theft thing. First, it shouldn’t have happened. Digging into someone else’s email is the wrong thing to do. But what gets Steve is the McCain campaign’s reaction to it. Rick Davis, a McCain spokesperson has asked that anyone who has these emails […]

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All editors want the same things — and they’re not getting them

Lynn Worsham writes a brief, excellent article in this week’s Chronicle of Higher Education on the main complaints scholarly journal editors have about working with authors. Worsham is editor of JAC, a quarterly journal of rhetoric, writing, culture and politics. Many of the complaints she describes are echoed by editors in other realms: Inappropriate submissions […]

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The kind of fight I like — over a man of letters

A tussle over the legacy — and the body — of Edgar Allen Poe pits Philadelphia against Baltimore. This is the kind of fight I like. I’m pulling for Bal’mer. According to an article in the New York Times this weekend, two scholars have gotten into a clash over which city — Philadelphia or Baltimore […]

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A literary flame who died too soon

Those who die too young provoke particular sadness. Earlier this summer, we noted the 100th anniversary of the day American letters lost one of its brightest and briefest flames — Stephen Crane. Crane’s one novel was the Red Badge of Courage, which contained descriptions of the confusion and terror of a Civil War battle so […]

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H.L. Mencken on being a newspaper reporter

With the changes in the news business, will succeeding generations experience what H.L. Mencken did as a newspaper reporter at the turn of the previous century? In all of the events of H.L. Mencken’s eventful life, nothing matched his days as a young newspaper reporter (circa 1899): My adventures in that character (a newspaper reporter) […]

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Mencken on being a newspaper reporter

With the changes in the news business, will succeeding generations experience what H.L. Mencken did as a newspaper reporter at the turn of the previous century? In all of the events of H.L. Mencken’s eventful life, nothing matched his days as a young newspaper reporter (circa 1899): My adventures in that character (a newspaper reporter) […]

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