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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Review: The Last Casualty

An Episcopal priest hears the confessions of a dying man. Get ready for a ride. THE LAST CASUALTY, (Amazon) the latest thriller by Cyn Mobley, is like an Indiana Jones movie, a wild ride that never lets you catch your breath. David Dalt is a U.S. Navy Episcopal priest and an ex-SEAL — except that […]

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Good writing from a baseball insider

• When is the last time you called a major league baseball player a good writer? Lots of talented authors have written superbly about baseball. Among all our national games, baseball is a game that lends itself easily to good wordsmiths. But rare among those smithies is an author who has played the game at […]

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Eliot Spitzer as fiction

Novelist Richard Russo puts Eliot Spitzer into the realm of fictional hero — or protagonist. Some disagreement with Russo, but it’s an interesting thought. What if you wrote a novel about Eliot Spitzer? What would it look like? That’s the question that novelist Richard Russo considers in an interesting column in the March 16 in […]

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