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

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 […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

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 […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

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 […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

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 […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

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 […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

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) […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

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) […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

The anniversary of the death of a literary light

Like that of Robert Kennedy, the anniversary of the death of an American who died too young occurred this past week. Part of our collective conversation this past week has been remembering the death of Robert Kennedy, which happened 40 years ago. Kennedy, shot by an assassin in Los Angeles on the night he won […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

James Madison on freedom of the press

We have seen an erosion of freedom of speech and the press in the last few years, so it might be good to remind ourselves of what one of the Founding Fathers had to say about it. James Madison: • Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Writers writing: Anthony Trollope

Anthony Trollope wrote for money. He made out a schedule and stuck to it. The way writers write – their habits, productivity, quirks, methods of procrastination, etc. – fascinate a lot of people, including me. One of my favorite stories in this vein is that of Anthony Trollope, the mid-19th century British novelist and author […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

The audacity and hope of Barak Obama, the writer

Barak Obama wrote his own book — no ghostwriters or co-authors. He did the literary heavy-lifting himself. It was with plenty of audacity and no small amount of hope that Barak Obama sat down in the early 1990s to write his life story. He had just turned 30 in 1991 and could reasonably assume that […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Jim Webb, writer – and also a senator

• A writer is supposed to “render to the audience things they haven’t seen.” So says Jim Webb, writer. He’s also a senator. Politicians who put their names on a book and claim authorship are not unusual. The ones who actually write the book are unusual indeed. And the politician who says of himself, “I […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

A seventh edition

A textbook that goes into multiple editions can be like a child who grows up but doesn’t leave home. Textbooks can be funny things. If you write a textbook, you want it to be widely adopted so that about four years later the publisher will ask for a second edition (because, while your royalties don’t […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

A seventh edition

A textbook that goes into multiple editions can be like a child who grows up but doesn’t leave home. Textbooks can be funny things. If you write a textbook, you want it to be widely adopted so that about four years later the publisher will ask for a second edition (because, while your royalties don’t […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

On being an author – without doing any writing

Margaret Truman, Eliot Roosevelt, Steve Allen – mystery writers? Did they really take the time out of their celebrityhood to craft, write and rewrite those mystery novels you see on the bookshelf? We all know that politicians don’t write their own speeches. But novelists? Mystery novelists, in particular? Surely no “novelist” would lend a name […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

The Indiana primary – 40 years ago

The upcoming Indiana primary is the most important primary election in the state in 40 years. The last time it happened, I was there, and I shook hands with Robert Kennedy. The talking heads of the TV babblerati certified it to be true — this is the first time in 40 years the Democratic primary […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Hemingway, Dos Passos and the Spanish Civil War in an odd, interesting tale

The Spanish Civil War and the leftist learnings of many 1930s artists are central to the story of the disintegration of the friendship of Ernest Hemingway and John Dos Passos. A test: Which of these men have you heard of? Ernest Hemingway? You kidding? Of course. Read his books and many of his short stories. […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

The writer’s life, Gay Talese style

For more than 40 years, there has been intense interest in the writing style exemplified by Gay Talese – and in Gay Talese (web site) himself. But that emphasis, particularly in Talese himself, may have been misplaced. Talese is certainly a writer of utmost grace. He works at his profession with an intensity that is […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

The fiction writer’s bookshelf

If you are interested in writing fiction, here are two of the best books you can have: Christopher VoglerThe Writer’s Journey Renni Brown and David KingSelf-Editing for Fiction Writers (These are the Amazon links.) No one explains “story” better than Vogler. I’m going to post these to a couple of lists to which I subscribe […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Alexander McCall Smith on NYT Book Review podcast

Alexander McCall Smith talks about his latest efforts on the NYT Book Review podcast. Lovers of Alexander McCall Smith’s books may want to tune in (so to speak) on the audio interview with him by the New York Times Book Review podcast. Here’s the page with all the podcast links going back to 2006, and […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }
Share