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Raymond Chandler and the development of the ‘private eye’; newsletter, Jan. 12, 2018

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (4,500) on Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. Special note: If you have unsubscribed to this list previously, I apologize for this email. I had some problems with the list over the past couple of weeks — due mainly to my incompetence — and some unsubscribers may have […]

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The death of a great mystery writer; and more crimes against English; newsletter Jan. 5, 2017

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (3,662) on Friday, January 5, 2017. Special note: If you have unsubscribed to this list previously, I apologize for this email. I had some problems with the list this week — due mainly to my incompetence — and some unsubscribers may have been added back in. […]

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Dashiell Hammett (watercolor, Jim Stovall, 2017)

More on the ‘private eye’ and Dashiell Hammett; lots of reader response this week

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (4,431) on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. Hi,  A lot of you readers took the time to respond to various parts of the newsletter last week, and I have included some of those responses here. Thanks to you all. Your responses make great reading, and I […]

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The private eye’s business is trouble; newsletter, Dec. 22, 2017

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (4,466) on Friday, Dec. 22, 2017.     Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year. Tis the season to celebrate, and there are lots of good greetings out there. I wish you good fellowship, good friends and family, good food, good music, and […]

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The Private Eye (watercolor by Jim Stovall)

The state of Alabama, various and sundry; newsletter, Dec. 15, 2017

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (4,204) on Friday, Dec. 15, 2017.   The state of Alabama plays a prominent role in this week’s newsletter. So does Edgar Allan Poe (again), James Whistler, and the Washington Post. The newsletters this week and next week are a bit shorter than usual because of the Christmas season. Next week I […]

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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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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 – I’m […]

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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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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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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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More from the Devil’s Dictionary; Where do a fiction writer’s ideas come from?

This newsletter was sent to those on Jim’s email list (3,926) on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017. Hi,  This week has blessed me with a wide range of interesting reading — from anger to Anne Bradstreet to an excellent essay on the surprising history of higher education. Each of these topics is likely to appear in […]

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Writing and dying, in public view; The Devil’s Dictionary

This newsletter was sent to the people on Jim’s email list (3,988) on Friday, Oct. 20, 2017. Hi,  Fence rows, tractor lifts, chainsaws, and hayrolls — they’ve all been a big part of my life lately. The farm offers an endless variety of experiences and possibilities. Don’t forget the victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Nate. The wildfires in […]

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Two very different books; some free expression discussion; and a new giveaway

This newsletter was sent to Jim’s email list (4,020) on Friday, Oct. 13, 2017. Hi, [FIRST NAME GOES HERE] October has turned into a very busy month. A couple of organizations have asked me for watercolors for fund-raising auctions (see last week’s newsletter), and I have begun clearing some fence-rows on our farm. Then there’s the baseball […]

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Free expression – What do you think? And something from the local library

This newsletter was sent to Jim’s email list (3,567) on Friday, Oct. 6, 2017.   I am still watching the Ken Burns/Lynn Novick series on Vietnam. It has been difficult and emotional, and I will have more to say about it later. Don’t forget the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and Maria. Too many people are suffering even though the […]

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